“This will be our last trip,” my father told me, shortly after I retrieved my bag from the tiny airport in Worland, Wyoming. This year marks their 20th visit to Thermopolis, the largest town and the county seat of Hot Springs County. As of the 2010 census the town population was 3,009. The local 9th-12th grade high school serves 185 students.
They come for the waters that they claim heals, or at least, eases, their various aches and pains. Produced by the emergence of geothermally heated groundwater from the Earth’s crust, the springs feed into the pools. The natural minerals require no chlorine or other chemical additives though the air smells like sulfur.
With the exception of one year, they drive, usually in the heart of winter, preferring the flexibility of their own car and timetable. They have visited friends along the way and return, sometimes traveling as far…
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