The title to this short story can be interpreted in two different aspects: in one way, it could mean “how did we actually settle upon Wilbur Hot Springs as our new home?”, and in another light, it can mean “how we reconnected with our inner selves here at Wilbur Hot Springs?” Both questions are viable to consider, and both questions contain the answer as to why my wife and I are here as the new General Managers of this wonderful lodge and resort!
Let me start off by telling a little about who we are – my name is Ray Golden, and my wife is Amy Golden. We came here from southern Utah on Lake Powell, where I was the President of a rather large outdoor adventure company, and Amy was the North Operations Manager. We spent the past 3 ½ years overseeing a lodge, two restaurants, marina, and outdoor adventure business that was very rewarding to us. Amy and I love to travel, explore, and experience all that life has to offer, especially with our two boys, both of whom are Labrador Retrievers.
How we actually came to settle in Wilbur Hot Springs dates back to this past summer when Amy and I interviewed with Dr. Richard Miller’s wonderful family, Sarana and Aaron, and also Dr. Miller and his wife, Jolee. They were wonderful hosts as Amy and I came to see the operations and get a feel for this beautiful landscape and hot springs. It certainly is a change of scenery in stark contrast to the desert where we lived, but it offered everything that excites us about life. There is plenty of open space to explore, such as the 1,400 acre nature preserve. We’ve seen rafters of turkeys, coyotes, deer, and rescued ponies. Across Highway 20, we’ve seen scores of Tule Elk, ingenious only to California. We’ve already hiked numerous trails with our boys, and have marked even more trails that we plan to hike in the very near future. It’s easy to see how we came to settle in such a wonderful and beautiful place!
To consider the question as to how we came to find our inner selves here at Wilbur Hot Springs begins on the road that leads to the front gate where there stands a sign that reads “Time To Slow Down”. We’ve reached that time in our lives where it is, indeed, time to slow down. The hot springs offers such a respite from the fast-paced life we were living for the past twenty-four years. The spring waters has seeped into our souls, old injuries are on the mend, relaxation is creeping into our lives, and this new way of life is beginning to emerge. And then there are the people!
Every person we have met, from staff to visitors from near and far, have been so gracious and enlightening to have conversations with over dinner, lunch, or just passing by on the walks in the preserve. We have never been to such a wonderful place full of so many eclectic people who truly have, in a short period of time, helped us to find ourselves in Wilbur Hot Springs. For years, Amy and I have tried to get lost, and find ourselves…and we finally have, at Wilbur Hot Springs, California!