It’s the first thing you see after coming through the gates at Wilbur Hot Springs – a sign that reads “Time to Slow Down”. The first time I read the sign, I really didn’t give it much thought, as that isn’t the way we have spent the past three years of our lives in southern Utah.
Amy and I love to enrich ourselves in the history of the various places we travel, and explore the natural landscape and outdoor recreational opportunities of the surrounding area, so moving to Wilbur Hot Springs was not a lengthy, drawn out decision. Our lives were intermingled in the daily operations of a large outdoor recreation, hospitality, and marina business on the northern stretches of Lake Powell, in the middle of the desert of southern Utah. It was one of those 24/7 responsibilities that we undertook, but it was time for a change, and so on October 1st, we moved to Wilbur Hot Springs to become the new General Managers, and bask in the concept of “Slowing Down”.
After arriving, getting settled, and better grasping the operations here, we began immersing ourselves in the historical aspect of Wilbur Hot Springs. The library in the hotel contains a wealth of knowledge regarding the immediate area, and in our offices at the Red House, pictures adorn the walls depicting the town that once stood here over a century ago. Fascinating details of the mining that once took place here, and the soothing effects of the waters from so long ago still resonate in the valleys and hills of this place we now call home. Speaking of the Red House, how cool is it that our offices are in an old home built in the latter half of the 1800’s? It has already bred a concept of creating a walking historical tour of the immediate sites complete with outdoor signage depicting the scenes and historical interpretation. Sharing the historical knowledge with our guests, I think, will be a wonderful addition to the area.
As for outdoor recreation, Wilbur Hot Springs has it all. Trails leading from the hotel into the Nature Preserve and throughout provide excellent opportunities to explore some beautiful country here in California. The views from the ridgeline of the valley below are beyond impressive, and standing there with the silence of nature is a stark difference from the life we once had. In one hike, you can see rafters of turkeys, deer, racoons, hawks, bobcats, and listen for the pecking noise of the area woodpeckers. Nature is everywhere in these hills, and so is history. One hike will lead you right past an old cemetery with tombstones dating back to the mid 1800’s.
Then there are the waters – taking the time to slow down and enjoy a relaxing soak of these mineral-rich waters is exactly what the doctor ordered, so to speak! We are going on our third month living here, and have definitely found the place we want to call “home”. To quote David Byrne of The Talking Heads: “Home, it’s where I want to be, But I guess I’m already there…”