“Oh, Montana? What are you doing there?”
That’s all you really need to do here. Our cottage in Paradise Valley 20 minutes south of Livingston, MT is surrounded by views on all sides – golden fields of waving grasses, picturesque ranches, looming mountains, and rolling creeks. And the night sky! Brilliant stars beyond your wildest imagination. There is just so much air, delicious air, and we’re drinking it up. Each morning we head out with the dogs for a leisurely stroll through the pasture along 8 Mile Creek. Their uninhibited joy and daily-renewed intrigue is enough for us all, and as they run from one smell to another, we peacefully meander behind them breathing in the complimentary inner peace. Not a bad amenity if you ask me.
While you could enjoy a perfect trip to Montana doing absolutely nothing, it would not be for lack of opportunity. Local activities abound, and we did, eventually, make it further than a walk around the grounds. Wednesday, we made our way to Chico Hot Springs, an excellent choice for those wishing to submerge themselves in relaxation and soak up calmness (get it, water puns?). In all honesty, Chico is full of children playing and families laughing just like you might find at any pool. The differences here though are that the water is hot tub hot at 96 degrees Fahrenheit in the large pool and 103 in the small one and comes that way directly from the magnificent Earth, unchlorinated and completely free of human added chemicals. First recorded in 1865 by John S. Hackney, Chico’s hot springs were contained in pools by the late 1800s and advertised for their curative powers in the early 1900s. How do they do it? Warmed by geothermal heat within the Earth’s mantle , the water in hot springs is then moved to the surface through cracks in the Earth’s crust by convection currents. You can read more about the science behind the wonder here.