Dear Action Line: With Trimble Hot Springs renovations including multiple pools, will any be clothing-optional? – Body Positive
Dear Positive: Bryan Yearout, one of the new owners of the hot springs, joked that he was unfamiliar with this mythical place called “Trimble Hot Springs.”
“Never heard of it,” he said. “It’s now Durango Hot Springs.”
Yearout and his partners plan to spend $10 million over the next five years renovating the hot springs. Upgrades include a new heated saltwater swimming pool and additional soaking pools. “It will still be a family location,” he said.
As such, Durango Hot Springs doesn’t plan to allow clothing-optional soaking. “We get that question all the time,” he said.
Yearout said anyone who wants to go au naturel, in their natural state (i.e. naked), can head to Orvis Hot Springs, the clothing-optional hot springs in Ridgway.
“No, I have never been there,” he volunteered.
He said Durango Hot Springs planned to open July 4, but recent delays pushed the date out a week or so. “It won’t be 100%, but the swimming pool and four hot mineral pools will be open,” he said.
Dear Action Line: I have lived in Durango for a long time. A very long time. A very, very long time. So long that I can remember when Coal Bank Pass was a Hill. How did Coal Bank become a Pass? Did it grow, did they water it? Have I been here so long that I have witnessed geologic change? Does the U.S. Geological Survey know about this? – Mole Hills or Passes?
Dear MHOP: Good news: Coal Bank Hill has not been misplaced by the USGS. As you head north on U.S. Highway 550 it’s still on the right side of the road just before the rest area at Coal Bank Pass.
“Coal Bank Hill has appeared on USGS topographic maps since 1900,” said Jennifer Runyon, a geographer with the USGS based in Renton, Virginia.
Coal Bank Pass first appeared on USGS maps in 1960.
Technically, Coal Bank Pass is a “gap,” she said. This gap is separate from Coal Bank Hill, which is a “slope.” But Coal Bank Hill is also the lower part of Potato Hill, which is a “peak.” Basically, the pass is in one geographic area with different names depending on which “feature” you are looking at.
Yes, said Runyon, Coal Bank Hill could be considered part of Potato Hill, “but given that the name Coal Bank Hill applies to the slope extending north from the peak of Potato Hill, we regard them as separate features.”
“Just as Mount Elbert is part of the Rocky Mountains. Who’s to say where one starts and one ends?”
This all sounded suspiciously similar to Schrodinger’s Cat, the thought experiment for quantum mechanics that says the cat in a box is alive, and dead, until observed by the external world.
Coal Bank Hill exists until you look up and see Potato Hill. Which becomes Spud Mountain, because everyone knows that’s the real name of Potato Hill. All exist, and don’t, in the same but different spaces because of their quantum superpositions.
Asked if Coal Bank Hill really just exists in a quantum state, Runyon said that “sounds like a true Colorado interpretation. So no argument from me. Of course, you are dealing with USGS, the nation’s science agency. We tend to look for quantifiable data.”
Quantum mechanics aside, naming features is far from an exact science, she said. “The purpose of these feature classes is to group together features with similar characteristics. They are not particularly official, and undoubtedly, exceptions can be found.”
Runyon said she did not know enough about the geology of the area to say whether Coal Bank Hill has grown.
“We are just the names people,” she said. “Someone would have to look at older geologic maps to compare the elevation, but I can’t imagine it’s changed much over the millennia.”
She was pretty sure no one left the hose on at Coal Bank Hill, which then made it grow into a pass.
“I’m not aware of USGS ever watering mountains to change their size,” she said.
Email questions to actionline@durango herald.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. Action Line will be spending this weekend with the sprinklers turned on the house to try to make it grow.