Trip Report to Harbin Hot Springs

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Trip Report to Harbin Hot Springs

Postby New_Adventurer » Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:06 pm

Four years ago I went to Harbin Hot Springs near Middletown, California, for a two-day visit while my wife went to visit her daughter, leaving me home alone for a week. I thought it was a nice place to soak in the hot water for an extended time. They have a naturally-hot source of spring water which they mix with their cold spring water. Sadly the following year they were incinerated by a wild fire, leaving little more than concrete foundations, blackened tree, and lots of ashes. It also put them out of operation and disappointed hundreds of their loyal followers and hundreds more of casual visitors. They had evacuated in haste and left nearly everything of value behind; fortunately, no one died.

In addition to the Harbin complex, a major portion of Middletown was also burned. The overall effect was economic hardship for everyone within twenty miles. A few days after the fire Harbin sent an email to everyone on their contact list stating they were in serious trouble and cancelled all reservations. They also stated their intention to rebuild, stating that it would be at least a year. For two years they sent progress reports every month or two until finally one arrived that said they would be opening for day-only visits, so I reserved a week-day visit while my wife visited her mother for two days. The progress reports outlined the basic restoration objectives but was scant on details.

I left home in Fremont, spent three hours going the 100 miles, arrived about noon, checked in, got an hour-long massage, and then soaked in the hot water for several hours. The original pools were still there and one new one added as part of the rebuild. The roads were still in the same place, and there were remnants of the non-combustible foundations of old buildings, some artwork, and parking lots. There are many trailers for temporary offices, massage rooms, restrooms, and a snack store. They will have permanent structures in the future for staff housing and new facilities for what is now in the temporary trailers.

About 4pm I got out of the pools, looked around for a half-hour, took a shower, put on my public go-to-meeting clothes, and went to San Francisco for an engineering society meeting in the evening. I arrived home about 11pm.

The one remaining downer about Harbin is their promotion of non-Christian religious symbols and atmosphere. Little Buddha statues everywhere and a promotion of eastern mysticism.
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Re: Trip Report to Harbin Hot Springs

Postby New_Adventurer » Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:31 am

I notice this posting never appeared in the New Postings section. Therefore, BUMP it up.
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Re: Trip Report to Harbin Hot Springs

Postby JimShedd112 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:20 am

Thanks for an excellent trip report New_Adventurer. I’m glad you were able to enjoy a day of relaxation. It seems tgey’re On their way back to full recovery.

Jim
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