20220725 – Homestead Crater

We woke up and had breakfast at Homestead Resort. We laid about until our Homestead Crater reservation time. Book early. and Book often folks.

Homestead Crater was actual first stop on my itinerary. It showed up on a list of swimming hole. Looked interesting. I saved it on Google Maps.

 A hundred years ago some guy found a hot spring, actually a “geothermal hot spring in a 55ft limestone dome” I suspect it may be a Terracettes or a Hot Spring Cone for all you geology fans out there. A big one. I wasn’t there when it was discovered. Right now. You walk in the side of the hill, past the cash register, down a slope to a dock with a pool. There is a hole in the top. I imagine that water was coming out the top at some point in the past 100 million years.

It was called Snider’s Hot Pot Ranch and Spa in an early picture, in the resort lobby. The families name was actually Schnietter. Early photographers were too busy taking pictures to take down facts. 

pretty cool

It’s basically a 97 degree hot spring in a cave. With a vent in the roof that lets in sunlight. Everybody has to wear lifejackets. Sessions are one hour. No jumping in, use the ladders, no life guard on duty. RULES IN ALL CAPS CENTER JUSTIFIED WITH ASTERISKS. 

Petty dictators, with petty empires should be required to take classes in page layout so the rules are more clearer. 


We had to be out of the hotel by 1pm. So we stayed for about half of our swim. Our session was sold out, but there was room for everybody. The line going inside looked worrisome. The spring is bigger than the pictures. There was plenty of personal space, but not much to do. Floating in a lifejacket in warm water was not on my bucket list. I slipped off the deck and splash slightly, twice. I also took off my lifejacket because I am already SUPER buoyant. I am not anybody’s role model. 

We bopped back to the hotel room and showered. The rule sheet says the spring is very refreshing, but you know what is more refreshing? A shower. With soap. 

We stopped at a farm stand on the way back to the main road. They had really beautiful looking Rainier cherries from Washington. The best I have ever seen. I didn’t buy any. We are headed that way, eventually. 

The girl working the stand picked out some blackberries, and raspberries and apricots. We inhaled them all in the 30 minutes to took to get to Salt Lake City. Hot springing can make you very hungry.

Salt Lake City

Yes, that Salt Lake City.

I can imagine what it must be like
This perfect, happy place
I’ll bet the goat-meat there is plentiful
And they have vitamin injections by the case
The war-lords there are friendly
They help you cross the street
And there’s a Red Cross on every corner
With all the flour you can eat!

Robert Lopez, Matt Stone & Trey Parker – “Sal Tlay Ka Siti”, The Book of Mormon

We went to a store in search of a practical gift for Merryweather. There was a restaurant with a 5.0 rating around the corner from the mall. We went looking for it. I ended up asking for help. The guys explained that it was a food truck and wasn’t there right now. 

We walked through a Starbucks for Alphas called Alphas. I am not making this up. They had pre-made sandwiches like an incel, beta-cuck Starbucks. I knew is was spot for Alphas. because they had Diet Coke. Diet Coke is for life’s winners. I should know. I love Diet Coke.

We went to the bar/sushi place next door. It’s like two restaurants in one. They scanned our IDs, because this establishment was a bar in Utah. I got a Bud lIght because we were in the shadow of the tee-totaling Temple. Aah Sushi! was amazing. Some of the best I have had EVER. A real treat prepared a sushi wizard. 

Ahh Sushi and O’Shucks a place that sells Budweiser in the shadow of the Great Mormon Temple

It was interesting to watch him help his assistant with the roll ordered by Mrs. Jon Bruce Entertainment.  He showed more restraint than I do. I could see the concern and the impulse to just do it himself in his eyes. He also possessed the mastery necessary to give his student room to learn.  His notes were delivered discretely and elevated the food and presentation.


We headed out to Kohls because I had an Amazon return that I want to carry around for 1283 miles. 

Got a new travel soap dish. You can learn more about it here.


Mrs. Jon Bruce Entertainment took the wheel towards our next stop, the vicinity of Great Basin National Park. This is a deceptive drive. You leave SLC on 15 towards Las Vegas. The shorter distance is the first turn onto US 6/US 50. A two lane flat desert road with spotty cell service and miles of nothing. It’s 20 minutes longer to drive about twice as far on Interstate 15 and then trail over to US 6. I am glad we got to see this drive, but I might spend the extra 20 minutes on the interstate next time. I tried to give Mrs. JonTheBruce a heads up.

No services for 88 miles

The end of the drive was exciting. The last stretch is 88 miles with no services. No gas stations, no restaurants, no bathrooms. About 20 minutes after she breezed through last chance town without stopping, she mentioned that she needed to go to the restroom. I tried to warn her.

I said “Next one is in an hour” She was dismissive, like I was kidding. She scoffed at my navigational guidance. The previous hour of driving should have been a fair warning.

40 minutes later

She had the 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid at a speed I am not comfortable publishing. There was no other traffic. There was nothing to run into. I picked out several nice places to pee out of doors and explained the process. She was having none of it.

“Faster, Faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.”

Hunter Thompson

I feel the need! The need to Speed pee!

My Copilot

Hopefully, the only tracks were left on the tarmac outside that gas station were from the regenerative braking system and the Firestone tires… The Border Inn Casino, gas station, restaurant, bar, country western autograph museum, pool hall, campground, and RV Park was excellent. They seem to be aware that half of their guests really need to use the bathroom, right now. It is really quite nice. I had hamburger. The bun was on point. The phone service was spotty.


Hidden Canyon Retreat was our goal for the evening. The directions were written. I had downloaded a local copy of the area on Google just in case. The printed directions we got were perfect. Hidden Canyon Retreat would still be hidden otherwise. We got to there. It is located in a hidden canyon. It is about 30 minutes outside of Great Basin National Park. And six miles off the paved roads. Remote. Very nice, but remote.  

The check in was exceptional. Our host gave us a map of the property that was hand colored with information. They also weren’t doing breakfast, so we got to raid the camp store/pantry. I picked all practical things. Peanut Butter, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, 19 Crimes Cali Rose, Apples.

Dark Skies

Great Basin and Hidden Canyon are an excellent place to look at the stars. The sky was partly cloudy. The unclouded part was some of the darkest skies I have ever seen. Let me recommend DarkSiteFinder.com https://darksitefinder.com/maps/world.html

Go visit one of those places in the black, black, at night. Look up. I have been to a couple of them. Thanks Nebraska! The sky is so much bigger than you can imagine when you are looking up in the vicinity street lights or civilization. So much bigger. You are so much smaller.

We slept with visions of No Service signs.

When it rains it pours

Merryweather called from St Louis. There was a massive rain storm. 9-12 inches of rain. I asked him to make sure water wasn’t messing up anything. We slept.

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