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by | 2017 | The Lills, Travel

On the day we were heading out of Santa Fe, we spoke to two separate people who both happened to mention a town called Pagosa Springs. We had never heard of the place, but we saw a sparkle in their eyes when they told us about it. As usual, we had no plan or direction for the next phase of our cross-country adventure, so we decided to head straight to Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

The Lills | Pagosa Springs Colorado | Travel VW Bus Road Trip | Sticker

Pagosa Springs, Colorado, is a very special place. It is a sleepy little town at first sight, but don’t let it fool you. There is so much to do and enjoy. It is the home of the deepest geothermal hot springs in the world. When we drove from Santa Fe to Pagosa at night, the change of elevation was so severe that one of us experienced a terrible case of altitude sickness. After a few dips in the hot springs, we magically felt rejuvenated, revitalized and energetically enhanced.

What is a Hot Spring? Basically, hot water from under the ground is naturally pushed to what is called the “Mother” Spring. The water temperature is around 144 degrees and it is the source that fills smaller pools. People from around the world travel there to immerse themselves in the variety of healing mineral waters.

Here are some Hot Springs Minerals and Benefits. (All units are in milligrams per liter (mg/L) unless otherwise noted):

  • Sodium 790 – Good for arthritis.
  • Potassium 90 – Good for the heart.
  • Silica 54 – Good for immune system, skin, bones, hair and nails.
  • Iron .08 – Good for blood, skin and fighting stress.
  • Manganese 0.23 – Good for nerves and the brain.
  • Sulfate 1400 – Good for joints, bones, hair and nails.
  • Lithium 2.9 – Good for mental health.
  • Boron 1.8 – Good for the brain, bones and building muscle.
  • Arsenic 0.12 – Good for tissue growth.
  • Magnesium 25 – Good for heart rythym, reduces high blood pressure and fights toxins.
  • Chloride 180 – Good for the skeleton.
  • Zinc 0.01 – Good for healing wounds, digestion and maintains the activity of male hormones.
  • (This information can be found on the Springs Resort website.)

The Springs Resort offers 23 different pools at varying temperatures and we were told that 110 degrees is a good temperature to benefit from all of the actitve minerals that are in the water. We started soaking ourselves at around 97 degrees and the hottest pool we tried was noted at 114 degrees. It was a miraculous experience and something we recommend everyone trying.

The Springs Resort | Hot Springs | Pagosa Springs Colorado

Following one super-duper cozy treat stay at the Springs Resort and after an incredible day and night soaking in the geothermal hot springs, the two of us, our kitten and dog, piled back into our VW bus and kept exploring Pagosa Springs. We spent some time in one of the pretty parks by a little river and met some really nice people. There was a husband, wife and small child who all lived in a big school bus. They weren’t traveling long-distance yet, but they were making plans to go cross-country to teach children how to build 3-D printers and 3-D printer cartridges out of recycled materials. There was another very kind guy who told us his story about quitting drinking, down-sizing and taking off on an adventure to better understand himself. We met two sweet girls who both felt pressure to take conventional paths in life, but showed great joy in following their passions and going against the grain. There was a wonderful woman with two joyful children who played with our dog and kitten. Each person we met that day was on a path and each one of them seemed destined to do great things. We were really happy to have stopped at the park and when it started to get hot out, we jumped in the river with tubes and floated down stream.

After some fun in the sun, we thought it was best to get the 411 on the 420 in the area. We called a local marijuana dispensary who told us the state of Colorado legalized the use of recreational and medical marijuana on private property in 2012, allowing locals and travelers alike to enjoy all of the healing benefits that come from the plant. Residents are allowed to have up to 6 plants and folks over 21 are allowed to carry up to an ounce.

In the state of Colorado, marijuana dispensaries outnumber Starbucks shops 3 to 1 and with good reason. The medicinal qualities and healing properties of this plant can be classified as a miracle cure for so many ailments. People travel great distances to enjoy the recreational and medicinal use.

We went by The Green House, a local marijuana dispensary, and picked up some over-the-counter bud. When choosing strains, there is Indica, Sativa and hybrids. Indica is great for mellowing out, relaxing and finding peace. Sativa is great for getting creative, getting stuff done and staying active. Both types have medicinal, cancer-fighting properties. For the people in desperate need of pain relief or healing who don’t want the high, CBD oil is a THC-free alternative. It is a potent mixture that is known to fight inflammation, depression, arthritis, help the immune system and kill cancer cells. Rick Simpson Oil is another oil that is full of THC. It will get you very high and it is known as “The Cancer Cure”.

Here are some Marijuana Benefits:

  • Relieves pain.
  • Promotes bone growth.
  • Aids in sleep.
  • Relieves anxiety.
  • Reduces seizures.
  • Suppresses muscle spasms.
  • Fights bacteria growth.
  • Treats fungal infections.
  • Reduces small intestine contractions.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Kills cancer cells.

While staying in Colorado, it was amazing to see how many people came to the area to heal themselves with cannabis. We met a woman who has epilepsy and uses cannabis oil to treat herself. Her 12 year old son, who stabbed at school, almost died and uses it too. He has a medicinal card and medicinally uses cannabis for the healing effects that can’t be found in any prescribed medications offered by pharmaceutical companies. The mother swore it saved both of their lives and continues to do so.

It’s not just for humans either. We’ve met so many pet owners who have added years to their best friends lives with cannabis and CBD oil. Many of them were diagnosed with months to live or as untreatable, but this miracle plant provided them with a better quality of life and no side-effects. A friend’s son’s dog was given only a few months to live and has lived over a year and a half due to the use of CBD oil.

While in Pagosa Springs, we helped a local with the harvesting of his marijuana trees. It turns out, residents are legally allowed up to 6 cannabis plants. The whole experience was very educational. We got to see the trees develop, mature and start producing bud. Once they were ready to go, we helped cut down limbs, we trimmed off leaves and we hung bud out to dry. It was absolutely amazing to get to work with such a special plant.

It’s a shame that it’s considered an outcast and illegal in other states, seeing as this country used to rely on hemp and cannabis for their wide variety of uses. According to Wikipedia, hemp was one of the first plants to be spun into a useable fiber. It can be used to create food, paper, rope, fabric, paint, biodegradable plastics, building materials, oils and so much more.

If you or someone you know is going through a physical ailment, chances are this miraculous plant can help fight the problem and speed up the healing process.

The Lills | Colorado Marijuana Leaf

Finding pot in Pagosa Springs wasn’t hard, but finding a place to smoke it was. Eventually, we were told to swing by a nearby 420-Friendly Inn. “420-Friendly”, for those who aren’t familiar with pot culture, means marijuana-friendly. Immediately driving in, we felt like we had gone back in time to the old motor lodge days. We were greeted by a super-friendly employee, who informed us the inn was indeed 420-Friendly. We stayed one night and enjoyed rolling joints, taking hits and trying a variety of local strains.

The next morning, we met a really cool guy. He sat and talked with us for over an hour and we all lost track of time. It was like we were all on the same wavelength, because our views on the world were pretty similar and we related to each others experiences. He explained that when his son was young, they had driven all over the U.S. in a super funky bus. They lived in Pagosa for over 20 years and it turned out…he was the owner of the inn.

He then did something incredible. He offered that we could rebrand his business with a new logo, website and photography in exchange for room and board. We even covered the front desk a few hours a week and we were able take our time and save money to prepare for our next adventure. It was like a dream come true. We felt relief and excitement about having been lead to such a wonderful place and such a wonderful human being.

The Lills | First Inn | Pagosa Springs CO

There were more than a few friendly guests who also inspired us or taught us something we didn’t know. We met a man who drove a sixteen wheeler for a living and was put in a very crazy situation the night before. Driving through the steep mountains, he was faced with the choice to either plow into the cars who were obstructing the shoulder or flip his rig to avoid them and stop the truck. He made the choice to put his own life at risk and his semi flipped multiple times. Miraculously, he and his dog walked away without any severe injuries. They stayed at the inn and waited for days to get a new rig and get back on the road.

Another guest we met was visiting Pagosa Springs to get away and maintain his zen. He displayed an intense ability to stay positive, be in the now and not let things bug him. We also enjoyed meeting a guy who was traveling on his motorcycle. It had a sidecar for his dog and together, they spread awareness about animal rescue. They were a really cool duo.

Our pup, Sunday, and our cat, Scotia, made so many wonderful friends in Pagosa Springs. They befriended Lucy, Gracie, Bubby, Tails, Golden, Rue, Hilary, Choco and more. Sometimes, in the mornings at the inn, we’d all gather and let the animals go wild. We humans made lots of wonderful memories too.

One of the employees at the inn was also one of Sunday and Scotia’s BFF’s. He was an animal lover, human inspirer and all around cool dude. He played incredible guitar, his sense of humor kept everyone smiling and his big kid attitude spread cheer all around. We’ll never forget our times together playing cards, playing music, talking metaphysically, smoking pot and observing nature. He taught us so much in such a short period of time.

The Lills | Alex and Lara Lill | Pagosa Springs CO | VW Bus

One of our favorite experiences in Pagosa Springs was taking a hot air balloon ride during their annual Colorfest event. We took some wonderful images and captured the balloons on film from the ground, but by the time we made it to the field where they were taking off, there were not many balloons left. The first two we checked with were full, but the last remaining balloon let us jump aboard. Poof, we were off the ground and ascending high up in the sky. The mountain view was stellar and it was too fun getting to see the town from above.

It wasn’t until family invited us to visit that we headed to our next destination. As we drove out of Pagosa Springs, we both agreed we’d have to at some point return and visit with our new friends. See what happens next on our cross-country adventure here!


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