I’ve unofficially-officially determined that there are three types of people at hot springs. You can typically count on at least two of the three being at a spring at any given time, less if you’re lucky.
The first is old hippies. This one is fairly self-explanatory. 60’s era, long gray hair, saggy balls or boobs, tie die. These are true hippies, the ones that likely built the hot springs by trekking in cement on pack goats.
The next segment of the hot springs population is young hippies. This segment is a true conundrum. It appears they don’t care about much, but deep down, they care more than you possibly imagine. With contrived hippie outfits, they will often resemble an attendee of the Coachella music festival. You can find them gracing their Instagram profiles with quotes about wellness while promoting their ‘lifestyle coach’ job. Likely wearing a brand new PataGucci puffy jacket, you can also find them ‘glamping’. (Glamping is when yuppies go to get good Instagram photos in Moab and stay in canvas walled tents.) That’s all, nothing more. If it wasn’t already apparent, young hippies are my least favorite type, despite the girls being gorgeous.
Finally, you may be unfortunate enough to encounter the hot springs tweaker. Tweakers are far less common than the other varieties of hippies, and this is a very lucky thing for us as members of the general population. Umpqua hot springs presented me with my first introduction to the tweaker variety.
Pulling into the lot I notice a busted up Ford pickup with an empty parking spot beside it. Thinking nothing of it, I park beside it and jump out, instantly recognizing there is a very intimidating German shepherd in the bed of the truck, watching anxiously as his owner approached from across the lot. As he neared, I recognized he had the elusive (unless you’re at Burning Man) dread-hawk.
Now I understand that most of you may not understand the concept of a dread-hawk, I didn’t either. A dread-hawk is when a person that at one time had a head full of dreadlocks shaves them off in the style of a Mohawk, leaving only a strip of the grimy head-snakes behind. To compliment the dread-hawk, the tweaker had a machete on each hip. If after the first 100 pages of this book haven’t spelled it out, I’m an extrovert with a limited filter.
“What the heck are the machetes for?” I ask, as he gets closer but before he has a chance to acknowledge me. On a level playing field now, he tells me “This one is for protecting my family. If the feds come I’m going to be up in the trees and jump down on those guys. And this one? This one is for my PB&J.” “What the heck”, I think to myself, but only respond with “Word, that makes sense”.