Last fall we sold most of the animals at the ranch. We kept the flock of chickens and eggs are in plentiful supply. We also kept Jimi, the llama, and our ranch dog, Gummy Bear. We kept two goats. One was still milking and the other had an injured foot. Toward the end of January, the nanny with the injured foot had two little billy goat kids. Seeing the new baby goats was a joyful experience. Maybe because the pandemic has been going on so long and the ranch has seemed so quiet, it was a treat to see such resiliency and the promise of spring.
We are likely looking at reduced activity at the ranch again in 2021. We are still under the shadow of the virus and although we are continually looking at long range goals for Orient Land Trust, we are aware of the costs involved. Thank you to everyone who has supported the Everson Ranch activities. We are still debating our course there this summer. In the meantime, enjoy the pictures of the two new animals!
January was a beautiful month here, peaceful and cold. We averaged 27 people per day, rarely reaching our nightly capacity. We've kept our rates the same while reducing our numbers to about a third of normal. One positive outcome is that there are less people here and it feels more quiet and less crowded. We will continue to operate at 30% capacity, up to 42 adult visitors per day, selling overnight passes only throughout the winter season.
At the state level, officials are happy with Colorado's covid numbers and we did not experience the spike in cases that was expected after the holiday. Saguache county has done well, but we have recently had a few covid cases at our local schools which have moved to remote learning for the time being. We are working our way through winter. The daylight hours are stretching out. There is some optimism for seeing the end of the pandemic as vaccinations are increasing and the mortality and infection rates seem to be dropping. However, this is not the time to be relaxed about the preventative measures we all take to keep each other healthy and well. The good news is that we have not had any outbreaks at the hot springs, with staff and guests alike! Though our guidelines may seem restrictive, they are working!
We know many people are disappointed that the sauna is closed. It will remain closed for the time being as it is a small indoor space with little ventilation. It would be difficult to wear a mask or social distance inside and it would be impossible for us to sanitize appropriately for multiple household use. The positive side of the sauna being closed is that the electricity it normally consumes is available as kilowatts to heat the Apple Tree Pools!
Cold weather with night time temperatures reaching zero and below is making camping challenging for those who are tenting or sleeping in their car. If you're camping we recommend that you have an RV, camper van, or four season gear. Generators and car heaters are not permitted as they disturb others. Campers need to come prepared as there is no indoor space available to warm up during the night. If you don't have the right stuff, you might want to wait until the weather warms up!
At our members' suggestions, we implemented a sign up board at the Apple Tree Pools. With colder weather, more guests want to be in the hot pools. Guests suggested that we have a sign-up board so people could plan ahead. The goal is to be fair and equitable. Each household gets to sign up for two soaks in the upper apple and two soaks in the lower apple, 30 minutes each. This has been working well and our guest comments have been very positive. It helps with compliance to the guideline of only one household/per pool and gives everyone an opportunity to get a soak in. The other pools are all open with a recommendation of a 2 hour maximum soak, then rotate to another pool or activity. Some visitors have been greedy signing up for more than their share or monopolizing a pool while others have not had a chance to soak. Once again, it comes back to being respectful and kind to others, do unto others as you would have them do unto you! We count on the community to be kind, respectful and responsible so that everyone has a wonderful experience.
Reservations, especially for weekends, have been challenging for many. We are currently renting only eleven indoor spaces and they go very quickly. For a normal weekend advance reservation, we will get 30 to 40 phone calls all within a few minutes to rent those few rooms. When you call to reserve, leave your name and number and we will call you back in the order the calls come in so that it is fair to everyone. Please do not keep hanging up and ringing the phone! We won't answer the live calls until everyone who has left a message has been called back, get in the queue and please be patient!
Things have been different this past year. To find out what you need to know, what's changed, and for up to date information go to: olt.org/guidelines Please look these over before planning your trip so that you are prepared and know what to expect. Thanks for your cooperation! We too are longing for times of social soaking, gathering at the telescope, music at Oak House, and impromptu potlucks at the Pavilion. In the meantime, think of others as you rotate through the precious hours in the hot pools and savor the reflective and meditative days we have now.
As the days get longer and spring is on the horizon, we are feeling optimistic! Starting March 1, we will start taking reservations for two months in advance. For those of you who have been generous donors, your generosity once again has a benefit. If you have been wanting to reserve further in advance, we are adding another month. Members at the Friendship level will have a one month reservation benefit and members at the Supporter or higher levels will have a two month benefit.
As the weather warms and more outdoor activities are available, we look forward to opening up an additional room in the Sunset House and Oak House. They have been restricted during the winter months due to the shared communal space of kitchens, bathrooms and living rooms. We'll maintain our capacity at 30% for the time being, but by summer we hope to expand that as well. Warmer temperatures means more time spent on outdoor activities, hiking, swimming and soaking in the cooler pools and more enjoyment for campers. Though many of our restrictions will remain in place until the pandemic subsides, we look forward to the change in seasons. Springtime in the Rockies can be anything from winter to summer, so if you're visiting in the next few months, check weather conditions so you are prepared. Hope to see you soon!
This News Article is Outdated. See correct information here.
Our office is open daily from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm for reservations.
Guest check-in time is: 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm, accommodations are guaranteed by 4:00 pm
Guests check out from accommodation and hot springs at 12:00 noon.
Gates are locked at 8:00 pm and there is no admittance until 1:00 pm the following day.
Valley View Hot Springs reopened on August 3, 2020 after being closed for four months due to the pandemic. We are happy to report that our “Great Experiment” has gone very well with restricted capacity, covid guidelines and member cooperation. We have been cautious, followed guidelines and recommendations from the state and county health officials, and it’s working! We plan to continue at a reduced capacity, closures of communal spaces like the sauna, welcome center and dormitory through the spring and will update when we can safely make adjustments.
Membership is required to make an advanced reservation. Non-members can reserve 24 hours in advance. Starting March 1, 2021 we will be taking reservations for two months out. Members at the Friendship level will have a one month reservation benefit and members at the Supporter or higher levels will have a two month benefit. Make reservations for your family only please, no groups or gatherings of friends from separate households at this time.
Please read our Covid Guidelines before calling and making a reservation. Many things have changed since the pandemic, so be proactive and prepared before you visit! Not all of our guidelines are consistent with our community values which have evolved over the years. We all look forward to returning to a more normal life. In the meantime, your cooperation is crucial to our being open and we appreciate your support. See the new COVID Guidelines below.