From Amanda Mochan in Colorado (USA)
On Saturday, August 20, I traveled to beautiful Pagosa Springs, Colorado to oversee the measurement of the deepest geothermal hot spring measured by a plumb line. The hot spring is located at the elegant property The Springs Resort and Spa.
This was a new record category, so a minimum requirement had not yet been set. The hot spring had previously been unofficially measured at a depth of more than 1,000 ft., so I knew that the spring was quite deep.
Upon arrival, I met with hydrologist John Casey from Basin Engineering in Durango, Colorado. John had a plumb line that reached a maximum depth of 1002 ft. (305.41 m), but what makes this record interesting is that no one really knows just how deep the hot spring is. Every time the spring has been measured, the plumb line ran out before reaching the bottom.
The 'mother spring' is a turquoise pool approximately 35 feet across with an average depth of 20-30 ft. About 15 feet from one edge, there is a hole in the bottom of two feet in diameter. This is the main spring that reaches an unknown depth, and is the spring that the hydrologist measured.
After I confirmed that the plumb line had a maximum measurement of 1002 ft., John lowered the line into the spring and we watched and waited in anticipation as the line went down…and down…and down. After about ten minutes, the line ran out without hitting any obstacles, and a new Guinness World Records achievement was verified.
The world's deepest measured hot spring is a fitting title for what can arguably be called the world's most beautiful hot spring resort. Discovered hundreds of years ago by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, the hot springs were revered for their rejuvenating and healing qualities. In the 1860's, the United States Army studied the medicinal effects of the springs, and the first bath house was built in 1881.
Fast forward to the 21 st century, and The Springs is now a world-class resort that features numerous soaking pools that are fed by the mother spring. In addition, The Springs is ecologically-forward; the mother spring provides the hot water for the hotel's property and the nearby San Juan River provides the cold water.
Congratulations and thanks go out to the following:
R.D. Whittington - Director of Sales, The Springs Resort and Spa
Nerissa Whittington - Owner, The Springs Resort and Spa
Keely Whittington - Owner, The Springs Resort and Spa
Mayor Ross Aragon - Mayor of Pagosa Springs
Southern Heritage Ute Dancers
The staff at The Springs Resort and Spa
Griselda Cervantes - Old Time Photos
John Casey - Basin Engineering