Return to Ridgway


So, last week, I was fortunate enough to get to return to lovely, little Ridgway, Colorado for an early Spring, almost-off-season vacation. But, this time, we did it right.

We stayed overnight at Orvis Hot Springs.


We visited Orvis in the Fall, but did not stay overnight. I’m not sure why.

They have six rooms upstairs and room for 24 people to camp out back. We got one of the hotel rooms, which are cozy in the very best sense of the word. So cozy, in fact, that this little guy came into our room in the morning and settled right in:

orviscat2use There are two cats who wander around Orvis. There’s thing guy above, whose name I did not catch, and then there’s a black cat named Wayne.

Rooms are $129/night, but that includes two days of soaking for two people, which costs $64 all by itself, so staying overnight is definitely the way to go! Camping is $37/person/night. Also, if you stay overnight, you get twenty-four hour access to the hot springs. Day-soakers have to be out by 10 pm, and cannot come in until 9 am.

So, last time we were there, we were not sure what the marijuana consumption situation would be. We had an edible, but didn’t eat quite enough of it. And we didn’t have vape pens, yet. When we got there, there were, and still are, signs hanging up around the place that highlight the fact that it is illegal to consume “in public.” So, unfortunately, we did not get as stoned as we wanted to be.

We fixed that, though, this time.

In the very small town of Ridgway, there are three dispensaries all in sight of one another.

There’s Rocky Mountain Cannabis, which is the one we went to this time:


There’s Fiddler’s Green, which is a medical only dispensary:


And then there’s Acme, which is where we went last time. I think it may have been the only one open at the time. But, it’s a chain, and we were not super impressed with this particular location:


All three of these pictures were taken while I was standing in virtually the same exact spot in the parking lot of Rocky Mountain Cannabis.

But, we went in, and a young woman with long, light brown hair greeted us through the little window, checked our IDs, etc. We bought two edibles, an Incredibles Mile High Mint chocolate bar and a jar of Edipure Watermelon Tarts, which are actually like gummy things. These were each about $24.

Pretty much all edibles are broken up into 10 mg doses now. So each watermelon tart is 10 mgs, and each little square of the chocolate bar is 10 mgs. I think it might be some sort of rule now that budtenders have to tell everyone who buys an edible to eat 10 mgs and then wait two hours before eating any more. But, our budtender was friendly and helpful, as usual. On our way out, we said we’d be back tomorrow to maybe get a vape pen cartridge.

Now, armed with edibles and vape pens, we hit the hot springs. We got there at about 1:30 or 2, checked in, unloaded the car, ate a watermelon tart right quick, disrobed, and plunged into warm, wet heaven. We went naked, of course. Again, there were a number of people there wearing bathing suits, which is fine, whatever, but I just don’t get it. I mean, there are old people, with wrinkly, saggy skin all over the place who go naked in the hot spring, but it always seems to be the younger people who feel a need to wear a bikini or some shit. You really think you look better that way? I guess however you feel comfortable, but I just think everyone should get over themselves and get naked. It’s just a human body, for chrissake. Everybody’s got one. Mine’s nowhere near perfect, but I don’t give a fuck!

At 4 pm, it was time for my hour and a half massage, which I needed more than desperately. My job this winter has been kind of physically demanding and has definitely fucked up my neck and my shoulders even more than they were before. My massage therapist’s name was Michelle, and she was awesome! My back is so full of rocks that I need rather deep pressure, and I’ve had many massage therapists who just could not deliver. Not Michelle, though. For a very small woman, she administered a consistently deep and deeply relaxing massage. I felt months of pent-up tension flow out of my body. It was perfect!

An hour and a half massage was $105 and absolutely worth it! They also do one hour for $75, a half hour for $40, and two hours for $150.

Then, it was back to soaking for a bit. This was around the time of day, though, when it starts to get a little busy. People come in after work or after skiing, and the pools suddenly become much more crowded. So, it seemed like as good a time as any to eat.

They have a communal kitchen down by the locker rooms. We heated up leftover Asian food we brought with us, but the kitchen is fully outfitted, so you could cook an actual meal in there, if you wanted to. This makes staying at Orvis even more economical, what with not having to go out to eat and all.

Alcohol and hot springs don’t really mix well. You’re not allowed to have alcohol while you are actually soaking, but it is recommended that you do not consume any while you are there at all, in the hot spring or not. Still, we had a glass of wine after dinner.

The watermelon tart did take about two hours to really kick in. My tolerance is not as high as it once was, but it’s not low either. But, one 10 mg watermelon tart was the perfect light buzz for engaging in other activities that turn you into a marshmallow, such as massage and hot spring soaking. We contemplated eating a square of the chocolate bar, but decided against it. We didn’t want to pass out, yet.

By this point, the sun was setting and people were heading home. So, we headed back out and sat with vape pens at the ready, all blissed out, watching the little sliver of moon duck behind clouds and then re-emerge. It’s pretty easy to hit the vape pen out in the Smoker’s Pool after dark. If we had stayed out there even later, it probably would have been pretty easy to smoke a big, fat bowl out there, but between the massage and the soaking and the ganja food and the wine and everything, we still ended up going to bed pretty early, party animals that we are!

It’s also, by the way, really easy to hit a vape pen in a non-smoking hotel room, or pretty much anywhere. They do have one smoking room at Orvis, so I’m guessing one could probably get away with just toking up in there, if one were so inclined.

First thing we did the next morning at 7 am was go back out and soak. Check out time is 11, but you can stay and soak past that time, if you want. But, we awoke to sunshine peaking through clouds and then watched as the clouds thickened, and a crisp breeze picked up, and by the time we were packing up the car to leave, it was snowing.

We did stop at Rocky Mountain Cannabis again on the way out of town. First, we were just going to get one 500 mg cartridge and one 250, but then we also wanted to get an O.pen battery for a friend. So then, the budtender (same girl as yesterday) said that we could get a free battery if we got two 500 mg cartridges, and that was that. Easiest decision of the day.

But the budtender woman said to me that I looked very familiar, and we said that we were just in there yesterday. But she said that no, she’d seen me somewhere else. And I said that we had just been to Orvis, and she said that was it. That was where she had seen me. She works at Orvis too, and had been there the night before and that morning.

And that’s Ridgway for ya.

Next time, we’re staying for two nights. Orvis Hot Springs is a magical place, and Ridgway is one of Colorado’s greatest local secrets. (So, shhhhhh!, keep your mouths shut about it!)

The only thing about it that sucks is leaving.


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