Tuesday, May 31, 2016

USA, California: Good Story on GRC Fieldtrip Stop from Geothermal Event in Sacramento

'Keep the quirk': rebuilding a famed New Age resort, clothing still optional (The Guardian)

Seven months after Harbin Hot Springs in California burned down, the community is wrestling with the blank slate on which to imagine a new home

 Harbin, circa 1925. Photograph: www.harbin.org
Tucked away in its own canyon on Butts mountain, Harbin Hot Springs (93 miles from Sacramento) was bucolic and blissful, with shimmering dry air. Stressed-looking city folk in black sunglasses unloaded European cars in the parking lot of the famously clothing-optional resort, eager to strip down and loll in the hot pools, the cold pools, or on the shady lawn; or maybe to attend an “unconditional dance” class, or a Watsu massage (a Harbin original, administered while afloat in a pool).

There were painted cabins and arcaded, two-story hotel buildings, a gazebo and a swooping wooden temple, and everyone speaking quietly – whispering, even.

But that was a while ago. Late last summer, after years of drought, three calamitous wildfires raced through the hilly forest and ranch lands of southern Lake County in California, two hours from San Francisco and just north of the Napa Valley. The blazes devoured 170,623 acres and 2,078 structures – including the state’s preeminent new age spiritual re-charging spot. Harbin’s dozens of buildings burned to the ground.

A GRC Fieldtrip has plans to visit Harbin Hot Springs as part of a one-day trip to The Geysers from the 40th GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo, October 23-26, Sacramento, California.

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