RECENTLY ON TOL:
- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
- Send me an email if there is activity in this thread.
Those Hand-Hewn Tubs
Now imagine his reaction when, after the program, another guest, Michael Rysavy, told Daniel all the old wooden tubs, including the ones he and Friends of Bagby made, are being removed.
It crushed Daniel. "No. Don't make me sick," he said in OPB's green room, as they gathered up the coats and photo albums they'd brought along.
Rysavy said three tubs built in the 1920s were already gone. He said the rest are expected to go, including Daniel's, and the wooden flumes — open pipes — that bring hot water from the springs to the tubs are being replaced by plastic and galvanized steel.
Correct, and for good reason, says the Forest Service. Kathleen Walker, the Westside Recreation Manager for Mt. Hood, says the tubs are rotting, the decks below were rotting because the tubs drained right onto the structure supports, and the flume feeding the lower tub was leaking and overflowing. The Forest Service is replacing the hand-hewn cedar tubs with Japanese-style Ofuro tubs from a Canadian company.
Here are "before" and "after" photos, courtesy of the Forest Service.
Here is the Forest Service caption to describe this old tub: These cedar log tubs are nice and long, but they crack badly (see X on end), which causes leaks. They are difficult to plumb with plugs and drains (see wooden plug at upper end) due to their irregular shape.
Again, the Forest Service's description of the new tubs: These tubs can be plumbed with a supply line and a standard drain line. We hope these are a sustainable replacement for the cedar log tubs. We will be monitoring their performance. Another option considered were 6 foot cast iron claw foot tubs.
Lots more pictures, including of new toilets, here (pdf).
Walker says the timing of the complete revamp depends on money.
Before that happens, Mt. Hood officials may well seek some kind of public input about the changes at Bagby. Malcolm Hamilton, the forest Recreation Manager (and a guest on the program) told me on the phone afterward it's "more likely than not" now, although the setting may be an open house rather than something more formal. (UPDATE - They will hold an open house. See below.) He also said the Forest Service IS in a position to consider a partnership with a non-profit, probably along with a for-profit company. He cited the Arts Cabins as one example of a successful Forest Service partnership with a non-profit. Teacup Lake also comes to mind.
Meanwhile, the Forest Service may soon need to change the description of Bagby on its website.
These natural hot springs are located among towering firs adjacent to a secluded tributary of the Clackamas River, forty miles south east of Estacada, Oregon. The springs are accessible by trail. They offer a unique recreation experience. No chrome fixtures here! Hand-hewn tubs and cedar plumbing are typical of the primitive facilities.
Update 12/09/10: This just in from the Forest Service:
We will be hosting an open house in early to mid January to more directly engage concerned citizens in a conversation about Bagby. The open house will be at the Mt. Hood National Forest Headquarters office in Sandy, late afternoon and evening (probably 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM). Date to be announced.
Comments are now closed.