Wow, what a week! This is Roger Sanchez from Redhawk Haven Vacation Rental in Pagosa Springs, CO 81147, and I had my 34th birthday on July 14, 2011 – boy did we have a great time! We ended up driving to Orient Land Trust’s Valley View Hot Springs located just two-hours and fifteen minutes from Redhawk Haven Vacation Rental (yes, I timed it, LOL) for two days of rest and relaxation. It was much needed and the perfect way to spend a birthday.

As most vacationers may know, Pagosa Springs, CO is famously known for its hot springs – it’s no wonder why many people vacationing choose to stay here. Colorado has some amazing hot-springs areas throughout and taking the time to visit each one can only gain your appreciation of each. Within town, I’m partial to The Spa (now called ‘Healing Waters Resort and Spa’) in Pagosa Springs, CO. I also love Rainbow Hot Springs located just outside of Pagosa Springs as well (hiking miles in order to reach a hot-spring destination is always a treat). Ouray has Orvis Hot Springs which is a very relaxing place to spend your nights soaking (if you stay there, it’s open 24-hours for you!).

But I absolutely love Valley View Hot Springs. The animals are never scared (as you can see in some of my pictures below), and co-exist with everyone around – the deer don’t even run away from running vehicles – crazy huh? I was shocked to see ‘lights’ flickering on the grass at night: to which Rich informed me that they were actually firefiles – WOW! That was my first time ever seeing fireflies and I was awestruck (it doesn’t take much to excite my senses,lol – Nature is amazing)!

In addition, there’s an amazing bat-cave at the Orient mine that houses over 250,000 bats that all come out at dusk: it’s quite the exhausting climb to get to the mountain-top to view these bats at the Orient mine (elevation is about 9,300 feet!), but well worth it! I finally got the opportunity to see them take flight for the first time ever in my life. I’ve enclosed a link to view the video of this awesome bat experience below.


Next to fox and hummingbirds, bats are some of my top favorite animals ever (Pagosa Springs houses a good amount of all three). I love their mystery and (profoundly negative, though unnecessary) reputation of being a very disgusting mammal, when – in fact – they are not. While I was there, I read a kid’s book about ‘facts on bats’ and was pleasantly surprised to find a lot of useful information as to the myths and facts on them, and learned to appreciate them even more.

Beyond the bats though, we met some really cool people there during our short stay: a pair of friends by the names of Andy and Jonathan. Andy was visiting from the East coast, and Jonathan lives just a couple of miles from Valley View Hot Springs and both were really cool people to talk to. Andy works in a similar field as I do and I wish I could have talked to him more to pick his brain – I’m certain we will have the opportunity to – the web allows that kind of opportunity – isn’t that amazing?

Rich had informed Jonathan about a good friend of ours in Pagosa Springs: a woman named Joanie who has a private farm she calls ‘Heaven on Earth’ in Pagosa Springs, CO. Jonathan has his own private farm as well, so it was interesting to discuss Joanie. What was even more interesting is that later that night, Jonathan met a woman who also lives in Pagosa Springs, and works at a local hot-springs here, AND she is friends with Joanie. He told us later on that he felt he now was ‘destined’ to meet Joanie. Hopefully he takes our offer to come visit Pagosa Springs and stay at the Redhawk Haven during his stay.

All in all, I can’t recall a birthday as enjoyable as this year’s. It would be an unlikely way for anyone to spend their birthday, but one that everyone should consider. Enjoy the slideshow of our trip to Valley View Hot Springs below!

Welcome to Valley View Hot Springs
Sunset view near the bat-cave
The bat-cave in all its glory
Me standing in front of the bat-cave
Rich’s photo of the bats flying in a swarm
Rich hiking to the bat-cave in the Fall
An older pic of me at Valley View Hot Springs hiking
Rich enjoying one of the grandest views at Valley View Hot Springs
Older view of the scenic view at Valley View Hot Springs
One of the hot-spring pools you can hike to
Me sitting in one of the hot-spring tubs at night
A caterpillar enjoying the grass near one of the tubs
Me feeding a deer a carrot: boy they like us there
He is all smiles after eating the carrot I fed him : )