Nothing feels better on my aching joints than moist heat. Therefore, hot springs are seriously my jam. I discovered this about a year ago when my best friend and I met up for a hot springs vacation as part of my frenzied search for the one thing that would surely cure my arthritis. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t exist. But escape, relaxation, mindfulness, gratitude – those are the things that make arthritis tolerable for me. And I’ve found all those things in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Twice. I loved it so much when I went with my bestie that I went back with my husband recently. We stayed at Glenwood Hot Springs Resort which really isn’t that resort-y, but is clean and pleasant and, oh, owns the world’s largest hot spring pool!
Bam! There’s something kind of special about being outside when it’s 17°F but being almost too hot in the water. Delicious.
Both times I visited Glenwood Springs I was lucky enough to be half of a couples massage at Providence Apothecary.
This place could not be any cuter. Have you seen Practical Magic? Think Sally’s shop with a massage practice and yoga studio. Navigating airports and sitting scrunched up on an airplane for several hours always does a number on my arthritic body, so I always plan on getting a massage when I travel. This place is wonderful. Fun fact: if you buy a candle from this shop (or any shop) and bring it through airport security in your carry on, it’ll get you a bag search. I guess candles are real bad news in the x-ray eyes of TSA agents.
So the world’s largest hot spring pool is definitely something to check out, but the thing can house a ton of people all at once. For something cozier, I love Iron Mountain Hot Springs about a mile down the road.
They have multiple smaller pools made up of different mineral compositions which vary in temperature. All of which have a killer view of the mountains.
I thought it’d be a great idea to get a better view of the mountains. I have a long track record with my husband of coming up with ideas that seem great at the time, but later induce panic in me. (Skydiving, ziplining, etc.) That’s what happened when we took a tram ride up and down the mountain.
Not pictured: me losing my shit. All in all it was a great experience that I’m glad I had. Cuz I didn’t die.
So now for the real reason we go to Colorado…same reason as anyone else. Legal marijuana! I never used weed in any form till I got psoriatic arthritis; I was almost 36 years old. It just never appealed to me in my teens or twenties. But my arthritis pain was out of control the first time I went to Colorado and I needed help. I tried a bunch of CBD-dominant products to try to calm inflammation and had a few edibles. A whole lotta not much happened. Until this: This lotion dropped the pain in my right middle finger (my worst pain area at the time) from 7/10 to 1/10 in 10 minutes. It was a game changer. It completely made me a believer in marijuana for pain management. I’m lucky enough to live in a state that has medical cannabis and I got my card right after that first Colorado trip. (See what I did there?) Since then, I’ve tried different formulations of weed vape, oil and topicals and have found a few options that help immensely when I flare. Grateful. The nice thing about weed in a rec state is endless options. I tried a different edible on our second trip that kept my pain (also in my left foot, both hips and both knees) hovering at 1-2/10 for hours at a time. Now I couldn’t live my everyday life under the constant influence of pot, but I’m so grateful for a weekend where I can all but forget about pain and just relax. Sign in the women’s locker room at Iron Mountain Hot Springs. And the gospel truth.