I had spent most of the previous day and half of the night sweating outside. Unable to do much to eliminate my own funk, I started my day in Morgan County keeping a reasonable distance from polite company.
After a cup of coffee and a scone at Fairfax Coffee House in Berkeley Springs, I strolled across the street to Berkeley Springs State Park. I’d seen a few people kick their bare feet or wade through the spring water canals and think, âWell, maybe I could just fall in. “
Trying to appear understated, I found the sign describing the spa services, which included a shower and a bath.
It sounded unbelievable. Not only was I on the gamey side, I was in pain from yesterday’s hike. When the park offices opened, I walked in and asked what I needed to do to have a hot tub.
The woman at the front desk directed me to the Roman baths opposite the park, which was around half the price.
âAnd you still have 10 minutes,â she said.
I thanked her for the tip, walked through the park again and entered.
“We can get you in at 12:15,” said the receptionist.
I should have made an appointment, so I returned to the park offices. Their fees were higher, but there was no waiting. Within minutes they had a room ready and I was handed over to Cheryl, the bathroom attendant.
While sleepy new-age music played in the background, she led me to a locker room, where I could put my clothes away and put on a cotton bathrobe. Then I was taken to a small private room with steps leading up to a pool of hot water.
As Cheryl closed the door she said she would knock when my time was up.
After hanging up the robe, I slipped into the water and dipped my head. As I floated, I felt the knots in my muscles loosen. It was glorious.
The ladies at the front desk must have taken pity on me and my difficulty camping as I’m pretty sure I spent more than 20 minutes in the water.
After the bath, I visited the Give Purrs A Chance Cat Sanctuary and Adoption Center. I have met Kate Fleece, Susan Hosford and about two dozen of the 39 cats currently residing on the premises.
âWe used to be a cat cafe,â Susan told me. âBut there were problems with the health service, so we gave up on serving food. “
Instead, they charge $ 10 to hang out with the cats. They also sell art, books, and t-shirts. People can also donate.
âAll of this is to support the cats and help them find homes,â she said.
As of May 2017, the couple said they had adopted 1,250 cats.
I almost walked out of the house with a cat for the newsroom, but I’ve been told over and over again that the newspaper doesn’t need a full-time pet.
Other places to eat
- Berkeley Springs Brewing Company (Berkeley Springs)
- Ellen’s tea room
- (Berkeley Springs)
- The Bare Olives Lounge (Berkeley
- pon Resort State Park (Berkeley Springs)
- The Attic Connection (Berkeley Springs)
- Ice house
- (Berkeley Springs)
- Apple Butter Festival, October 9-10 (Berkeley Springs)