I wish I could tell you that a real appreciation of taxi drivers and their contribution to America's overall transportation is nigh but unfortunately reality is much different, Uber's transcendence a telling sign, signifying that many potential customers could care less if the cab industry altogether disappeared, merely a quaint memory not dissimilar to the horse and carriage, something anecdotal related by your grandparents before a winter's blazing fireplace. Yesterday a cabbie recounted a story how, after a woman stiffed him for sixty dollars, and pulling a "big gun" on him, the Renton city police decided pursuing the assailant wasn't their first priority. Of course you can instead imagine their response if she had pointed her gun at one of them.
When you don't care, you simply don't, and that is what me and every other cabbie in America faces daily---a defined lack of caring except perhaps for our money. Coming back from vacation in the mail I found a notice from the City of Seattle requesting $100.00 dollars, saying I had underpaid my business licence for the years 2013 and 2015. But of course I don't mind, understanding, like the bad Bachman-Turner Overdrive song, any kind of attention is good attention. Yes, that must be the answer, the City of Seattle loves me too. Ain't I gratified?
The Rush to the October 1st Sea-Tac Deadline
That it makes little sense to compress a process normally taking months into 2-3 weeks should be obvious but the Port of Seattle appears not to understand this. With Saturday October 1st a mere three days away, Eastside is attempting the impossible in meeting the Port's deadline. Few if any of the Yellow Cabs transferring to Eastside (E-Cab) have been repainted, potentially bringing in question whether cabs representing one company can now pretend ( least with its surface color) to claim to be another entirely different company. Yes, the owners are, like me, independent contractors but it does appear potentially to be an interpretative stretch.
But of course, expanding limitations or just plainly ignoring them is part of taxi tradition, where rules always apply to someone else but not us. I have openly wondered about insurance considerations but have been reassured that all the transferred cabs will remain insured. Given my own recent experiences dealing with insurance companies and their cohorts I can only hope that is true. Beware of any entity whose sole concern is profit despite any and all rhetoric stating their prime concern is your safety and protection.
Though regardless of initial confusion, I am sure it will work itself out somehow given that money is involved. Each transferring taxi is paying Eastside a non-refundable $3,975.00 to achieve their new/old position at Sea-Tac. While a lot of money, compared to the believed $10,000 paid by the drivers to Yellow during the last Sea-Tac transition, I suppose it can be termed a bargain.
There have been various ongoing conversations between the primary involved parties but acrimony having destroyed any constructive negotiations, like Israel and Palestine, the argument never ending. Who do we ultimately have to blame for the current state of affairs? While knowing full well who bears the responsibility I will say this: the sleeping owner/driver population allowed the mice to play, our dreams becoming nightmarish. Oh so it goes, so it goes.
And making for a nice postscript, Eastside has to pay over $60,000 to rebuild the holding lot restrooms. Like I said, so it goes, so it goes.
A List of Hot Springs
I think both of us got a little dizzy, trying to dip in as many hot springs as humanly possible during a 12 day long journey. Forgetting to write down my initial mileage, I still estimate we drove between 1500-1700 miles, which at times made for hectic hours.
Regardless, our efforts plying down the byways introduced us to country new to us in both Idaho and Oregon, for me the Hart Mountain National Antelope (Pronghorn) Refuge being my personal favorite. In order I am listing the hot and warm springs we visited. While experiencing some disappointments, I would return to the hot springs trail in a split second but this time allowing a minimum of 30 days exploring the mountains and plains of Idaho and Oregon. I hope you too are inspired to join the hot/mineral springs hunt and soak your cares away. You will be glad you did, soaking in a hot pool next to a wild rushing river, life, not at its worse but its best.
Cougar (Terwiller) Hot Springs---Very nice pools but extremely popular. Located 53 miles east of Eugene, Oregon in the Willamette National Forest.
Burgdorf Hot Springs---A very rustic, commercial hot springs offering both cabins and day-use. Day-use fee is $8.00 for all day usage, 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM. A very good deal. Family-oriented for the most part. Located 30 north of McCall, Idaho. Cabins are a bit worn out but there is a very nice forest service campground nearby, Jeanette, where we camped.
Trail Creek Hot Springs---Three medium sized pools just off the Warm Lake Highway 19 miles NE of Cascade, Idaho. Nice water but fatal for the small cold-blooded frogs floating in the pools. Nice forested setting and reasonably quiet.
Molly Hot Springs---Just off a forest road. Pools were too shallow.
Warm Springs warm springs near Cascade. Short walk down a dusty road. Too shallow that day for any real soaking.
Skinnydipper Hot Springs---Closed! by the forest service. This famous springs located 5 miles west of Crouch, Idaho has been permanently closed due to misuse. Some fools started a major forest fire there in 2012, and three idiots died (ODs) in the pools. One unfavorable aspect we discovered is that a small percentage of hot springs users think it is "party time!" when soaking. We were sorely disappointed but avoided checking them out due to official notices threatening fines and imprisonment.
Pine Flats Hot Springs---Temporarily closed due to forest fire danger. Near Crouch but closed for the moment due to nearby forest fires. We were tempted to check it out but did not want our car to be towed away.
Kirkham Hot Springs---Campground with hot springs just off Idaho Sate Route 21. The water is good but the setting isn't. She soaked her feet and off we went down the road. Located 4 miles east of Lowman.
Bonneville Hot Springs---Nice pools located next to a roaring creek. We camped nearby for two days where we had our best "soaking" of the entire trip. Very popular on the weekends. Located 19 NE of Lowman on Route 21.
Sacajawea Hot Springs---Series of pools on the South Fork of the Payette River. Good water but no privacy, located just below Forest Road 524. Some good views of Sawtooth Mountains.
Barnes Warm Springs---Beautiful pool in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. My favorite of the all the springs we visited. Not hot but a great setting, surrounded by trees and grassy reeds. Located near French Glen, Oregon.
Antelope Hot Springs---Two pools, one developed, one not, located in the wonderful Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge. Good water but beware of numb skull campers! Nearest town is Plush, Oregon where you can get much needed gasoline.
Summer Lake Hot Springs---Like Burgdorf, Summer Lake is a very rustic commercial hot springs but, unlike Burgdorf, located in a big barn-like structure. There is one large swimming pool with two smaller pools located outside. Day use fee is $10.00. It is located on Oregon State Route 31 six miles north of Paisley. Nice water but it appears to draw "alternative types" who don't respect commonplace civility and behavioral limitations. Drive and park to see if the pool is empty. If so, don't hesitate, jump in!
McCredie Hot Springs---Just off Oregon State Route 58. Pools on both sides of Salt Creek. Too close to the roadway. We dipped but left soon after. To be avoided unless you are desperate.
Wall Creek Warm Springs---We walked to it but found 5 people crowded in the pool drinking cheap beer. We waited for them to clear out but they decided to stay and keep drinking. Located near Oakridge, Oregon, which has a good coffee shop. The springs is worth checking out. Maybe you will have better luck. We stayed at the Salmon Creek campground which has a great swimming hole. Return in the summer and jump off the rocks, having a good time!
There you have it. Last two nights out we were rained upon. Nothing like a wet tent! Note that these hot springs are just some of many dotting the Oregon, and especially, Idaho landscapes. Also remember that these are medicinal springs, with very potent waters. For very specific healing I suggest travelling to Budapest, Hungary and checking out their baths. They know what they are doing.