Due to the amount of time we spent just getting to the springs, and the need to get my damaged truck back to camp, I didn't have as much time to look around as I'd like to have had. However, I did make some observations that I'd like to share.
The exposed pipe that Mitch photographed should be the highest priority repair issue of all, in my opinion. There's over 15 feet of pipe exposed, and it's only getting worse. Digging a trench in that tufa for the pipe will not be easy, but it's going to have to be done.
Both tubs were clean and running. The Wizard Pool was turned off, but it was obvious that it had just been cleaned and refilled. The water was way too hot for me to get in. The mineral build up that Mitch mentioned seems to have been at least partially addressed. The ridge is still there, but it's been scraped or sanded to remove those sharp points that build up over time. Does it need to be completely removed? As a matter of personal preference, as long as it doesn't get uncomfortable, I'd probably leave it alone. At the same time, it wouldn't bother me if someone took it upon himself to remove it. It's just not that big a deal to me.
The inlet valve for the Volcano Tub will not shut off. I recall someone rebuilding that valve last year, so maybe it's beyond repair and should be replaced. The drain valve opens and closes as it should.
All the palm trees around the Wizard Pool and shower area have been trimmed, with all the dead fronds trimmed up to about 10' above ground. 2 of the palms have had all the fronds completely removed. It appears that similar work is occurring near the volcano pool, but nothing was happening while we were there.
The shower and sink are in fine working order. I didn't have time to inspect the outhouse or take inventory of supplies.
Predictably, the lawn and pond areas are gorgeous! The grass is lush and healthy and the trees and bushes are attractively trimmed. I didn't have time to walk all around the camp area, so I didn't see any other campers around. We saw several burros wandering around camp, but I saw no droppings on the lawn. Maybe the fence is working.
The shower is working just fine, with both hot and cold water available at the turn of a valve. The tub itself didn't feel slippery or slimy at all. There were a few mesquite leaves on the bottom, consistent with what might be blown in by the typical afternoon breeze. In the time-honored Saline tradition, if you think it needs “major scrubbing”, go ahead and scrub it. Nobody will stop you. It's OK with me as it is.
The cracks in the Sunrise Pool seem to have been caulked with some type of brown sealer. I don't know what kind it is, or how well it will hold up in the sun, but I guess we'll find out. The pipe and valve have not been changed. I turned the valve off and the flow stopped completely. I opened it again and there seemed to be plenty of water flowing into the pool. Since that's exactly how it's supposed to work, I see no reason to mess with it. What some might call rust, I call patina, and I think it adds to the ambiance. I don't need shiny chrome plumbing fixtures and a squeeky clean shower tub in the middle of Saline Valley. If that's your thing, maybe you should try Furnace Creek Inn.
The Crystal Pool looked good, even though we arrived just before the posted cleaning time of 4:00. We did get a quick soak before heading back to camp (yes, we all showered first!). I didn't look at the valve, which is behind the short wall behind the sink, so I can't comment on its condition.
All in all, I believe that as folks gear up for the upcoming busy season, most will be quite pleased with the overall condition of the camp. Those things I mentioned that actually need work will get the attention they deserve, just as they always have. Meanwhile, those who like to snivel and complain about everything will have a nice lush shady lawn area from which to do so, just as they always have.
Happy First Day of Autumn!