Things have always been pretty steamy in the thermal caves at Indian Hot Springs, the century-old mineral baths in Idaho Springs. But lately they've been getting raunchy, as well, and owner Jim Maxwell has had enough. On November 1, he will require that anyone who uses the public caves wear a bathing suit, reversing the nude-only policy that has been in place for decades. "I want to maintain the integrity of my place," he explains.
The biggest problem has been in the men's cave, where guys aren't just having sex with each other, but also advertising on Craigslist for kinky meetups. Although there are trysts in the women's cave as well, most of the complaints come from the men's area. "This is the last thing I want to do, but my hand has been forced, and the people who have forced my hand are the ones who will lose out," Maxwell says, with obvious frustration and disappointment. "It's sad, but it's the world we live in. Ninety-nine percent of the people who use it do so in a responsible manner, but a lot of people don't care about other people. Something spiritual and pure is being given up here. I wish I could find another way, but so far I haven't been able to."
While some raunchy behavior may continue — the private pools still allow nudity, after all — Maxwell believes it will be easier to monitor the caves when people have suits on. And if he catches people doffing their suits for sex, it will be a lot easier to boot them out. "Maybe there will be an upside to this," he concludes. "Maybe more people, more families will feel more comfortable here now."
At least they'll feel more clothed...
Scene and herd: The recent antics of the Heene family have many people rethinking their Halloween costumes. But not everyone is wrapping themselves in aluminum foil and wearing Jiffy Pop for a hat. The top five alternatives, at the moment:
5. E.T., Denver style: California Target outlets agreed to stop selling their Illegal Alien costume — complete with a space alien head, a T-shirt printed with the words "illegal alien" and a green-card accessory. Meanwhile, Denver's own alien-lover, Jeff Peckman, is having trouble getting enough signatures to land his Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission initiative on the ballot. So substitute a clipboard for the green card and lend him a pointy finger.
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4. Armed pot grower: Grab a six-pack of Tecate, a boombox playing some narcocorridos music and a frying pan full of tortillas, and you'll match all the warning signs provided by the U.S. Forest Service on how to identify folks running large-scale marijuana-growing operations in the backcountry.
3. Consumer advocate: Slap on a fake mustache and pair of cheesy sunglasses, load up on energy drinks and grab a microphone. Now go shooting for trouble.
2. Kyle Orton: Let that beard grow down to your clavicle and slug from a bottle of Jack Daniel's. You'll go 5-0 with the ladies, for sure.
1. Balloon Boy: Scare everyone half to death and then disappear suddenly. It's a nice trick, although the treats may not get you the kind of attention you were after.