Their web site made it sound and look cool, but we had no idea what it would really be like other than it was probably small and definitely out in the middle of nowhere.
Turns out we were right on both those counts. It was also charming with a handful of full hook up RV spots, a lot of dry camping spaces, some small cabins, a few private hot tubs, plus its centerpiece: a good-sized pond heated by hot springs, .
We're not talking fancy, although I read on line that you can arrange for a massage (we weren't offered that service; I'm not sure if massages are still available or we just don't look like massage types.) Instead, we're talking hot water coming out of plastic pipes into a pond. Unfortunately, there is a boarded-up, beat-up-small-motel-looking place near the office, and our site's view included a storage yard. But for the most part it's rustic rather than junky.
During our weekend at Crystal Crane, we saw couples with kids, singles, guys who looked like hunters, people just passing through and a few folks on obvious romantic getaways. We met a woman whose husband had dropped her off while he went motorcycling; she told us she was reading, soaking, napping and having a great time. That's what we did too (minus the nap but adding TV football watching) with the same result.
|Jim and the beautiful desolation near Crystal Crane Hot Springs.|
|After soaking in the "hot pond" and watching the first half of the Ohio State-Maryland game, we decided to visit the nearby town of Crane. When we got back from the tour, the fourth quarter of the same football game had just started. In other words, Crane is very small.|
|View of Crane, Oregon, from an adjoining road. According to the website harneycounty.org, Crane's heyday was the early 1900s when the railroad came through. Back then, Crane had "five restaurants, four hotels, two general merchandise stores, a dance hall, a newspaper, a bank and a movie theater." But a series of fires -- the last in 1938 -- devastated the town. Today, says the website, there is post office, service station, cafe, tavern, and a local realtor. We saw signs of all of those except the gas station. We also saw small homes, several churches, a rodeo corral, horses, cattle, and farm equipment.|