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So I stand corrected - when we bought the property on the highway, there was nothing on it - we (ok probably not me as I was about 2) along with my aunt, had to put in everything - including a well for water and all. 

So why did we choose this place essentially in the middle of nowhere to start a tourist-driven business?  Because of the spectacular hotsprings across the road - Liard River Hotsprings.  These are the second largest hotsprings in Canada - despite living across the road most of my life, I didn't know this until just now!  The first pool and boardwalk was built by the U.S. Army in 1942 - I am guessing this is the same time that they were building the Alaska Highway - connecting Alaska to the rest of the states (after Pearl Harbor, they feared a Japanese invasion of Alaska).  There are two pools - the Alpha pool (in the picture) which has always been the most popular, and the Beta pool, farther on up the boardwalk.  Although both pools were always open when I lived there, the Beta pool has been closed due to a snail on the Red Listed species list.  Something else I just learnt!!  

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The hot springs were a huge part of my childhood.  We were there all the time - summer and winter.  I remember getting all bundled up in our snowsuits and heading out to the springs.  There was some degree of strategy to getting changed to go in/out of the pool as it was freezing... literally like as cold as -50 some years.  When I got older I was so annoyed when they put a steel door handle on the changing room... didn't anyone know flesh sticks to cold metal?!! 

We used to roll in the snowbanks and jump back into the hot water - or sit under overhanging tree branches and have someone shake off the snow over our heads.  My dad created the -50 below club - he sewed fur loincloths for a group of men who for us, and himself, and they posed out in the snow at the springs.... 

There were numerous upgrades and improvements to the pool over the years - but the best one was when a tree fell over one end of the pool - the cooler, slightly deeper end.  This tree soon became a destination - a place to play volleyball, a climbing challenge, a jumping spot.  It's funny how the best improvement came from a free through the course of nature.    

 


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