Author of ‘Colorado’s Hot Springs’ visits Edwards Thursday | VailDaily.com

Author of ‘Colorado’s Hot Springs’ visits Edwards Thursday

Author and journalist Deborah Frazier researches her guide book, "Colorado Hot Springs."
Special to the Weekly |

If You Go ...

What: Deborah Frazier, author of “Colorado Hot Springs.”

Where: The Bookworm of Edwards.

When: 6 p.m. Thursday.

Cost: $10.

More information: Frazier’s book is available at the Bookworm in the Edwards Riverwalk, where she’ll be reading, telling stories and signing copies. “Colorado Hot Springs” retails for $19.99.

EDWARDS — Consider it a quest, a noble goal.

Relaxing in all of the Colorado hot springs in Deborah Frazier’s book seems like a far better way to spend life than schlepping up 14ers, which are fine to look at, but you can’t sip Scotch while ascending.

“I admire climbers. I love watching them,” Frazier said.

Frazier researched and wrote “Colorado’s Hot Springs.” Colorado’s hot springs number in the hundreds, counting small seeps, tiny trickles and secret springs that aren’t that secret.

COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE

Frazier’s is the most comprehensive guide yet. She covers 44 hot springs, including a dozen not mentioned in any other book. The biggest and most popular are there, of course, as are several you’ve never heard of. She gives a little history about each one, along with contact information, directions, GPS coordinates, maps and photographs.

“Hot springs are Colorado’s ocean,” Frazier said. “The bubbles whisper, the warm mist beckons. The humid heat embraces.”

Frazier blends descriptions of the hot springs with stories about unique characters, events and ancient use by Native Americans.

You also get some insider information that will help you figure where you want to soak, from holistic healing to luxury spa to rustic mountain retreat to family friendly.

“The research was interesting. I never took freebies,” Frazier said. “I also made two visits — the first unannounced to just see what was going on without talking to owners. I never soaked until after I’d photographed and written a good first draft. I just couldn’t focus after soaking, which is the point of soaking, last time I looked.”

Pulitzer Prize nominee

Frazier is a four-generation Colorado native and was an award-winning journalist for 35 years covering Colorado and the West. She was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her stories on the West. She earned her master’s degree in natural resources management and environmental policy.

Frazier did the first edition on vacations and long weekends while she was still with the Rocky Mountain News, a now-defunct daily newspaper in Denver.

When her newspaper died, she became the communications manager for Colorado’s state parks and then worked with the state’s top wildlife researchers.

Somewhere warm

The project started with an assignment in February, that time of year when Coloradans’ thoughts turn to something — anything — warm.

She called a publisher to talk with the author of a hot springs book, and they asked if she’d like to redo the book.

She started the first edition in April 1995 and turned it in, with pictures, in September. This is the third edition.

“Within the hot springs’ quiet and foggy corners is the ocean’s gift: a muffling noise and other sensory clatter. The mind wanders in its own waterborne course of dreams, life puzzles and fancies. The buoyancy takes over the burdens of life’s inevitable loads,” Frazier said.

Frazier’s book is available at The Bookworm in The Riverwalk at Edwards. “Colorado’s Hot Springs” retails for $19.99.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.