Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Spa Day Montana Way

You've all most likely seen a sterotype movie about Montana people. The brother-in-law drives his jalopy Volkswagon van into the driveway of a swank suburban neighborhood and lives in it until the health authorities boot him out.

Mostly true.

Follow me on a trip through a spa, Montana style. You won't get your toenails painted or an avocado facial, but you'll get much more.

Lezz g0.

I was feeling a little stressed and realized I hadn't visited the radon mines this year. I tossed a winter jacket and Cody in the car and drove 35 miles to a little town of Basin that boasts four radon mines. Radon is a tasteless, odorless gas created by decaying uranium in the granite rocks. The radon stimulates the immune system, which in turn allows the body to heal itself. My choice of mine today is the "Merry Widow."

I stopped at the office, paid my five bucks fee and asked the girl who works there if she had any good miracle stories. She happily related one she heard last week. A guy scheduled for prostate surgery told the doctor he wanted to try the mine for a month before the knife. He did. End of month and return to doctor, no cancer.

One time in the mine, I happened to be sitting next to a lady who had owned the mine many years ago. What a stroke of luck. She was full of good miracle stories.

Here's the door of the mine. Maybe you've never been in a mine before.

Now we're in the mine. It's just a long tunnel that's been carved into the granite mountain. Of course, there has been electricity for lights and some piping of the stream that flows through it but it's primitive just the way the miners left it. The temp is around 50 -60 deg. all year. It's a moist cold so I put on my winter jacket. Cody has her own. The moment I step in, I can feel that moist air filling my lungs. Feels good.

If you walk deeper back into the tunnel you'll find the spot where most of the people sit on benches lined along the walls. They soak their feet in the icy (and I do mean icy) water- pit, read, play cards, meditate or visit with the group.

But Cody has her own little room and today were are all alone. Usually it's filled with people and their dogs and Cody has lots of friends.

People who discover the mine come back every summer. They stay in the lodge or in their campers. They stay at least 2 weeks, sit in the mine 3 times a day until they get 32 hours in all.

The foot-soaking pit in the Doggie Den is fairly small. It's behind me in the picture and I had just finished soaking my feet in the icy water for a half hour. WOW That gave the old pores a wake up. I also soak my hands to keep my fingers nimble for Flamenco. Often I bring an eye glass and give my eyes a few shots.

Time to go out in the 85 deg sunshine and head back to Helena. I have Flamenco classes at 5. Sign of "Fountain of Youth" is above the water pipe that comes out of the mine.

This water from the mine is the most heavenly, cold water I've ever tasted. I filled a couple bottles to take with me. This hose is right outside the entrance and anyone is welcome to stop and collect the healing water.

Scene as we are driving away from the mine. We'll stop in the quaint little mountain town of Basin for a few minutes.

Gold and silver was first mined in the area in 1860. Although Basin was the town that sprang from the mining, it remained small and today is mostly a quiet retirement community.

Montana has the only radon mines in the US. There are mines in Russia, Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Rumania. Most of the European mines have been turned into fancy-schmancy full service health spas because the other governments and insurance companies recognize the merits of radon's health benefits.

Another one of the mines, Sunshine Health Mine, is advertised on a building. Mostly, radon is a real estate broker's deal-breaker ever since our government stepped in. Not a problem but a valuable tool to people like me, who keep well by tweaking their bodies with natural health remedies.

Basin's community hall and general store. I smiled at the sign above the store that said, "Gerneral Merchandise and Fresh Meats" and then there is a picture of horses." Hummm?

And no Montana town is complete without it's "watering hole." No thank you. Not for this Cookie. I'm drinking my mine water.


  1. Radon mines? never heard of them. Amazing things according to you. I didn't even know that there are some in Germany.
    I might find out about them.
    Thanks for taking me on the trip.

    The things one learns by dipping one's toes into the tepid waters of blogland!

  2. I'm with Friko -- gotta plead "ignant" on this one. Sounds like a wonderful experience, though I'd probably have to pop some kind of illegal drug to tame my nerves before walking underground, into a long winding enclosed corridor....

    I go to Glen Ivy day spa. Very boring compared to yours, and I'm not quite sure it's medicinal in any way. Love your post, and I'm so glad you're back. I was missing your lovely stories.

  3. That was interesting for sure. I don't think I could go down in a mine.....things like that, underground stuff, freaks me out.

    I've been through Helena lots of times.

  4. Fascinating post. I had never heard of radon mines. Thanks for sharing your visit.

  5. This is extremely fascinating. Radon? Now I must do research. I'm a fanatical researcher when it comes to new things. Tell me, do you feel the results? Are they immediately tangible?

    I've said it before, but I'll say it again: I love your pictorials!

    I hope your dancing was delightful.


  6. Friko
    I know very little about the German radon mines. I know of two... Schlema and Sibyllenbad. I've heard they are upscale because the insurance companies cover them.

    No, my don't have the boring spa. I'll bet, at least you can get the avocado facial and your toe nails painted. :)

    Good to find you again. Did you change blog name? I haven't been able to find you lately.

    I'm used to walking straight into the mine but the Enterprise Mine freaks me out and I won't go there. You have to take an elevator 85 feet underground. Although, it's said that the Enterprise is the most beneficial. Probably just an ugly rumor to get people 85 feet underground. Kidding. :)

    Radon mines are classified "alternative medicine" and US allopathic medicine won't recognize them. It all probably stems back to the fact that insurance companies won't sanction them. So they are classified as quacks and the media won't support them.

    Thank you, all, for your comments and I'll be by to see you.

  7. Just MY opinion: I liken this therapy similarly to chemotherapy or radiation - it might heal you of your ills, but, in reality, you're still ingesting poison.

  8. Big
    You are correct. But in a much smaller amount. Think of homeopathy...... "like cures like." You get a little of the poison to cure the poison.

    There's quite a bit of information online. It gets a bad rap in the US because of allopathy and Insurance co. It's totally different in Europe. The US is divided as far as health ..... allopathic and homeopathic. The homeopaths are out there but mostly underground or they are in danger of being arrested.

    I've been so busy all summer, trying to get rid of "stuff" in my life that I haven't been teaching. We don't have a guitarist..... no flamenco guitarists in MT. but my friends in Mpls did a CD for my class and that's pretty exciting. So it's back to my passion.

  9. I almost missed this post. But really, there is no chance of that, because I always go back and make sure on favorite bloggers. This post is a winner!

    I have never thought about wanting to soak up some radon gas. Perhaps I should, I will give it some thought.

    Thank you for inviting me to the mine. The door is very inviting. Thank you, I will go in. Oh, I like it in here! I am not afraid, either.

    You look beautiful sitting there on that red cushioned rock bench, Coty too.

    The documentary and tour through Basin is awesome. I love the West, the mountains, the streams and the old towns.

    Thank you for sharing your day with us, really enjoyed it.


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