Active + Adventure

Around the World in 80 Days (and 32 Pictures)

by Mark Schatzker

IN THE BIG MUDDY IN NAPA

The upwelling of delicious food in Napa is thanks to the earth, which, I am told, is volcanic ash. And it's not just the vegetables that are improved by it. So are humans. People have been coming to the town of Calistoga to soak in bathtubs full of hot mud for years. As it so happened, our motel had mud baths of its very own. Doc Wilkinson opened the place in 1952, and it's hardly been changed since. The mud baths are situated in two tiled soaking tubs, and the walls are still painted wood. No travertine, no halogen lighting, no sounds of the sea burbling out of an in-ceiling speaker.

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