Escape to Glen Ivy Spa
by Janis Klippel
As I lay on the chaise lounge, my body covered with red clay, I feel the warmth of the sun, baking me like a terra-cotta pot. My skin begins to tighten from the shrinking clay, and all thoughts of work, obligations, telephones, e-mails, doorbells, and everyday stress escape me. I feel secure in this secluded canyon of the Santa Ana Mountains, surrounded by lush vegetation—bird-of-paradise plants, giant bird-of-paradise plants growing as tall as fifty feet, bougainvillea of many hues, and citrus trees. There are date palms, fan palms, and queen palms gently wafting in the wind.
As I close my eyes, birds are chirping all around me. The nearby waterfall trickles softly into the koi pond, which is filled with all orange koi and one big white one with black speckles. Laughter and animated conversations surround me, and then fade away as I drift off to sleep, completely and utterly relaxed in this tropical paradise.
The red mud bath (called “Club Mud”) is by far one of the most fun, most popular parts of the Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa, located in Corona, California, just a little over an hour’s drive from San Diego. This spa is serene and relaxing, a superb environment for a weekend escape from San Diego or Los Angeles. As I entered Club Mud, a fenced-in patio of red herringbone-patterned bricks, I came upon a wading pool, in the center of which was a huge pot of red clay. A young man and woman were playfully slathering mud on each other’s backs and faces. One man was even rubbing it into his curly blonde locks, and people were giggling as their friends became unrecognizable.
I waded out into the warm pool and scraped off some clay with my fingers and then I applied it to my body. I felt like a Native-American putting on war paint. Some people applied it thick, and some thin, but those who put it on thick soon look liked a rhinoceros when it began to dry. I headed over to one of two...