In the early to mid 1970’s I lived out in the country, south of Marsing, Idaho. In this area there is still evidence of the prior volcanic nature of the area. Down the road aways from my little bit of heaven was Givens Hot Springs. The water there is naturally heated by ancient volcanic action. It is undoubtedly related to the geothermal activity found an hour away north and east in Boise, Idaho.
In addition to having geothermal activity over a wide area in southern Idaho, there are also artesian wells dotting the landscape. One of them was mine.
Unlike the storied Artesian waters that contributed to Olympia Beer (and it’s commercials about the Artesians) the Artesians of my well were not going to contribute to great beer.
My Artesians were well seasoned with sulfur dioxide gas, and the water came warm out of the ground. This meant that the water that came from my tap came with bubbles already in it, sorta like soda, only it sure didn’t smell like soda. Oh, my! Then again, it didn’t take as much to heat for a shower.
Sometimes we put a large pitcher of water in the refrigerator and waited a couple of days for all the sulphur dioxide to exit. Then I got one of those newfangled things known as a blender.
I found out I could do a lot of things with a blender. I could get cream from the dairy down the road and make sweet butter and buttermilk real easy. Or I could whip cream – a bit dicey as it is easy to go from whipping cream to sweet butter using a blender. Then one day I tried putting water in the blender. And you know what? If I blended the water until the top shot off like a cannon ball the sulphur dioxide was out of the water just like that. In the fridge it could go – or I could add ice cubes and voila! Water that did not smell or taste like sulfur. Well, at least not as much as normal.
It got to be sort of an event, y’know? We’d load water into the blender, turn it on frappé and try to anticipate which way the lid would pop off. Sometimes it hit the ceiling and bounced off. Sometimes it took off towards the little kitchen table or sometimes it landed in the sink.
After I moved to Payette, Idaho in the later 1970’s, a developer turned the acreage into a mobile home park, way out there by the Snake River, in the middle of nowhere. They sold the lots – it was sort of like a condo association, I guess. I heard they got a water conditioning unit so that the water delivered to the mobile homes didn’t have the sulfur dioxide gas in it. I wonder if the folks ever realized how much fun they were missing getting gas out of the water. I suppose they’d just as soon not have to do that, though.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” ~ Helen Keller, The Open Door.