I woke up the morning of the third excited for two things: it was the first day of free travel and my eighteenth birthday. While other teenagers may wake up on their eighteenth birthday in a dorm room or resting at home, I got to wake up to the beautiful mountains in Jemez Springs. The cottonwoods were changing colors to a patchwork of gold and red. It was a very surreal beginning to my birthday. For breakfast we treated ourselves to pancakes; this can be quite a feat while camping. I also got two jars of Nutella as a present from Angie and Benji. I’m the kind of person who can put Nutella on anything. Once we were all finished with breakfast, it was time to go to the hot springs. The Jemez Springs hot springs were something we all looked forward to – especially after all of our long hikes and hours of work. We all needed the afternoon to relax. The main issue was getting there. San Antonio Hot Springs is hidden up in the mountains and is not for the weak. It was a feat getting up to the top but well worth it. We hiked in about a mile from the road to get to the springs. A few new friends were already relaxing in the springs when we arrived. It was a chilly walk in but we instantly melted when we entered the water. Tucked into the mountainside, one can see out across the valley. The view was breathtaking. I almost don’t want to give away the location because I want the place to be a secret next time I go. It was the perfect way to begin free travel. We bathed in the hot springs for several hours when we decided to come back out. Several of us decided to tour the town afterwards and went around to coffee shops and eclectic stores. The night finished with us playing a game around the campfire. Even though it was bittersweet being away from home for the first time on my birthday, I could not imagine a better way to spend my birthday or better people to spend it with. I could tell that we were all looking forwards to the next few days of free travel in Los Alamos and Sante Fe.