intentional community before but this summer I went to one down near Portland, Oregon with my Gal and we had an awesome time! We weren't exactly staying in an intentional community, but we were staying at a kind of retreat which was run by members of an intentional community that was also attached to it called Breitenbush Hot Springs. Now this was a real hippie retreat kind of place where you pay to play in the relaxing and rejuvenating thermal waters of the deep woods. Clothing was optional and most people seemed to be choosing the "non-optional" option but with a certain amount of modesty. Meals were all veggie with vegan options and the atmosphere was very down to earth and not rife with any ingratiating behavior nor were there types of people who expected that kind of experience; no towelboys, no pillow mints. However the place was totally clean and well-run and generally, the opposite of what you'd expect from hippies in today's world. I was beginning to think maybe these people aren't hippies at all, but some kind of neo-hippie hybrid. They didn't allow alcohol or drugs on site which I suppose is pretty understandable because, well, it's a retreat where a lot of people go to clean-up or detox or whatever. I guess that's what retreats are for - getting away from all the nuts stuff that we don't like about where we live and work. I guess I can't find fault with that - yet. What was startling about the place actually, was how well-organized it seemed. Basically, the heart of the place is a three story lodge with several communal rooms and a large dining hall and another building which houses a kitchen. There was a giant industrial composter. There was a run-of-river power plant. There was a geo-thermal heating system! These people had really done their homework not to mention tapping into some deep pockets. This complex is surrounded by numerous "natural style" concrete and rock pools and some nice stone tiled tubs full of naturally hot clean mineral water that bubbles up through crevices deep in the earth. I don't have a lot of photographs of the pools obviously because usually there were a few people around and usually they were naked. If you wanted the fully pampered experience you could rent a small cabin with beds and a bathroom, but there are communal bathrooms which are very clean and sufficient. If you camp, like we did, you can get away with paying only 56 bucks a night and that included 3 big veggie meals and full 24hr access to the hot springs and sauna. It's pretty relaxing and luxurious.
This was the amazing steam sauna which was ingeniously positioned right over a super-hot geyser that continuously gushed hot steam up through crevices in the floor.