Down By the Water

You should know by now that screwing up Mother’s Day is bad news.

I’m happy to report that this year’s celebration went off without a hitch. The agenda included brunch at Max London’s in Saratoga, a leisurely trip to the Spa City Farmers’ Market and a stroll in the Saratoga Spa State Park.

We walked along the trail where many of the mineral springs are located and, naturally, brought a cup along so to take of the fabled curative waters.

How was it? My impression of the magical mineral elixir was about the same as when I first tasted it decades ago: “Blech!”

Imagine drinking water that tastes like it comes from a rusty pipe and that will give you some idea of the flavor.

Nonetheless, I insisted on trying each one, as if we’d eventually stumble on one that tastes like an enchanted cross between a fizzy mountain stream and unicorn nectar.

My son had more sense and did not partake. But he was curious, the conversation going something like this:

“How is that one?”

“Not as bad as the last one. But bad. It smells like sulphur, which makes it interesting. Are you sure you don’t want some?”


One spring, according to a nearby sign, was known for helping digestive ailments and for its laxative effect. That’s not exactly what I’m interested in when out walking around in a park.

We went away with the memory , but I swear I could still taste the water in my mouth hours later, perhaps because of all the minerals I’d ingested. And without going into detail,the next morning there was a definite laxative effect.

2 thoughts on “Down By the Water

  1. Your lucky you had that much time. My father drank from one of the springs. I don’t think it was an hour before the “effects” hit him.

    1. No joke!

      It seems that magnesium is the big culprit in the laxative department.

      Three springs have very high magnesium levels: Orenda, Hayes and Hathorn — and I drank from both Orenda and Hayes. Hathorn is the spring in Congress Park; finding a public restroom in Saratoga is not always easy, so approach Hathorn with caution.

      For the deeply curious, this document has a chemical analysis of the various springs:

Leave a Reply to Jon in Albany Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *