T or C
South of Albuquerque is where the real desert begins, not a tree in sight for as far as the eye can see. Huge valleys , rugged mountains , sagebrush and more sagebrush. Here I was running from the cold and the further and further south I got the less I thought of Colorado. I wanted to just keep heading south for the border. Keep driving until people started speaking another language, but I knew I needed somewhere to stop. Stop running from my mind and the cold. I thought about this line…..”I’d meet you at the bottom if there really is one, they always told me when you hit it you’d know it. But I’ve been falling to long, feels like gravities gone and I’m just floatin’ ” One of my favorite quotes. And exactly how I felt at that exact moment. Floating through life with no real direction. I was looking for a sign.
Off in the distance appeared an apparition. The sign said Truth or Consequence 21 miles. What a f***ing revelation! Both have been in the forefront of my mind so I knew this must be the place…….
I rolled into town and followed the signs to the “Hot Spring and Bath House district.” I know it seems like a re- occurring theme in my blog. Another goddamn hot spring Chris? But I find myself drawn to water and it’s healing qualities. Time and time again! But the town is much more than this. It’s an eclectic, artsy oasis in the middle of a sagebrush wasteland!
I had been here many years before. Actually, spent Thanksgiving 2015 here with “Messy Missy.” One of the strangest/best holidays I’ve ever had. We were at the Ted Turner resort “Sierra Grande.” We had a naked Thanksgiving dinner in the giant soaking tub in the room. The maids probably thought we were lunatics when they found the remnants of turkey, stuffing and sweet potatoe pie and bodily fluid strewn around the bath tub! I’ll bet none of you readers have ever had a naked Thanksgiving in a bath tub, but I recommend that everyone should have one at least once in their lives. Even though she is no longer a part of my life I’ll always remember that day/roadtrip and smile……..
The town sits on the banks of the Rio Grande River and actually was first appropriately named Hot Springs. But the name was later changed to Truth or Consequence in the 1950’s because of a radio show emcee named Ralph Edwards. He sought a town that would change it’s name to the name of his show and out of the handful that applied Hot Spring ,New Mexico was chosen, so on March 31, 1950 the name became official.
Since I knew where I was headed I found a place to park Annie on a side street and wandered off to find “Riverbend Hotsprings.” This place is DOPE……A collection of really nice pools situated right on the river. 12 bucks and up an hour gets you a public or private pool and a killer view.The pools range in temperature from about 100 degrees to 109 degrees. Pick one of your liking and climb in!
I showered then ventured out to get my soak on……….
And in between soaks I got my sweat on in the cool little sauna they had there.
After leaving Riverbend I started to think about where the f*** I was gonna crash that night. About 5 miles outside of town is Elephant Butte Stae Park. The largest lake in New Mexico. The campgrounds were PACKED with snowbirds. No luck there. But earlier in the day I’d been chatting with the guy who ran the food truck in an alley downtown. His name was Galeen and he said he owned a “Glamping” spot a couple of blocks outside of the Hot Springs District. He gave me a flyer. “Sunnyville Trailer Court.” Sounded interesting, so after a phone call and a little haggling I got 10 bucks off his nightly rate to fill the spot and at least get a few bucks coming in…….He met me at the gate and let me into his place…… I was pleasantly surprised! It was really funky and cool with it’s own hot springs for guests to use…….After giving me the run down on the place he left me to my own thoughts and devices.
The place was pretty empty, just myself, the owners who also live in an airstream, another Sprinter van type camper and a young couple staying in one of the vintage camper trailers they rent on AirBnB. Galeen told me that a few of them had been used for props in movies. He’s also got a pretty cool little outfitters tent set up that he rents out. Nicely appointed from what I saw.
The soaking tub area was pretty hip. Feed and watering troughs were used for the tubs and the water was between 100-107 degrees. I soaked twice the night I was there. Once that evening and once at about 5 AM the next morning. It was serene and peaceful.
After my soak and a little morning coffee I loaded up and got back on the road…… Where to? I have no clue, but I just feel the urge to keep going and leave the past where it needs to be left. IN THE PAST!
T or C is an awesome little desert oasis. If you are ever on I-25 south of Albuquerque I suggest you stop and check it out…….