Hot springs, anyone?

Saturday was the Hot Springs Festival here in Truth or Consequences. In 1914, the town of Palomas Hot Springs formally changed its name to Hot Springs to avoid confusion and possibly losing one post office. We took advantage of the time to visit the little shops and galleries in downtown, many of which had been closed when we’d been past before. Local artists use any venue to display their art. Some were hung in used book stores, others in restaurants. We ate lunch on the outdoor patio at the Happy Belly Deli, which has a pretty good variety of sandwiches and their roasted pepper hummus was tasty.

In the afternoon, a local historian and one of the T or C city councilman led tours to 8 of the 10 currently open hot springs. Most of them have lodging and the baths are only available to registered guests. In some, the baths are in the guest rooms while others have separate baths, either indoors or outdoors. Only one, Hay-Yo-Kay Hot Springs, was strictly a public spring with no lodging available. Almost every facility offers massage as well as hot springs bathing.

Some of the motels have concrete floor in the guest rooms, some have bare plywood. Since the hot water is just 4 feet or so below the surface, it wreaks havoc with concrete, causing it to need repair frequently and floor coverings would be a problem. The Sierra Grande Lodge & Spa probably stood out as the most luxurious, more like a resort hotel than a majority of the others. Hot springs bath rooms and massage rooms are on the first floor and guest rooms are upstairs. Only the Riverbend has the baths overlooking the Rio Grande. It was originally a bait shop and the tubs are still called The Minnows.

The motels have their own unique flair. At the Pelican Spa & Apartments, the rooms are named for the color of the walls, the Turquoise room, the Blue room or the Persimmon. The Blackstone was originally known as the Star Rooming House and today the rooms are named by the old movie or TV star theme of the decor like the Babaloo and the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans rooms.

In the evening, the TCCT (Truth or Consequences Community Theatre) presented a play called “Seniors of the Sahara”. It was billed as “…a magical romantic comedy for seniors and juniors of all ages”. Well, it was at least a comedy, but not necessarily because of the script. All or nearly all the actors were seniors and while the acting may not have been up to the quality of Wichita Music Theatre, they put their all into it! It was an enjoyable evening and we were glad we went.

This coming week, we’re back to civilization! We’re planning to buy an Albuquerque paper today so we can see what actually goes on in a city again. We’ll be parked at the balloon festival site for several days, not sure how long. We met a woman on the tour yesterday afternoon who works right across from the RV parking lot. Maybe we’ll see her again!

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