Everything that is new or uncommon raises a pleasure in the imagination, because it fills the soul with an agreeable surprise, gratifies its curiosity, and gives it an idea of which it was not before possessed. ~Joseph Addison
We left Gorge Bridge feeling very satisfied with our choice to go down a two lane road, through miles of sagebrush to be awed by the power of a relatively small river, with nothing but time to work its magic.
Landscape is a great conversation starter and our conversation of the Rio Grande River meandered as much as the river itself, from its origin to the times past we have encountered it on other travels, and how it changes as it winds its way down to Mexico.
We took a left a couple miles west of the bridge and paralleled the river for a while....The wind was very gusty but the sage is tough and it hardly noticed as we or the wind passed by.
Just when we were about to turn around and go back to Hwy 64, we saw a sign for Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs....It was only a few more miles so we continued on down the tiny little lane that paralleled the Rio Grande.
Turning, left again onto Hwy 285, it wasn't long before we were in the more mountainous terrain that we had expected to find. Having never been to Ojo Caliente, we didn't know quite what to expect. We followed the sign down a tiny lane into a large, busy parking lot.
So this is Ojo....Wow, this place is an oasis, for sure! The buildings were beautiful, the landscaping was really inspiring and the water.... well, the water was HOT!
We arrived around 2:30in the afternoon and found the menu of services offered...My friend was not too keen on "public bathing" so we rented the private spa...We were assigned the hour from 4-5 PM. In the meantime, we wandered around the grounds which are absolutely beautiful and checked out the different waters available.
They have soda, lithium, iron and arsenic if I remember correctly....The private spa was small, but very nice. It backs up against a mountain of dirt and is open air. It had a small kiva and a couple of chairs with some desert plants along the edging. It was a very nice place to relax...
I absolutely adore water....Floating is the closest thing to becoming nothing that I have found...Blending in completely with all that is....everything is nothing and nothing is everything...Pure bliss!
Okay, if you can't tell, Ojo was wonderful. I will definitely go back....
If you have forgotten, we started the morning with the intention of going to Santa Fe...so 9 hours later we pushed on....we knew we would get there, eventually....or not....That's the great thing about these trips...they evolve and take on a life of their own.
We just enjoy the journey, taking whatever turn moves us, stopping wherever it feels right and staying for however long it takes to get the urge to move on...
We saw a sign for Espanola and knew we were headed in the right direction...What was it that we would see there? Don't know, but maybe someday we'll take a trip there!
We got caught up in traffic and before we knew it we were in Pojoaque (Po Wa' Kay). We saw a sign for the Cities of Gold Casino with an offer to win $500....Okay! We registered for the card and went through the motions to get our chance at $500. Well, we won $5 each and then felt obligated to give it back... by playing one of the many slot machines that was beckoning to us....
Word of warning....Slot machines are addictive....all the colors, sights, and sounds are there for a reason!
Hunger forced us to move on...I was hoping for something indigenous and exquisite, but because it was dark and getting late we drove on in to Santa Fe where we were familiar with a few restaurants.... Unfortunately, they didn't stay open for us...so dinner [(?)it was 11PM] was at Village Inn....
In the hotel lobby, I found several interesting brochures....Tomorrow would come soon enough and the adventure would continue!
to be continued