When I awoke this morning it was cloudy, damp, and quite cool. That’s what winter is here in Austin. Since it’s been summer for the last two weeks, a day or two of winter is welcome, although it’s confusing the hell out of the plants; the Mountain Laurel is flowering, as are the Daffodils and Iris.
The damp chilled me, and my mind wandered to Ojo Caliente in northern New Mexico, one of my favorite hot spots in the country – and by that I mean geothermal hot springs. My other is 10,000 Waves in Santa Fe.
Ojo is special because they are the only place in the world with four different types of mineral water. Clustered at the base of a high ridge, open to a big sky, they contain minerals that have been credited with healing powers by the Native Americans who have valued them for centuries.
They weren’t easy to get to the last time I was there – off a main road, then down a long poorly paved one. My hope is that will prevent them from becoming another roadside attraction. They have day fees, and provide you with a big robe and locker for your clothes. You must wear swimsuits in all pools except one, and signs everywhere say “Whisper Zone,” in order to maintain the tranquil atmosphere.
When I finally drag myself out, I stroll next door to the Soda Baths, the only covered pool. Sound is muffled in here, and I really enjoy that, and the old rock-work. Then, on to the Arsenic Spring, purported to offer relief from arthritis, and a variety of skin conditions. (For all of you who think I have a portrait up in my attic, now you know my secret. Ojo, baby!)
When your day is done, and you’re as pruny as you can possibly get, you can traipse into the lounge, and savor a delicious glass of wine.
I’ll let you know when I’m going. You’re invited, of course!