Thursday, October 23, 2014

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

Yes, there really is a town called Truth or Consequences in New Mexico. It used to be called Hot Springs, but the radio show Truth or Consequences announced in 1950 that they wanted to find a town that would change its name and have the show broadcast there. It would provide free advertising for the town and promote tourism. The name change was put out for a vote and the citizens and was voted in overwhelmingly. Since then, there has been a festival on the anniversary date of the name change.

Before this name change made the town famous, it was well known for the hot mineral springs that are just below the surface of the town. Native Americans gathered in this area for years to utilize these springs. It became very popular in the 1930's when people started opening up little motels with hot mineral baths. The temperature of this water varied from 98 to over 110 degrees, and included 38 different minerals. They have been billed as healing and rejuvenating. Some of these same motels have been refurbished, repainted in bright contrasting colors and are still in business today. People still come into town to enjoy the hot mineral baths. They are inspected and regulated by the State.

Since I was here, and 2 friends from Albuquerque came into town to spend a few days, we decided to experience a few of the mineral baths. The first one we went to was on the roof of a small hotel, under the stars, but with a walled-in enclosure. It was a jacuzzi which had been filled with the hot mineral water, and it was hot. We stayed in for about 45 minutes, sitting on the edge when we got overheated and then submerging again. By the time we got out, we were feeling like overcooked noodles. It was SO relaxing!

The next day we went to a different one that was in a closed in room with a mural of New Mexico scenery on 3 wall. The pool was large and made of stone, with stone benches on two sides with jacuzzi jets, probably about 8' x 8' overall. They provided a pitcher of ice water and towels for us and we spent well over an hour in there. We've been told that this complex was owned by Ted Turner. It was a very nice experience. The next experience was also nice, but the jacuzzi was smaller, although there was also a sauna in the room and a regular shower. Only one of us went into the sauna.  These photos aren't necessarily the ones we used, but the signs are more interesting than the ones we used.

Downtown was interesting, had some interesting buildings and nice shops, but after a couple days, we learned that the shop owners open when/if they want, or not at all. They might be on island time.   There was a very relaxed atmosphere and we had breakfast in one restaurant that had license plates covering the walls that were from most of the states and including some foreign ones and antiques. The food was good with large portions.  The Post Office is in a nice old building but is only open from 9 AM to noon on weekdays.

For some reason, New Mexico seems to like to decorate their water towers, and this is the one in Truth or Consequences.  I enjoyed T or C (as the locals call it) and I was glad to have the opportunity to experience the mineral baths.

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