Tag Archives: T or C

So Many Chickens, So Little Time!

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I was hanging out with Sue Soaring Sun of Sun Gallery fame.

(Never heard of Sun Gallery in Truth or Consequences, NM? Check it out here: http://www.sierracountynewmexico.info/shopping/a-z/name/sun-gallery/ and here: https://www.facebook.com/sungallerytorc/timeline. The gallery’s Facebook page says,

Sun Gallery is a folk art and antiques gallery in Truth or Consequences, a fun and affordable spa town in beautiful southern New Mexico.

The gallery is located at 407 1/2 N. Broadway.)

We were talking about a restaurant we both know, a place where the decor is heavy on chickens. One of us piped up with So many chickens…Sue’s boyfriend grinned and added in and so little time. When we quit laughing, we agreed it would be a perfect theme for an art show. Sue decided it would be a fun May show for her gallery, so she sent out a call for submissions.

Here’s the call, as it appeared on the gallery’s Facebook page:

CALL FOR ARTISTS
So Many Chickens, So Little Time

All artists of any age or ability are invited to each bring ONE piece of artwork to Sun Gallery for our May 2016 show, “So Many Chickens, So Little Time.”

You can price your work or just show it without offering it for sale. If it sells, the artist gets 100% of the sales price. Sun Gallery will not be taking a percentage for this show.

Have fun with the theme! There are no rules about the medium or size of the artwork.

Sun Gallery will be open for both Fiesta weekend and Art Hop weekend, so your work will be seen by many.

Drop off your work on TUESDAY May 3rd between 12 noon and 4 pm.

Pick up your sales proceeds or unsold work on SUNDAY May 15 between 11 am and 4 pm.

Thanks for your participation!

I responded to the call with a big ol’ chicken collage. First I bought a used canvas and a red and white checkered napkin at Goodwill. I ironed the napkin, then used a staple gun to attach it to the canvas. The napkin made a great background to fill in any gaps between chickens.

As soon as I knew the show was happening, I requested catalogs from several chicken supply companies. Unfortunately, only one catalog had arrived by the time I really needed to get working on the project. I needed to find another source for photogenic fowl.

I had credit at bookstore that buys used books, DVDs, magazines, video games, CDs, craft supplies, musical instruments, and knickknacks. I went to the store’s periodical section and found several copies of Grit, the magazine Celebrating Rural America Since 1882. Chicken photo jackpot!

One additional source for poultry pictures was a beat-up children’s book given to me by the Lady of the House. Called The Lifesize Animal Opposites Book, it afforded me with my rooster focal point.

I spent a few evenings cutting, arranging, and gluing photos of chickens while sitting in front of a television IMG_6012playing late 20th-century game shows. I even made a special artist bio card to go with my collage.

I ended up pleased with the outcome of my work. There are a lot of chickens in my collage. There are SO many chickens!

I decided to call my piece Chicken Tractor because I think that’s a hilarious term.

My collage will be on display at Sun Gallery starting tomorrow until May 15. If you are in the neighborhood, you should stop by and see it live and in person. (As usual, my photos don’t do justice to the real thing.) The collage (13″ by 15″) is most definitely for sale. If you want to add it to your very special chicken collection or display in in your heretofore fowl free home, please contact me and we can negotiate.

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I took the photos in this post.

The Thrift Stores of T or C

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To close out this series on Truth or Consequences, NM, I will share my thoughts on the thrift stores in the commumity.

I know of five thrift stores in T or C, which is an impressive number, considering there are only 6,246 people in the town (as of 2013, according to https://www.google.com/search?q=population+truth+or+consequences&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8) and only 11,572 in all of Sierra County (as of 2013, according to https://www.google.com/search?q=population+sierra+county+nm&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8).

From my first day in T or C, I’d seen the sign outside the Catholic church (Our Lady of Perpetual Help) on Date Street, the sign that said the thrift shop was open 10am to 2pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The problem was I couldn’t find the thrift shop. I walked around the group of church buildings in the vicinity of 515 N Date Street, but found no shop opened at the appointed hours. Finally, on my fourth visit to the town, during a Wednesday coffee klatch, I thought to ask Coyote Sue (another thrift store aficionado) about the location of the shop. It was on the same block as the church, she told me, but on Cedar Street instead of Date. IMG_4104

The mention of the Catholic thrift shop got the other coffee klatch ladies talking. It was too crowded, too cluttered, the other ladies said. Coyote Sue, however, said she’d had luck buying old-school religious figurines there, then selling them for a profit on Ebay. I was excited to see it for myself, now that I knew where to find it.

I tried at least twice to shop at the Catholic thrift store before I left town. The first time I went there, on the Saturday after learning its location, there was a funeral being held at the church, and a huge black funeral ribbon on the door of the store. The door was locked despite the sign in the window reading “open,” and there was no shopping for Catholic castoffs that day.   IMG_4102

I swung by the following Wednesday, and the “Sorry We’re CLOSED” sign was in the window. Unfortunately, all I can offer is the information that the store is on the 500 block of Cedar Street.

My least favorite of the T or C thrift stores I’ve shopped in is the Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe at 109 East First Avenue (adjacent to the Family Dollar parking lot). I feel bad about not liking the Paws and Claws because, according to the store’s website (http://www.deserthavenanimalrefuge.com/paws__claws_thrift_shoppe),

Paws & Claws Thrift Shoppe is, by far, the most important fund-raiser for the Sierra County Humane Society. It covers a major part of Desert Haven Animal Refuge’s operating expenses. The organization would not survive as it is today without the monthly income from the shop.

IMG_4121Why don’t I like shopping at the Paws & Claws? Let me count the ways.

The merchandise is overpriced. On the rare occasion I find a piece of clothing I like which  might fit me, it’s typically priced at $4 to $6. I know for a lot of people that’s a good deal, but I don’t usually pay more than $1 for a piece of thrift store clothing. I currently have way too much clothing in a wardrobe stocked with items that only cost me a dollar.

The Paws & Claws never has sales. It’s never green-tag day or half-off day. There’s just no way to get a bargain. I see the same things in the store every time I browse there. Ladies in the coffee klatch said they’d been seeing the same items in the store for five years. In my opinion, these items are sitting around because they are overpriced to begin with and then never marked down.

Add in rumors of an unpleasant and difficult manager and moldy books for sale, and I have little desire to walk through the front door.

I don’t have much experience with the All That & More Thrift Store. IMG_4105I’ve only been in the shop a couple of times, but the last time I went in, I found what I was looking for (plastic drawers for van organization). All That & More is one of those unusual thrift stores that isn’t full of old clothes so ugly I wonder who wore them new. The store is small, but neat and clean, and the prices are reasonable. The store is located on 4th Street, a block or two off Date and not far from the library and convention center.

The SJOA (Sierra Joint Office on Aging) thrift store in the senior center complex at 360 W. 4th Street is one of my favorites.  IMG_4113The store is small, but the ladies who run it know they need to move merchandise, so the prices are great. Most items of clothing cost 50 cents or a dollar. I’ve gotten small balls of yarn for a quarter. There’s usually a small selection of free magazines outside the entrance door.

The final thrift store in T or C is also the biggest. The CHF (Community Health Foundation) thrift store is located at

In addition to cool merchandise and good prices, the CHF Thrift Store is one of the places to see and be seen in T or C. My friendship with Coyote Sue was forged in the CHF store’s old location, and if we’re both in town, we’re likely to run into each other in the CHF’s aisles.

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This photo shows the entrance to the CHF Thrift Store. The free table can be seen in the far right of the picture.

Thrift Stores in T or C tend to open early in the morning and close early in the afternoon. They are sometimes closed on strange days (Closed Wednesdays? Who does that?), and I think every one of them is closed on Sunday. Your best bet is to swing by the stores and see if a sign on the front tells you the hours and days they are open.

If you like thrift stores, you are going to love T or C.

I took all of the photos in this post.

Where to Stay in T or C

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I’ve been writing about Truth or Consequences, NM in the last few days, and several people have told me they now have T or C on their list of places to visit. It would hardly be fair to get folks excited about visiting the town and not tell them where they can stay.

The first time I visited T or C, I had the good fortune to spend a week in a motel. I stayed at the Rocket Inn (http://www.rocketinn.net/, 605 N Date Street), a small motor court with only nine rooms for rent. Built in 1948, and originally called the Red Haven Motel, the entire place has been restored. According to the website, the

fully modernized King Deluxe and Double Queen rooms…include fridge, microwave, WIFI and HDTV/basic cable. [The property is] family run, dog-friendly and walking distance to Main Street.

I chose the Rocket Inn because I could walk from my room to downtown where I was able to sample the wonderful hot springs bathhouses. (To read more about the hot springs and bathhouses in the town, go here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/02/05/truth-or-consequences-hot-springs/, here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/02/06/truth-or-consequences-hot-springs-my-experiences/, here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/02/08/truth-or-consequences-hot-springs-my-experiences-part-2/, and here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/02/07/artwork-from-la-paloma/.) Everyone working at the Rocket Inn, from the owners to the housekeepers, were exceedingly nice to me and made sure I had everything I wanted and needed. The rooms were impeccably clean, and I felt perfectly safe there.

SDC10011The third time I visited Truth or Consequences, I stayed at the Artesian Bath House and RV Park (https://sites.google.com/site/artesianbathhousenm/Home) at 312 Marr Street for two months. Nightly and weekly rates at the Artesian are reasonable, but the monthly rate is a fantastic deal. (Read up on the Artesian’s rates here: https://sites.google.com/site/artesianbathhousenm/Home/rates.)

According to the business’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Artesian-Bath-House-Trailer-Court/111366938897101),

The Artesian Bath House opened for business June, 1930. For over 33 years the Martin’s [sic] have owned, operated, and maintained their commercial hot springs.

The Artesian is great for vandwellers, as there  are restrooms on-site, and one can take a hot bath if one wants to clean up.

I have also had great success stealth parking and boondocking in the town of Truth or Consequences. I’m not sure if I’m actually as stealthy as I like to think I am or if no one in T or C cares about who’s sleeping in a vehicle in a residential area, but when I left in December of 2015, I’d never been bothered during my nights in the van. Lots of folks park overnight in the parking lot of the T or C Wal-Mart. I have seen everything from luxury Class A’s to old-school motorhomes held together with duct tape and prayer to stealth vans parked in that lot. On some nights I’ve counted a dozen vehicles parked there, then counted them all again in the morning as I walked toward the doors of the store. Sometimes I call that parking lot the Wal-Mart RV park.

For folks who want to get out of town and into nature, there’s plenty of that in the area too.

Paseo del Rio Campground SignTruth or Consequences is very close to Elephant Butte dam and Elephant Butte State Park. According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephant_Butte_Dam,

Elephant Butte Dam…is a concrete gravity dam on the Rio Grande river near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. The dam impounds Elephant Butte Reservoir, which is used for both recreation and agriculture. The construction of the dam has reduced the flow of the Rio Grande to a small stream, with high releases occurring only during the summer irrigation season, or during years of exceptionally heavy snow melt.

Elephant Butte Dam

Elephant Butte Dam is the large concrete structure in the middle of this photo.

The Paseo del Rio Recreation Area is part of Elephant Butte State Park. The Paseo del Rio includes a campground I stayed at for a couple of nights during my first visit to the area.

When I was there, the campground did not offer water, sewage, or electrical hookups, but each campsite had a fire ring and picnic table covered by a ramada. There were flush toilets and sinks with running water on one end of the campground, near the day-use parking lot, and portable toilets at the other end. I believe the camping fee was $10 per night.

The Rio Grande and Mountain

This photo shows the Rio Grande as it looked from the trail that ran through the campground.

A 3/4 mile trail with “interpretive signage of historic interest” (http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/TrailsatStateParks.html) ran through the campground and along the Rio Grande, and there was a historic fish hatchery in the recreation area.

I found the campground peaceful. There wasn’t much traffic at night on the road closest to the campground, so there wasn’t much disruptive automotive noise.

Fish Hatchery Lake

This photo shows one of the fish hatchery lakes. The water drew birds, so there was a lot of avian life in the area.

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This photo shows Caballo Lake, with the Caballo Mountains beyond it.

I also spent a couple of nights at the Percha Flats camping area at Caballo Lake State Park. Percha Flats was a primitive camping area with no designated campsites, no running water, no electricity, and no hookups of any kind. When I visited, there was a pit toilet and a dumpster near the entrance to the camping area. The camping fee was $8 per night. There were no designated hiking trails in the area where I stayed, but I did take some nice walks along the edge of the lake.

The final campground I stayed in near Truth or Consequences was in Percha Dam State Park. SDC10028The campground had many developed campsites, although mine only had a picnic table. My site had no ramada, and no hookups, although there may have been a water spigot there. (I can’t remember.) Many of the sites had electrical hookups, but I decided not to splurge on that. The campground also had flush toilets, sinks with running water, and hot showers that didn’t cost extra to use. I did enjoy a nice hot shower during my stay.

My last tip is a boondocking spot about 3o miles away from Truth or Consequences. Last time I was there, the cute little town of Hillsboro (population 124) allowed folks to park overnight in the community’s tiny park across the street from the Black Range Museum. There were a couple of pit toilets in the park, as well as a few informational placards, and campfires were not allowed. I think this spot would be a good place to spend the night on a trip between T or C and Silver City.

So there you have it. I’ve offered up several choices of places to stay as you start your adventures in Truth or Consequences and the surrounding area.

I took all of the photos in this post.

 

 

 

Art in Truth or Consequences

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Truth or Consequences is not just a hot springs and bathhouse town; it’s also an art town. In addition to the art in the town’s multiple art galleries, there’s lots of art to see outside too.

According to http://www.sierracountynewmexico.info/attractions/art-in-truth-or-consequences-hillsboro-and-more/, those colorful flower murals adorning the exterior of the Ralph Edwards Civic Center at 400 West Fourth Street are the work of Delmas Howe. IMG_4114 According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delmas_Howe,

Howe (born October 22, 1935) is an American Painter and muralist whose figurative work depicts mythological and archetypal – sometimes homoerotic – themes in a neoclassical, realist style. IMG_4110

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Another public building with murals is the Lee Belle Johnson Senior Center, at 301 South Foch Street.  IMG_3980According to http://www.torccenterforthearts.org/homeblog/archives/08-2013, these murals were painted by a group called “the Young da Vincis.” This group of young artists (made up of Reed Tische, Megan Burke, Bethany Walker, Jannelle Knaus, Josh Candelaria, Kyle Cunningham, Jeannie Ortiz and Hannah Goldman) was organized and named by Jia Apple.

According to the above website, four months and at least 2,160 work hours went into these murals. Nine people worked on them about 12 hours a week for 20 weeks. The theme of the murals is local flora/fauna/habitat. The integrity of the historic adobe building–a WPA (Works Progress Administration/Work Projects Administration) project–had to be preserved.

IMG_3982The boarded-up windows of differing shapes were used as insets for the murals.

Again according to http://www.torccenterforthearts.org/homeblog/archives/08-2013

Repeated design elements gave consistency and rhythm. The habitat was strongly delineated in curvy shapes and diagonals that pull you into the picture. Land, water, mountains and sky were depicted in a consistent palette of alternating oranges and blues.IMG_3984
The animal life was consistently depicted two ways—as strong black silhouettes, or set apart in a tondo/circle form, painted in “grisaille” or in shades of black and white with some tans.

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Not all of the outdoor art pieces in T or C are murals. One of my favorite pieces of art in town is the sculpture of a steer called Joy, by R. William Winkler.  IMG_4005This sculpture stands in the parking lot at the corner of Main and Pershing streets. According to New Mexico Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff,

the statue is made from cedar planks, car parts, and other discarded items. The creature takes its name from the word ‘joy’ cast into the grill of an old wood-burning stove that the artist…scavenged from a cattle ranch along Percha Creek and integrated into his creation.

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I took all photos in this post. I’ll share more examples of outdoor art in T or C tomorrow.

Truth or Consequences Hot Springs (My Experiences Part 2)

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In a previous post (http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/02/06/truth-or-consequences-hot-springs-my-experiences/), I wrote about my experiences at four bathhouses (Blackstone, Indian Springs, La Paloma, and La Paloma Too) in Truth or Consequences (T or C), New Mexico. In this post, I will share my experiences at three more bathhouses I’ve visited in T or C.

I soaked at Riverbend Hot springs (100 Austin Street, http://www.riverbendhotsprings.com/) once in March of 2014. SDC10007Riverbend has both public and private pools for soaking.

According to http://www.riverbendhotsprings.com/springs.html#pub,

The public pools consist of five pools that cascade from one to another, creating a different temperature in each one. Temperatures usually range from around 100-108 degrees. They are situated around a shaded river deck and include a cold shower for cooling off, as well as our large shaded patio with chaise loungers, mist fans (in the summer), dining tables and chairs, and our barrel sauna…The cold and clear Rio Grande River is also accessible for swimming at your own risk (closed when the river levels are fluctuating).

The Riverbend website (http://www.riverbendhotsprings.com/springs.html#pvt) has this to say about their private pools:

Our private pools are perfect for those that desire to bathe au natural or would like more peaceful privacy. They are walled on three sides but open to the riverside mountain view. Each have their own river deck, cooling mister systems and reclining lounge chairs or benches. They are available for rental by the public and are discounted for overnight guests.

I soaked in the Rio pool.

The Pool I soaked in outside, next to the Rio Grande

This is the Rio, the pool I soaked in outside, next to the Rio Grande

The Riverbend website says,

Rio (“river”) is very popular for its extremely close proximity to the river, its high temperature, and its quiet flow of water. This cozy pool seats two people very comfortably and has a temperature of about 107-108 degrees. It has a small shaded deck for cooling off between dips.

The private cabana (?) housing my hot little pool

Here’s a view of the deck from the pool I soaked in.

The water in the pool was nice and hot, and the pool was deep. I enjoyed being outside naked, and I enjoyed the view. Since most of the soaking in T or C is done indoors, in bathhouses, soaking out in nature was a real treat. However, even though there was a wall between my soaking area and the one next to me, I could clearly hear the voices and follow the conversation of the men in the next pool. Hearing other people’s inane conversation was less than relaxing.

Soaking in the public pools at Riverbend costs $10 per hour. Private soaks cost $15 on a walk-in basis and $10 for overnight guests. Reservations are taken for private soaks.

 This is the view I had while I soaked in the hot pool at Riverbend. That's the Rio Grande in the forefront. Turtle Mountain is in the background.

This is the view I had while I soaked in the Rio pool at Riverbend. That’s the Rio Grande in the forefront. Turtleback Mountain is in the background.

I’ve soaked many, many times at the Charles Motel and Hot Springs Charles Motel(601 N Broadway Street, http://www.charlesspa.com/index.html), the first time in March 2014, most recently in December 2015. At the Charles, there is a women’s side and a men’s side, both with individual tubs (much like conventional home bathtubs with faucets and drains) for soaking. I’ve only ever been on the women’s side, so that’s what I will write about. Also, the Charles offers soaking in outdoor, rooftop Jacuzzi tubs, but I’ve never soaked in them or even been on the roof to look at them.

IMG_4085The photo to the left shows the women’s side. Each tub is in its own little cubical, separated on two sides by walls that go almost all the way to the floor and a curtain in the back. There is drinking water available to anyone soaking.

While the walls and curtains offer visual privacy, they don’t do much to block sound. Sometimes women soaking in tubs next to each other want to chat, which makes for a less than relaxing experience for people like me who want to soak in silence. I’ve found that the best time for me to soak at the Charles is first thing in the morning, as soon as it opens at 8am. I’m usually the only person soaking that early in the day, and the whole area is blissfully peaceful.

This is my favorite tub to soak in at the Charles. It's shorter than the rest, which is ok since I am short, and it's deeper than the other tubs too. I like deep! I also like the pink and blue tile.

This is my favorite tub to soak in at the Charles. It’s shorter than the rest, which is ok since I am short, and it’s deeper than the other tubs too. I like deep! I also like the pink and blue tile.

Private soaks at the Charles cost $6 for an entire hours, and that includes a towel! The outdoor Jacuzzi tubs seat 4 to 6 and cost $8/10 per person per hour. According to the website,

Temperature [in the baths] ranges from 98 ° to 115 °F… All our tubs are drained, cleaned and sanitized after each use.

Of all the places I’ve soaked, The Artesian Bath House and Trailer Court (312 Marr Street, https://www.facebook.com/Artesian-Bath-House-Trailer-Court-111366938897101/) is probably my favorite. I first soaked there in March of 2014 and most recently in December 2015.

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Like at the Charles, soaking is done in tubs much like those in the home, tubs with faucets from where the water flows and drains through which the water exits. Unlike at the Charles, at the Artesian, each tub is in its own private room with a door that locks. At the Artesian, I do not hear other people’s conversations while I am soaking. At the Artesian, I get an hour of quiet, peaceful, hot water bliss.

The Artesian also has at least one large tub, big enough for two (or maybe three) people. I was able to soak in the large tub once when the individual tubs were all taken. There is plenty of room to stretch out in the big tub.

My last one-hour soak at the Artesian cost six dollars. The bathhouse is closed on Wednesdays.

The Artesian is also an RV park, open to nightly, weekly, and monthly stays. I spent two months there in the winter of 2014. Because the Artesian has restrooms and baths, it is a perfect place for a van dweller like me to stay. The monthly rate was extremely affordable, and included WiFi access. I was also able to utilize the electric hookups to charge my laptop and phone batteries. Folks staying there pay for the electricity they use, but my usage was small and I only payed a few dollars a month for it. Also, because I was a tenant, soaks cost me just $3 an hour.

I miss soaking in the wonderful, hot mineral water in T or C, especially in the winter.

Artwork at La Paloma

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In a previous post about the bathhouses in Truth or Consequences, NM (http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/02/06/truth-or-consequences-hot-springs-my-experiences/), I mentioned enjoying the paintings on the wall of the private room I soaked in at La Paloma. However, I couldn’t get the formatting right to include any of my photos of the murals in the post. I decided to share those photos today because #1 the paintings are nice and #2 I am tired and possibly incapable of writing anything long and thought-provoking.

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When I asked my friend Sue Soaring Sun about these paintings, she told me they were done by Tracy Turner Sheppard. Here’s what Sue said about the paintings on her blog The RV Artsy Life of Sue Soaring Sun (http://ebayrv.blogspot.com/2012/06/cool-times-in-hot-town.html):

La Paloma was beautiful last year when I worked there and became even more beautiful while I was gone for the winter.  There are more gardens, some bird feeders, and lucky bamboo plants in every room.  All of the bath house rooms have been replastered and repainted, and a well-known New Mexico artist, Tracy Turner Sheppard, is painting mimbres and mandalas on the walls of each tub room.  Tracy is in town working on this project this week, and I’m delighting in getting to know her.

The next photo shows how the artist took an air vent and turned it into something cute and colorful.

soaked at La Paloma.I think if something functional (and kind of ugly) has to be in a room, living with it is much easier if it can be colorful and cheerful.

I really like how the colors the artist used are somehow both vibrant and subdued. They make me feel energized but not hyper or frantic. (I think “vibrantly subdued” is an oxymoron, but that’s the best way I can think of to describe these colors.  Please leave a comment if you can think of better words to use to describe them.)

SDC10003 - CopyMy favorite thing on the wall was this fat turtle and the decorative squiggles all around it.

This is what the artist says about herself on her website (http://www.tracyturnerart.com/bio.htm):

As a native of the west, I grew up surrounded by landscapes of astonishing diversity, light and beauty.Coming into the world this way, I developed a great passion for wild places and a love for the infinite ways color and light manifest with form on this earth.
My work is a reflection of that love and seeks to express a magical reality with color as the universal language. I play with its endless variety and vibrancy, translating my own sense of joy and mystery of the physical world onto canvas.

To see more of Tracy Turner Sheppard’s work, go to http://www.tracyturnerart.com/gallery.htm.

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I love the lavender sun and the fat-bellied reptile.

I took all of the photos in this post.

Truth or Consequences Hot Springs (My Experiences Part 1)

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Previously I gave an overview of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico as a hot springs and bathhouse town. (To read that post, go here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/02/05/truth-or-consequences-hot-springs/.) Today I will share my experiences at four of the bathhouses I’ve visited in T or C.

I soaked at Blackstone Hotsprings (410 Austin, http://www.blackstonehotsprings.com/) once, in March of 2014, in one of the historic baths. According to http://www.blackstonehotsprings.com/HotspringBaths.shtml,

You’ll find the hottest water on the property in the Historic Baths, with temperatures ranging from 110 – 112 degrees. Cold “city water” is also provided so that you can cool the water if you prefer it less hot.

The Historic Baths were originally built in the 1930s. During renovation we found evidence of 10 baths in the original bathhouse. We were able to preserve four of them. Two became the Historic Baths.

I found the baths at Blackstone incredibly clean and well cared for. I would recommend the historic baths there to anyone who is super picky about the way things looks.

Blackstone Hotsprings also boasts The Wet Room. I did not soak in The Wet Room, but this is what the Blackstone website (http://www.blackstonehotsprings.com/HotspringBaths.shtml) says about it:

The Wet Room is a tropical paradise — a large soaking pool with steps, ledges and benches so you can be in whatever depth of hotspring water you prefer. There is also a geothermal steam room, with thin sheets of water trickling down each wall, and a drenching waterfall that massages your back and neck and shoulders.

Soaking in The Wet Room costs $25 per 50 minutes. Soaking in one of the historic baths costs $5 per 1/2 hour. All bath rates include a towel and drinking water.

IMG_4124I most recently soaked at Indian Springs  (218 Austin Street) in November 2015. According to  http://www.sierracountynewmexico.info/attractions/truth-or-consequences-hot-springs/, “Indian Springs was established in the 1930s and has been owned by the same family since 1980. Two private, natural-flowing hot spring pools are situated next to six ’40s-style efficiency apartments.”

The small pool at Indian Springs. Notice the rocks at the bottom of the pool.

This photo shows the small pool at Indian Springs. Each pool is in a private room with a door that locks. Notice the rocks at the bottom of the pool.

Indian Springs boasts a small pool and a large pool. I like the small pool because it is 4 feet, 2 inches deep. I’m rather short, so if I stand up in the small pool, the hot water laps at my shoulders. I think two people could fit into the small pool, but those two people would really have to like each other to do that. The large pool is better suited to two people soaking together.

The price of soaking at Indian Springs is either $5 or $6 (my memory is fuzzy) for half an hour. Towels are not provided, but can be rented for another dollar (or maybe 50 cents.)

The fellow (owner?) I always encounter at Indian Springs is soft-spoken and super nice.

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This photo shows the back of the motel part of La Paloma. At night, the star on “vacancy” sign flashes.

I also soaked once at La Paloma Hot Springs & Spa (formerly Marshall Miracle Pools, according to http://www.sierracountynewmexico.info/attractions/truth-or-consequences-hot-springs/ and located at 311 Marr). My visit to La Paloma was in March of 2014. Like at Indian Springs, the baths here are natural and free flowing.

This is the pool I soaked in at La Paloma. Like at Indian Springs, each pool is in a separate, private room with a door that locks. The rope is to hold onto while one propels oneself through the water. Also like at Indian Springs, there are rocks on the floor of the pool.

This is the pool I soaked in at La Paloma. The rope is to hang onto while propelling oneself through the hot water.

When I visited La Paloma, there was a chart listing the temperature of the water in each individual pool. In the free-flowing pools, there is not way to add cooler water, so if one does not want a super hot soak, it helps to know the temperature of the water in each pool. I also noticed when I visited that nice incense was burning in the bathhouse and soothing music was playing, both contributing to a sense of peace and relaxation. I also really liked the painting on the walls of the private room  I soaked in. (To see the artwork, go here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/02/07/artwork-from-la-paloma/.)

The first time I soaked at La Paloma Too ( 300 Austin), in March of 2014, the bathhouse was still called Hay-Yo-Kay. SDC10024When I returned for a soak in November of 2014, ownership had changed and the bathhouse was called La Paloma Too.

According to the website for both La Paloma locations (http://www.lapalomahotspringsandspa.com/baths/baths.htm),

  • Both bathhouses are over ninety years old
  • Hot Artesian mineral water flows continuously through 11 gravel-bottom pools and is considered true *”structured” water. “Structured” water only exists in two natural flow bathhouses in T or C, NMSDC10025
  • Water temps range from 98 to 115 degrees with a pH of 7.0
  • The water consists of thirty-eight valued natural minerals and are [sic] not treated with chemicals
  • Noted high Lithium content with no unpleasant “sulfur” odor
  • All pools are in a private clothing-optional rooms in our bathhouses with benches for resting. There are absolutely no public displays of nudity allowed

    This is the pool I soaked in when I visited Hay-Yo-Kay, now La Paloma Too.

    This is the pool I soaked in when I visited Hay-Yo-Kay, now La Paloma Too.

  • Guests can soak by the half hour or by the hour and have access to public bathrooms and showers
  • No children under 7 years of age in pools or pool rooms. Guests 16 yrs and younger must be accompanied by adult at all times in the bathhouses
  • The only known bathhouse built over a hot mineral drainage canal in the continental U.S.

At either La Palaoma or La Paloma Too, a half hour soak is $6 per person; full-hour soaks are $10 per person. If you happen to be in Truth or Consequences on your birthday, both bathhouses offer a free soak on that special day.

The water in the free-flowing pools at Indian Springs, La Paloma, and La Paloma Too is very hot, and there is no way to add cool water as is possible at bathhouses where the tubs have faucets and drains. Whenever I soak at any of the bathhouses with free-flowing pools, I spend my half hour in and out, in and out of the pools. I love the super hot water, but I can only stay in it a few minutes at a time before I feel overheated. On at least a couple occasions, I’ve left Indian Springs (where I’ve soaked the most) feeling definitely high. WOW! I think it’s pretty cool to feel like I’m trippin’ without having to take any drugs.

*According to http://www.aquatechnology.net/frame426230.html, a “GENERAL definition of ‘altered’ or ‘structured’ water” is

…any mechanical, electrical, optical or other process or combinations thereof which alters the physical or chemical characteristics of water, thereby creating a new form or species of water which when utilized by plants, animals or humans demonstrates measurable and repeatable benefits to chemical, enzymatic and general cellular functions.

To read about my experiences at three more Truth or Consequences bathhouses, go here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/02/08/truth-or-consequences-hot-springs-my-experiences-part-2/.

I took all photos in this post.