• brandenfugate

Road Notes: Day 148

Today is Branden’s birthday! Can you believe he is finally 21? CrAzY! He (of course) spent all day in class, but we made plans for afterwards. I picked him up and we went to Ojo Caliente historic hot springs and spa.

Established in the 1860s, the spa was one of the first health resorts in the US. The facility was built around these natural hot springs of various mineral content that had been used by the Tewa peoples for thousands of years. It remains mostly all outdoors, except for saunas, and nothing is added to the water, nor is it artificially heated. There were many different pools: arsenic, lithium, soda, iron…all of which possess different healing qualities. Look. I don’t buy into a lot of the new-age bullshit, but you can’t deny how good you feel after a good soak in some warm water.

We dined in the spa restaurant and shared blue corn muffins, a salad grown entirely on-premise, green chile corn chowder, and a dry aged steak. It’s the man’s birthday after all. A few glasses of wine, some tres leches cake with moscato*, and we were ready to take off our clothes. Well. Not really. But the soda spring is supposed to help with digestion, so there is that.

The next several hours were spent jumping from one hot spring to the next. It was utterly divine. It dawned on me that since hitting the road, we had not been completely submerged in water. Shit, even showers have been kind of sporadic. This felt luxurious. I loved that they kept the springs outdoors, allowing us to watch the sunset over the mesa and witness the sky transform into a million little stars all from the comfort of the hot springs.

The drive to and from the spa should not go unmentioned. It was about 45 minutes one way, but certainly didn’t feel that long. It was beautiful, and mostly went directly through Carson National Forest. We passed so many abandoned looking places. The ride home was actually a bit scary. We didn’t pass a single other vehicle the entire time. In place of human company, we had wildlife…herds of deer, big horned sheep, and a bobcat (?) that ran across the road right in front of me.

*Moscato has a (mostly deserved) bad rep based on the kind of crap that takes a majority of market share here in America. If you can get good, balanced moscato, it can really take your desert game to the next level. I swear. And it is usually shockingly affordable. We had Tintero Moscato d’Asti (imported from Kermit Lynch, retails for about $12 a bottle).

Road Notes are timed entries—written in thirty minutes or less at the end of each day. Considerations are made for spelling/legibility but not for grammar. Deal with it.

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