I was always fascinated by the phrase "taking the waters," which appeared in Jane Austen's novels and referred to the custom of visiting Bath (in England) and bathing in and drinking the steaming mineral waters found there. I finally got my chance, but the waters in question were just a bit over an hour away from home, at Riverbend Hot Springs, a mineral springs resort and spa on the Rio Grande in the picturesquely-named Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
|One of the soaking pools with a nearby dry and shaded spot for your dog|
To tell the truth, much of T or C is not particularly picturesque, although there is a section of funky second hand stores that I'd like to explore on the next trip. However, the Riverbend resort was just the sort of place I like; not too formal, just a nice comfortable, friendly, and very reasonably-priced place. And we found three great restaurants in town that added to our enjoyment: The Arizona Cafe for lunch, Cafe BellaLuca for supper (best rigatoni Bolognese I've ever tasted, and some very yummy bourbon-pecan gelato), and the Happy Belly Deli for breakfast.
|The dining patio, where you can grill and eat your own food if you wish|
Taking a room for the night gives you access to patios, decks, five public soaking pools (there are private pools available by the hour), and even the use of the big gas grill. There is a free coffee and tea bar, with service out to pools in the early morning hours. Imagine watching the sun coming up over the nearby hills and soaking in the a steaming mineral bath in the cool morning air while watching for deer, raccoons, and coyotes; then having a nice young man deliver a cup of hot coffee or chocolate right to your pool! It was pretty nice...
|Two stone-lined pools, taken from the river observation deck; these photos|
look a little dark because the sun wasn't quite up yet
|The owners are installing this sauna, a nice addition|
|We love our aliens and chile here in New Mexico|
|On the left, you can see one of the waterfalls flowing out from the soaking pools; |
in the center are stairs leading down to the river for those who want a cool dip
|Dawn arrives over the Rio Grande; we were ready for a hot dip in the cold morning air|
|Overflow water from the hot springs flows down into the river. The resulting warm water|
attracts fish and the birds that prey on them