New Mexico Hot Springs: Ojo Caliente

My husband and I took a road trip last summer with our destination being Taos, NM.  I’d been there before but he hadn’t.  As the New Mexico license plates label it “The Land of Enchantment”, I can attest that they chose a perfect description of this enchanting land.

Almost everywhere we set out to go we ended up driving in circles; backtracking, getting lost or taking the very long way around.  Since we had no agenda, we just took it in stride and I experienced a new feeling about “being lost”.  It was almost liberating to not be the one in charge and to let go the frustration of taking a wrong turn and ending up somewhere totally off track.  Eventually we just let this “confusion”  have its way and instead of fighting it just surrendered our need for control and put ourselves in a joyful state of unknowing, following the whims of whatever force was guiding us.  Because of this, we were able to experience a more innocent, childlike state of wonderment over the new, unexpected sites along the way.

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Mineral Springs: A Thirst For Life

Being a water person, I know that my body, mind and spirit need this to maintain my sense of well-being.

Most of my water activities take place in the typical lakes, reservoirs and swimming pools around our area.  Swimming, snorkeling and kayaking maintains my mental acuity and balance.  I actually prefer swimming in some of the reservoirs found nearby over a swimming pool.

The image below is of me and my oldest granddaughter.  Our adult kids and grandchildren like to come to our home and  take the kayaks out to a reservoir nearby to swim, kayak and fish.  The kayaks (two so far) have been a great investment and we want to get more!

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Gliding through the smooth water with a little one sitting in the kayak with me is an opportunity for a hushed conversation in awe over an other-worldly experience as we look down in the water-forest below us and up at the strange rock formations above us.  We are adrift, existing in an alternate world for the moment.  I am thankful for a chance to share in an activity that will help seal us against the fast-paced, complexities of today’s lifestyles.

I am dedicating this post to an entirely different water experience though, one that supersedes the above mentioned in therapeutic value.  The natural mineral springs that exist all over this wonderful world of ours. SPA is the acronym for the Latin phrase Salus Per Aquas, which means “health through water.”

I have been lucky enough to discover and dip in a few near and far and want to share  these soaks and the experiences I’ve found in each on this, my first blog of this new year.

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Central California Coast: Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort

My sister flew to Oregon from Hawaii, where she resides, a few years ago and drove down the coast, stopping in as many hot springs as she could find along the way.  She even has a map listing all of them in the U.S.  She was really impressed with one in Avila Beach.  I hoped, someday, to check out this fascinating little place we’d heard such good things about.  Our chance came!  After a family reunion in Southern California, my husband and I headed up the coast highway intending on camping at Avila Beach Hot Springs for a few days.  When we got there, sadly, we weren’t as impressed with the mineral spa facilities as my sister had been but the campground was perfect!

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Driving up the road the next day to explore the area, we saw a beautiful large resort that looked like it would be quite expensive to stay at.  I decided to check it out and, surprisingly, we were there at the off season and the rates were affordable.  We booked two nights and were in for the most exquisite experiences.

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