Day 122 – Saturday, October 26, 2013
We have been out of wifi and cell phone coverage areas for a few days. We will upload all the posts now that we have Internet connectivity once again. Oct 30, 2013
We spent the night in the Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa Campground. We decided to do a short hike after breakfast and before our 1:00 PM massage appointment. We choose the Posi-Ouinge trail. It is a mile long trail that is steep and rocky to start and is level and sandy around the ancient pueblo site. We added on another ½ mile connector trail on the way back just to see something different. Julie notes “This was intentional this time. Plus we had packed a water and snack for this short hike and needed an excuse to eat it.”
Your daily windmill fix. Apparently, Julie is not the only windmill photographer in New Mexico. Julie notes “Hey what is he trying to say? This is definitely my own picture. Would I lie AND plagiarize? The ‘New Mexico’ at the top must have been one of those banners, pulled by a plane. I just didn’t notice it while I was focusing on the windmill. Now a couple of you may get a post card that looks very similar to this. Just a fluke. Weird that he/she also took the same shot as me. A money shot for them too.”
The hiking trail along a dry river bed.
The mounds and depressions in the earth are the only clearly visible remains of the ancient pueblo. Chards of pottery litter the ground all along the trail through the pueblo site. Julie notes “Thousands of pot shards cover the area. Now no-one seems to explain why. Was it some kind of wild teenage party while the parents were out of town visiting relatives in the next pueblo? Was it clumsy pot hunters who looted the area? Was it like the Greek tradition of breaking dishes and yelling Ooompah!? Ah maybe the practise area for beginning pot jugglers and plate spinners. But seeing the designs on the little pieces of pots and bowls and jugs that were made and used by these ancient people was way cool.”
A view of the river valley, with the Resort & Spa, from the site of the ancient pueblo.
Cairns marking the trail. It looks like everybody, except us, built a little cairn here. Julie notes “Modern day cultural phenomenon.”
The hikers on the way back with the expansive river valley in the background. Julie notes “Yes I know we shouldn’t be messing around with pointy sticks. Could put an eye out or attract a lightning bolt.”
It had rained quite a bit overnight and the ground was still muddy in places. The sidekick was trying to clean her boots off before going in the camper. It was without much success however, because the mud here is mostly clay and had hardened onto the boots like cement.
The small river flowing beside us in the campsite with the golden fall colours.
We headed over to the Spa to soak a bit before our massage appointments. We hadn’t tried the mud pool yesterday, so that was on the agenda for today. You get wet, slather with mud, dry in the sun, soak in the mud pool, and then shower off. It’s really just like being a kid again, except much more expensive. J Julie notes “The mud is very COLD and the sun was warm but not hot. A nice hot day exercise I think. But fun, as he said, brings out the kid in you as it dries and cracks and covers your own cracks, as in wrinkles. Hopefully other cracks have been tastefully covered. I am thinking the spa may want these photos for their advertising?”
The sign reads “Please do not get in the pot” but who pays attention to signs anyways? Julie notes “Like we said, brings out the kid in you. I’ve gotta watch him every minute. Notice the paddle on the left. I assumed that was to spank those who climbed into the pot. That made things crack!”
The unique outdoor mud pool showers. Julie notes “hmmmm In my mind I thought I looked more like Ellie Mae Clampett taking a shower. I think this picture puts me somewhere between Miss Jane and Granny.”
We had our massages and felt wonderful. It was then over to the restaurant for a late lunch. We both had the poblano chili and corn chowder soup special and shared an order of sweet chili “fries” with a vinegar based dipping sauce. Delicious. Julie notes “Honest, despite this look, I felt wonderful and am still sporting my greasy massage hair do. I think I am just pondering how much longer I would have to wait before tasting my Agave Wine margarita. And possibly marvelling at the fact that I had survived my first male masseuse. I forewarned him about Patchy and Perky. I thought that would be ‘breast’ just so he didn’t run screaming from the room if he accidentally caught a glimpse. He was very professional with good hands and a quirky South Carolina accent. To truly get into the mojo of this beautiful (and expensive) place I opted for a Native American Blue Corn and Prickly Pear Salt Scrub after my massage. Delightful and despite this picture Brad said I looked restored and radiant, just as the brochure promised. You are just going to have to trust me on that one I guess.”
After spending the rest of the afternoon lounging around the resort and the campground, we headed back to the restaurant for our 7:00 PM dinner reservation.
We shared a couple of appetizers. One was a grilled artichoke with sour cream. We had never had this before and were unsure how to eat it. The waiter wasn’t much help with his instructions, so through trial and error, I think we got it figured out. You really just strip the softer portion or the artichoke “leaf” with your teeth and discard the harder outer portion of the “leaf”. I think? Julie notes “We are a bit worried about how the ‘trial and error’ part is going to manifest itself tomorrow as we did our best to chew and swallow those first few leaves. Kind of like the first time I had edamame beans. The one hint the waiter gave us, that we didn’t notice ’til after our revelation, was the large discard bowl for the stripped leaves. We sure had a good laugh at our own country bumpkinness.”
We also shared an order of New Mexico pot stickers. Very good.
For the entrée, Julie ordered the pork belly carnitas and I had the chicken enchiladas New Mexico style – a fried egg on top. It was a really enjoyable evening sharing a bottle of wine around the fireplace and dining in style. Julie notes “I see another hike will be mandatory in the near future.”
…over and out, the muleskinner and his sidekick
Julie notes “We noticed in the daylight that the iron pool had less ‘stiffening’ qualities for the young couples slipping in and out, as compared to the night before. The age old darkness/libido ratio. Oh to be young again. We should keep soaking as one of Ojo Caliente claims is being the original fountain of youth.”
“Now you are all probably wondering what I do in my leisure time, when I’m not spanking Brad and getting my body scrubbed by young South Carolina men. Well my latest project has been trying to remove several months’ worth of yucky, slimy buildup from the lid of my Contigo coffee cup. Way back when during a coffee cup discussion, my brother Corrie asked me how we clean the lids as he had the same cup. ‘Oh just rinse it under the tap.’ was my glib response. Well it seems my mix of coffee whitener and sugar, heat and humidity, have made the perfect growing conditions for ick. I made the mistake of having a close look 3 days ago, and have been swabbing, probing, soaking, bleaching, rinsing and gagging as each time more chunks and floaties and nasty bits emerge. As a former micro-biology lab tech, I was interested to see what it might grow. Brad’s lid is clean as the first day he got it. The one cream, no sugar blend not conducive to slime growth I guess. So in answer to my brother, I don’t know how to clean amongst all of the working parts of the lid. I am going to take the pressure washer to it when I get home. And no I don’t want to think about all the goodies I have ingested over the last few months. FYI, another good breeding ground is water, Crystal Lite and heat and humidity. What is the lesson? You tell me. Oh maybe Lesson 122 is ‘You can take the lab tech out of the lab but not the scum out of her coffee lid. ”