Joan Randall, a Woodstock resident, set out on a journey to “Discover America” she has agreed to share her stories with the readers of the Vermont Standard.
These are her stories.
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Blog #16 – White Sands
White Sands National Monument did not disappoint! The dunes were just incredible. There is an eight mile, mostly sand covered road that leads you into the park. They even allow tent camping. I was heart broken since for the first time I researched and made advanced reservations to spend the night further north. The temperature was perfect to be in the dunes, it was still cool at 64 degrees.
Bode and I set out on a trail that had post markers every 100 feet or so, some of these markers became buried by the shifting sands. It was a photographer’s dream. It had me longing for my old Nikon camera. To witness wildflowers blooming in pure white sand was amazing. Most visitors take plastic sleds and slide down the dunes. To me it was a Zen-like experience being surrounded by such solitude and beauty. It was hard to leave. We had a reservation at a hot springs resort in a town called Truth or Consequences. How could you not visit a town with that name? Riverbend was the only pet friendly hot springs lodging in this area. Lucky for us, when we drove through town it was the only one we wanted to stay at. Once we walked through the gate and saw the soaking tubs overlooking the Rio Grande a complete calm came over me. I immediately decided that I wanted to be like the Apache Indians who came to these parts up until the 1940’s for the restorative powers of these mineral baths. The Indians stopped coming when the “new” locals built a ball field on their campgrounds in the late 1940’s. Jake recently took this resort over from his parents, who owned it in the 70’s and it was known as something of a hippie retreat back then. Most of the guest suites are housed inside old mobile homes that have been refitted. I have to admit when I heard this on the phone I had my doubts, but by far, this has been the best and nicest facility we have stayed at. The rooms sell out quickly and a two-bedroom suite starts at $70 with unlimited soaking in the baths. In order to stay 3 nights without changing rooms I had to settle for a two-bedroom cottage. I emailed Keon and encouraged her to come join me. We had a private patio equipped with a grill, along with a fully furnished kitchen in which to cook our meals. It will be hard to leave such comfort behind since it is my intention to start hiking into the National Forests and camp.
Truth or Consequence’s is a funky town with a lot of character. I met many town folks who happened upon this town and never left. It’s easy to see why. Jake hires young couples who are traveling through the country to work the resort in exchange for room and board. With this arrangement he is able to keep the prices down. I am sure he has plans to expand the capacity of this small resort. I am glad I discovered it while it had only 10 or so suites, although I know he has the talent to expand and not loose the intimacy this place has to offer. It is incredibly special to wake up early in the morning with the sun just cresting the mountain range and soak in an outdoor, naturally hot mineral bath overlooking the Rio Grande with no human in sight and witness an otter attempting to cross the rushing river and a deer on the riverbank having it’s morning drink while tree swallows surf the river’s flow.
-All Bode’s Well.
Catch-Up on all of Joan & Bode’s travels – click here