Monday, February 20, 2012

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico USA


Last October, our friend Sue, from RVSue
described Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
(known throughout the southwestern USA as T or C)better than anyone I know!

" It’s hard to explain. Take these ingredients: a cup of Southwestern, a cup of hippie, a cup of arts and crafts, a cup of cowboy, a cup of honest-to-goodness down-home, a cup of vagabond, and a cup of hot springs. Mix it all together and season to taste with a whole lot of what Chuck characterizes as ”laid-back.”

Chuck and I fell in love with our town Truth or Consequences NM when we came here in 2009 to workamp at Riverbend Hot Springs. I will admit, our first impression wasn't all that great. We came to learn that the people of this area is what makes it great! But then the whole town grew on us and we both are very glad we bought a small place here! We want to introduce you to this quaint little southwestern town!

Chuck and I love a lot of things, but we love eating out, so I wanted to show you our 3 favorite restaurants!
Wow! Nothing fancy on the outside, but on the inside the dining area is divided into 2 sections. On the left you have your Hippie 60's style, complete with Sierra County's largest lava lamp!  On the right side, it's all cowboy !!! The owners, Joyce and Rob are the reason, Joyce is the hippie chick and Rob is the cowboy! Most weekdays the menu consists of mostly amazing sandwiches and incredible salads and yummy home made daily soups! But Friday nights, Joyce gets busy in the kitchen with yummy specials! Filet mignon with huge shrimp, or Tuna Ahi, or Salmon ... heck she has to show off her culinary skills right? She taught at the University of New Mexico culinary school in Alburquerque for 20 years! She and Rob retired to Truth or Consequences NM and opened up Groovy Gritz Cafe! If you are ever in our town, do yourself a favor and pay them a visit! You won't be sorry!

Our favorite place for breakfast!  Happy Belly Deli is a small restaurant, maybe 6 or 7 tables inside and about the same on the outside patio, but the food is great! Huge breakfast burrito and they have our favorite, green chili bagels! They offer 3 kinds of coffee which you pour yourself from the pot. It's a homey place, you feel like you are in your own kitchen! Local art on the walls changes often. It's just a fun place to go wake up! The staff is always friendly and they take time to walk around talking to their customers.  They also serve a great lunch but they close at 3 pm. Friday and Saturday nights are pizza nights and their home made crust is yummy!

Chuck and I love good Mexican food! Maria's is another small restaurant with momma cooking in the kitchen! YUM! Their green chili sauce is soooo good on about anything! We go to Maria's about once a week and have never suffered a poorly fixed meal!

T or C is full of art studios and artists on every corner! These artists have left their mark on many of the buildings around town!

This is the old 1923 Public School! Beautiful murals on either side of this building that has become the Sierra County Administration Building located on I-25 business loop.
If you look at the photo below, you will see a seal with a 1937 WPA embossed in the wall. The original school was built in 1923!
The designs are the same on both sides of the building, just one is brown and the other is blue. Notice the painted water tank behind the school?

This is the White Coyote Cafe. We have never eaten here because we can never find it open! Of course, Sunday morning when I am out alone taking photographs, the cafe is open!  Maybe Chuck and I will go there next Sunday and give it a try! We love the paint job on the cafe! You can see this one if you take the I-25 business loop from the north through town!

Above, a fun mural on a local motel on Austin Street!

This mural belongs to a cactus nursery! You can see this one if you take the I-25 business loop from the south!

This is another old school that have been renovated into a Civic Center. Local artist Delmas Howe painted desert flowers all around the building!


This water tank sits atop a steep hill overlooking
T or C. This is the water tower you saw behind the Sierra County Administration Building. It is really hard to get a good photo of this tank, even though you can see it from every place in town! Well, maybe if I had a good telephoto lens it would be easier!

I found the road that took me to the top of the hill to the tank! Here you get a better look! But so did I! Wow! What a view of Truth or Consequences from up there! The photo of the town at the top of this blog was taken from here!
We have two painted towers in town. The one above sits right in the middle of downtown! The one below sits just past WalMart, west of Interstate 25!

This water tank is much easier to get to than the downtown tank! Well, at least I got two sides of it!

Below is the story of the area, the painted tanks and the artist!

If you go just a bit further west of the painted water tank above, you see some of Sierra County! If you are into 4-wheeling on mountain dirt roads, Sierra Country is the place you should visit!


For those of you who are not campers, Boondocking means camping without any hook-ups No water, no electric and no sewer! Right between T or C and Elephant Butte and right on the Rio Grande River is a great little campground that is a part of the Elephant Butte State Park system!

Covered shelters are provided with a picnic table and a fire ring for $8 per night.

Looks pretty sad right now, but in a few weeks, those sad looking Cottonwood trees will be full of bright green leaves and in the autumn the leaves will turn a brilliant gold! This is a beautiful little park with about 20 shelters, a nearby restroom with showers and as I mentioned the Rio Grande River and a great riverwalk trail!
Maybe these directions will help you find this great little. The boondocking campground is very easy to find. Not sure if you are coming in from the north exit 76 or the south exit 75 off of Interstate 25, but either way will get you to the campground on the Business 25 loop. We have 2 traffic lights in town. One at WalMart right off the I-25 north exit and the main one at Highway 51/ 3rd street. Turn there and go past the Elephant Butte road. In fact, go 2.1 to the first bridge and the second bridge crossing the Rio Grande River is at 3.1 miles and as soon as you cross the second bridge on your left you will see the campground!

We have pretty adobe gates...

We have old rusty cars and hilly streets...

We have a great old movie theatre...

We have a wonderful grocery store! Inside there is an amazing butcher shop with all local NM meats, home made sausage and a great little bakery that I manage to walk past almost everytime! Also a wonderful selection of everything from produce to coffees to liquors and prices that compete with WalMart prices!

We have a very active Senior Center...  Chuck and I are not Seniors yet ! We are still young!

We have a Veterans Memorial Park...

Complete with our own miniature Memorial Wall with the names of those young men killed in Viet Nam!


We have the coolest ever, drive thru recycling center. Bins are all set up and labeled, we just drive up to the bin we need and toss in our recycle items!

Is this cool or what?  I have never seen a recycle center like this one and it is very popular with locals!
Sure saves space at the county dump when everybody recycles!


We have a real post office, TWO in fact!

And we have a beautiful metal sign welcoming you into our town!

We have street art......

We have a police department...

We have a Welcome Center that has a sign out front that says,"Hello There, We've been waiting for you. Welcome to Truth or Consequences,New Mexico USA"

We have a great local museum, the Geronimo Springs Museum. Geronimo was a local hero and his relatives still live nearby.

We even have super cool old RV's still on the road exploring!  Truth or Consequences is such a unique place to live and visit! I haven't even mentioned the hot springs we have here! T or C sits on a huge aquifer of hot mineral springs and we used to be named Hot Springs New Mexico because of all the health spas that flourish here! 

Our two favorites places to soak are Riverbend Hot Springs  
and The Blackstone Hot Springs,
You can look them up on this blog as I have done several blogs about them all ready!

Here is a yahoo link to the hot springs:


 I hope I haven't bored you with our quirky little town, but maybe you can get a bit of the urge to visit here and see it all for yourself! You won't be sorry!

The MotherShip is still getting repairs done, the electrical problem has been repaired but the repair man discovered a cracked grey water tank that was cracked and leaking! Hopefully Evergreen will cover that under warranty. The Evergreen people have been so good to deal with whenever a problem arises! Well, guess I will sign off now....
Geri, Chuck and the Hound Herd!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Leaving the Sonaran Desert isn't easy!!!


Leaving behind the beauty, the solitude of the Sonoran desert was hard, leaving behind our new friends was harder.
We headed north on Highway 85 and saw this beautiful ranch at the base of this mountain and forest of saguaro. WoW! Nice place for a ranch!
One thing Chuck noticed when we left Ajo and headed out on the highway is that our trailer's RV brakes were working now! What the heck??? Well, he said that he wants to camp at a campground tonight anyway, to plug into electric and recharge the MotherShip's batteries.

After we turned east on I-8, I found this beautiful piece of heaven.  Not sure, but if you click on this image it will go to full size and then if you strain your eyes a bit, you will see the saguaro all the way onto the foothills of these craggy mountains! The Sonoran Desert was so green!
I-8 was almost deserted  then we entered I-10! YIKES! Most of you know that I do not do busy interstate highways very well! I even have a prescription for what I call "passenger pills"! I-10East was packed from folks travelling towards Tucson! OMG! It was not this busy, crowded, hectic highway when we were headed west just 2+ weeks ago!
Thankfully, Chuck was headed to just a few exits away to one of his favorite campgrounds, exit 211 at Picacho. He has stayed at the KOA there several times and has always liked it there.  I was ready to get off I-10E and didn't care where we stopped! Ha!
The Picacho KOA was very nice, clean and affordable.
I apologise for not taking any photographs there, but
we got there early and OMG we had wifi! We hadn't read email for over a week! For the remainder of the day, Chuck and I read email and caught up on Facebook! Then we went to the wonderful little restaurant next to the KOA office, Frankie's Chuck Wagon! WOW! For those of you who know us personally.... you know we like to eat! Frankie knows how to cook! She puts together a steak dinner that is hard to beat! The place is small, but it was full! Not just KOA campers have discovered her culinary prowsness! Locals keep her busy too! So if you head that way... better call first, Frankie is only open 3 days a week!
 The next day the sssllloooowwwww Wifi was still calling so I managed to put together the first part blog of this journey and that took 4 hours! It was frustrating, but I got it done. 
Next morning, we got ready to head East again on I-10. (groan...) As we were doing our road checks before we pulled out of the camp, lo and behold!, the MotherShip's running lights were now working! Now we had brake lights and running lights working?  The Sonoran Desert not only worked her magic on us, but apparently on the Mothership as well! It was probably just the bumpy dirt road out of our boondocking spot... but what ever... we were almost 100% working again!  Now if the truck would just keep the MotherShips batteries charged while we were going down the road we would be ok!

One thing I can say about the Southwestern states is how beautiful most of their overpasses are when you approach a city. This one was just west of Tucson!
Traffic was just as bad today as it was 2 days ago on I-10!  YIKES! About an hour east of Tucson, Chuck pulled over to get gas. I managed to peel myself off the ceiling and unglue my feet from the floor and walk into the gas station for munchies. Dang... I really do not do city interstates very well at all! What happened? I used to be able to drive through any city on any interstate with no problems! I was fearless! No More! No thank you! I like back roads whenever possible! That is where the real America lives!


Leaving I-10, we headed north on Highway 191. We have a favorite campground up near Safford AND a favorite Mexican restaurant, Casa Manana in Safford as well! We first visited Roper Lake State Park four years ago and fell in love with it.We made reservations for 2 nights.

Snow still on the mountains here and definitely cooler than our time boondocking in the desert! 

The campground was almost deserted when we got here. Depressing brown foliage everywhere, Spring had not sprung in this corner of Arizona. The park was still beautiful! The weekend came and the park acquired a lot more RV's!

The lake was a lot lower than it was four years ago! The drought has greatly affected it!

The campsites are great! Most of them suited to the larger RV's but there are several suited for smaller campers too, as well as tenters.

Huge, clean restrooms with great showers are always something we look forward to!

The main thing we love about Roper Lake State Park is the Natural Mineral Hot Spring here! Not overly hot at 92 degrees, it is great for a nice long soak!

We took the hound herd back to the MotherShip, put on our bathing suits, then dressed warmly and drove back here, to get into the inviting hot tub! At 92 degrees, the water wasn't too hot, but a lot warmer than the 50+ degrees of the day! This tub was built by park workampers/volunteers about 20 years ago!

We decided to stay two more days here, we called home and found out it was colder than here and windy... so we just stayed put! Besides, we had a great Mexican Restaurant to go to only 12 miles from the park, Casa Manana! They make the most wonderful sour cream enchiladas! We remembered them from four years ago and they were every bit as good as we remembered! We went there 3 nights out of four if that tells you anything! Best enchilada sauce I have ever tasted!

   If you remember, we had a very snowy Christmas.
 The photo above, you can see just a few sprigs of forsythia peeking above the layer of snow!

Imagine our surprise when we got home and the forsythia not only survived but was blooming! Only 6 weeks after the snow!  What a nice welcome home! We got home a week ago today! Laundry is done, MotherShip is unpacked and now we start preparing for our summer workamping job in Virgin Utah! We will be working at Zion River Resort RV Park, 12 miles west of Zion National Park! We will leave here mid April and work until Mid Oct.
Drop by for a visit if you are in the area!
We hope you have enjoyed these 6 blogs taking us from Truth or Consequences NM to Sue's Pond near Yuma AZ to Quartzsite AZ to our boondocking experiences near Ajo AZ and Roper Lake State Park!
It was a fun 3 weeks on the road!

Now we have to get the MotherShip and The Beastie (our truck) to the shop and see if they can fix the electrical problems!

Happy Trails from Geri, Chuck, the hound herd, Scotty, DoogieBowser and Radar and of course from The MotherShip!