Sometimes I like to pretend I’m David Byrne exploring the fictional Texas town of Virgil in the 1986 art-house classic True Stories. That’s why I made the seven-hour car trip to Marfa, Texas (population: 1,981 in the last census).
A few weeks back, our New Mexico-traversing columnist Elizabeth W. Hughes found herself in love with the Gila. She wrote a great piece on its beauty and archaeological wonders, “Travelog: Gila’s monster fan.”
Then, tragically, lightning sparked flames in the Gila National Forest, and by the end of May, the resulting fire had grown to become the largest in our state’s history.
On Monday, more than a third of the fire was contained. The Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, which Hughes explored during her visit, will reopen tomorrow. The air quality is good, according to the post at New Mexico Fire Information.
State Route 15 is a remote drive with twisting switchbacks and piney mountaintop lookouts. After a full five hours, I made a right turn onto a dirt road about four miles south of the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument toward my destination, the hot springs camp.
Alibi travel writer Elizabeth W. Hughes drove around New Mexico to find hot soaks in the cold weather. This week’s column marks the second installation of her day-trip getaway spring and tub series: A steamy good time.
Cold weather and hot springs go together like old-English font and rear-window decals here in the Land of Enchantment. From resorts and spas to natural rock formations in the national forest, New Mexico has a soaking experience for bathers on any budget.