Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Topeka to Ojo

We left Topeka and headed west across Kansas, Colorado and into New Mexico to Ojo Caliente. The first 100 miles were on I-70 and the last 650 were on secondary highways. We love traveling these roads and seeing the small towns and cities along the way.
The rolling hills of Kansas. Even on the interstate there was not much traffic.
Actually we were more likely to encounter this kind of traffic jam on the local roads. There were signs warning to be alert for farm machinery because it is the harvest season.
 Not sure what grain this is but it looks like a work of art as it is piled on the ground before shipping.
There are fewer and fewer of these old style grain elevators, but seeing them in the distance is a sign of a small town along the railroad.
Our first stop after Topeka was Dodge City. Even though we have been here before and done all the Wild West stuff, we stayed two days to catch up on laundry after not having full hook ups at our last stop. 
The biggest change in Southwest Kansas since our 2012 visit is the huge boom in wind energy. There are hundreds of windmills spinning in the wind and many more on the ground waiting to be assembled.
In Garden City there is a huge area with parts for hundreds of windmills. These behemoths are more than 300 feet tall with turbines the size of our motorhome sitting atop towers over 200 feet in the air with three blades over 110 feet long.
We drove highway 10 across the high plains of Colorado in 2012 and it's now one of my favorites. It is a narrow two lane road, but with very little traffic. You can get the feel of what it must have been like for the early pioneers when they got there first look at the towering Rocky Mountains in the distance.
After an overnight stop at the base of the mountains, the next morning we headed over 9,413 foot LaVeta Pass. They are all set for winter with the snow fencing in place. We were surprised that there was no snow even on the highest peaks.
Another change since our last visit to Colorado is legal recreational marijuana. Every little town had a shop with the green cross. I have to say we?????????????????
Beautiful fall trees as we arrived in Ojo Caliente.
This is the third time we have been to Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs and Spa. We love coming here to soak our bones in the springs and get massages. One thing we don't like, they doubled the price of an RV spot and the only improvement was a bath house that we don't need. I guess it is just that it is becoming more popular.
There are great hiking trails at Ojo that we always take advantage of. The trees along the river where in there full fall splendor.
Once you get away from the water the high desert is covered with dry land vegetation. Here the sun was lighting up the trees in the valley below. 
Just before our last visit there was a bad flood in Ojo. On our hike we found this old wash that the flood had cleared of debris making a new trail down the hill. 
The springs are open until 10 PM and it is very neat watching the stars come out while soaking in the warm springs. 
One of the seven different springs. Each has water with different minerals that are said to cure what ails you. The Lithia water is said to improve digestion and mood.  
The big pool is the coolest and is right next to the hottest soaking pool. There is also a mud pool where you can mud up and then dry out in the warm New Mexico sun.
Nanc found this corner of the Iron Pool where the hot water was coming in on her back. The iron is said to benefit your blood and immune system, prevent fatigue and promote healthy skin tone.
I don't know if it's all the minerals, the warm high desert sun or the quiet atmosphere at Ojo, but being here sure is relaxing.
Even though we are not happy with the increase in price for the campground, we do love spending time at Ojo. This time we even ventured into "town" for a couple meals even though the restaurant here is very good. Ojo will always be a stop for us when we are in the Southwest.

1 comment:

Jan Mains said...

I think nearly all the RV parks have raised their prices.