We left our winter camp Tuesday, March 10, and started the journey to the MisAdventure Ranch for the month of April. We will then trek onto Oregon for our summer camphost position, reporting May 15th.
Wal*Mart supplied the campsite the first night out in Benson, AZ. We then traveled to Deming, New Mexico and ar staying again at Rockhound State Park. We love this place, beautiful views of the Florida Mountains, lots of birds and wildlife, and a favorite grocery store. We are using our annunal camping pass purchased last spring. This pass allows overnight camping for up to 3 weeks at a time at any New Mexico State Park. We pay only $4 a night for electric hookup. What a treat to spoil ourselves with electricity!
A CITY WITH THREE NAMES.
Truth or Consequences, population about 7500, is located on Interstate Highway 25 in the Rio Grande valley some 150 miles south of Albuquerque and 75 miles north of Las Cruces. Originally, the location was called Palomas Springs or Las Palomas after the palomas (doves) which frequented the cottonwood trees along the river. In 1914, the name, marked by the local post office, was changed to Hot Springs.
By the 1940’s, the name of the community was about to change again, a response this time to a publicity stunt by Ralph Edwards, the host of the popular long-running radio show called Truth or Consequences. Edwards had offered nationwide publicity to any city that would change its name to "Truth or Consequences." In a vote in 1950, a majority of the citizens of Hot Springs elected to answer Edwards’ challenge, overriding the protests of some residents. In another vote, in 1964, an even larger majority chose to keep the name.
Truth or Consequences – "T or C" to most New Mexicans – lies just upstream from Elephant Butte Dam and the lake which makes the region an attraction to snowbirds, tourists and recreation seekers. It is bracketed by the Fra Cristobal and Caballo ranges on the east and the Black Range on the west.
Before EuroAmerican settlers gave names to the location where T or C now stands, Native Americans bathed in the hot springs. Evidence of their presence can be seen near Ralph Edwards Park in rock outcrops which bear deep mortars once used by Indian women for grinding seeds into flour. Apaches were said to have used the springs for the curative powers. T or C’s Geronimo Springs Museum honors T or C’s prehistoric past.
The first Spanish colonist, Juan de Onate, passed through the area in 1598. Spanish-speaking people began to settle there by the middle of the 1800’s. After the Civil War, the U. S. government established forts and maintained troops in the region, trying to make it safe for miners, ranchers and farmers flooding into New Mexico Territory and facing incessant Apache raids. The army forced several bands in the region, including the Warm Springs Apaches, onto reservations.
T or C changed from a quiet health resort in 1916, when the Elephant Butte Dam was completed. About five miles south of T or C, the dam was built to contain flood waters and release it for irrigation along 200 miles of the lower Rio Grande valley. The dam created the largest lake in New Mexico. When the reservoir is filled to capacity, water backs up for 45 miles and creates some 200 miles of shoreline.
T or C is still known for its hot mineral baths, which are open year around.