One of my favorite words in the English language is “serendipity.” Actually, since embarking on the gypsy, nomad, wanderer way of life, I have come to embrace serendipity as my philosophy: good fortune through happy coincidence!
My hosts at Three Rivers Petroglyphs, total strangers, had greeted me with hugs and a desert flower on my arrival. While talking with them I learned they were also from my home state, Pennsylvania. Floyd and Lyn were two of the many people across this country who made me feel right at home just when I needed it most. Fortuity!
Before moving on to Arizona I’d been thinking about hot springs, natural thermal, therapeutic waters bubbling up from Mother Earth. After the physically challenging job in Kansas, I wanted to experience the benefits of floating around in a pool of “liquid sunshine.”
A couple hours of computer research showed me I was in the right part of the country for abundant hot springs: New Mexico and Arizona.
My first encounter was a stone hot tub at Roper Lake state park in eastern Arizona. This was an open air-open to the public spa, a popular spot in the park. My idea was for something a bit more private.
The next day I was on Interstate 10, heading west and driving through formidable-looking desert land. Land that cried out for water as loudly as I. Then suddenly, out between a rock and a hard place, I saw an old hard-scrabble sign: El Dorado Hot Springs. I took a chance that the place would not be as forlorn as the sign and exited the highway.
Coming off the ramp, a dusty old restaurant and a dusty old gas station greeted me but I wasn’t deterred. I was dancing cheek to cheek with serendipity and went a little further down the road. For my persistence what I found was truly an oasis in the desert with privately-enclosed hot tubs and a space for my Winnebago.
It was quaint, it was rustic but it was my own private “el dorado.” That evening I floated solo in a hot tub of natural stone and agate filled with steaming thermal waters, watching the sun set through swaying bamboo and palm trees. If the gods made anything better, they kept it for themselves!
(aka Tin Can Traveler)