Out and About in Truth or Consequences, NM (and the Geronimo Springs Museum)

Truth or Consequences is a tiny town. There really isn’t much here besides the hot springs. I am rather embarrassed to admit that I have no desire to explore the hot springs even though several people have briefed me on the various places to go have a soak.

So I’m really not disappointed that I only really had today to go out and explore, or that just about every restaurant and shop in town is closed on Mondays. I didn’t come here for tourism, but to work. If I had been in a more happening community, it would have been much harder for me to focus on work this past week. I did about eight days of work in five and I am exhausted, but now I can take a few days off this week without worrying about it. I am going to be very busy with work soon enough and have actually turned out work for today through Wednesday!

So Truth or Consequences is a spa town that used to be called Hot Springs. Its tourism industry hinged on the healing qualities of their water. In 1950, radio host Ralph Edwards announced a contest that he would do a show at the first town that changed its name to Truth or Consequences, the name of his program. Hot Springs won.

I read some really interesting info about the name change today, mostly that it was rather contested and the town was polarized about it. But it really sounds like it was a major win for the town because of all the free advertising Edwards’ program would bring. Plus, there are hot springs everywhere, but there is only one Truth or Consequences.
So that’s the very brief history of the town. I left home around 10:00 this morning and hit the visitors’ centre about two blocks away. The main core of T or C is very walkable.

The exterior of my apartment. There's a bunch in a row and I have a corner unit.

The exterior of my apartment. There’s a bunch in a row and I have a corner unit.

The supermarket. Quite good for a town this size. Locals apparently prefer it to the Walmart. There was a good selection of international foods.

The supermarket. Quite good for a town this size. Locals apparently prefer it to the Walmart. There was a good selection of international foods.

T or C's original name was Hot Springs.

T or C’s original name was Hot Springs.

Downtown feels like walking through an episode of Mad Men.

Downtown feels like walking through an episode of Mad Men.

These little medallions appear several times in the sidewalks.

These little medallions appear several times in the sidewalks.

Impressive flower cacti.

Impressive flower cacti.

The lady at the visitors’ centre was friendly and helpful. She confirmed that the museum, hot springs, lunch, and visiting whatever boutiques were open were all there was to do today. She gave me a map and off I went to the museum.

In front of the museum.

In front of the museum.

The building is rather nondescript.

The building is rather nondescript.

The post office is more impressive.

The post office is more impressive.

Water feature next to the museum.

Water feature next to the museum.

Cute little bridge.

Cute little bridge.

More of the water feature.

More of the water feature.

The Geronimo Springs Museum is the nearly ubiquitous small town museum, filled to bursting with local artifacts arranged as logically as possible. Admission on the website said $6, but it was just $5. Staff was very cold and unfriendly and so I have no idea why since they took my money and ignored me for the rest of my visit.

I spent a little over an hour in the museum, but could have stretched that out a bit more if I had read more of the historic documents presented. It’s a very good little museum and I learned a lot about the local history and colourful folk inhabiting the area, including the famed Apache warrior Geronimo. Here are some highlights:

The town voted to change its name.

The town voted to change its name.

Collection of brands used by local ranchers.

Collection of brands used by local ranchers.

And the various types of barbed wires. I saw a wall like this in Tombstone.

And the various types of barbed wires. I saw a wall like this in Tombstone.

Geronimo was rather short.

Geronimo was rather short.

Heaps and heaps of beautiful pottery.

Heaps and heaps of beautiful pottery.

And loads of arrow heads.

And loads of arrow heads.

Open the door and...

Open the door and…

... step back in time.

… step back in time.

The person sleeping in the top bunk is a nice touch.

The person sleeping in the top bunk is a nice touch.

The old miner.

The old miner.

Old tins of products we still use today.

Old tins of products we still use today.

Gorgeous... tabletop?

Gorgeous… tabletop?

That's how I would have likely dressed in the day. :)

That’s how I would have likely dressed in the day. 🙂

Mammoth skull.

Mammoth skull.

Mastodon skull.

Mastodon skull.

This police officer was killed in 1999.

This police officer was killed in 1999.

She was killed by a prisoner she was transporting.

She was killed by a prisoner she was transporting.

There was an exhibit about the Truth or Consequences radio show.

There was an exhibit about the Truth or Consequences radio show.

There were lots of pretty dresses on display.

There were lots of pretty dresses on display.

I like this one. It has prints of newspaper articles on it.

I like this one. It has prints of newspaper articles on it.

Five cents for beer!

Five cents for beer!

A ladies saddle designed for the rough trails of the area not suited to a side saddle.

A ladies saddle designed for the rough trails of the area not suited to a side saddle.

Windmill outside.

Windmill outside.

The white pin is mine.

The white pin is mine.

Most of the visitors are from the local area. There were separate maps for the rest of the world and I'm pretty sure every major country was represented!

Most of the visitors are from the local area. There were separate maps for the rest of the world and I’m pretty sure every major country was represented!

Rear of the downtown library.

Rear of the downtown library.

So beautiful!

So beautiful!

More ho-hum front of the library.

More ho-hum front of the library.

This car fit right in.

This car fit right in.

Another impressive cactus.

Another impressive cactus.

I'm definitely in the southwest!

I’m definitely in the southwest!

Old pickup not hitched to the Airstream.

Old pickup not hitched to the Airstream.

Old Ford hitched to the trailer.

Old Ford hitched to the trailer.

It was too early for lunch when I came out, so I went back home to research restaurant options since the most appealing place, serving Asian-fusion (!), that was recommended by the visitors’ centre lady was was closed. I went back out about an hour later and decided to try the downtown burger joint, A&B, since reviews for their burgers were really good. It wound up being a rather disappointing and expensive meal at $7.42 for a cheeseburger, fries, and drink combo. The burger was okay, with a good bun, but I prefer the meat to be seasoned a bit and this was just a ground beef topped with lettuce, tomato, mustard, and pickles. Very juicy, though, I’ll give it that. The fries were disappointing. For my beverage, I rediscovered the wonderful U.S. offering of real brewed non-sweetened iced tea.

After lunch, I walked down Broadway and window shopped. There were so many cute little vintage and antique shops I would have liked to stop in, but, alas, they were shut tight. Then, I saw an oasis in the desert, the Moon Goddess shop, with its door open, so I went in. Aaaaah. My kind of shop, New Agey and smelling of patchouli and full of treasures. I was there for ages, going through all the racks when I realised that prices were reasonable! Unfortunately, there was almost nothing in my size, but I did get a really good deal on a long black skirt, so my digging wasn’t for naught.

The owner and I had a nice chat about the quirks of small towns and she was surprised when I told her that Mondays are a very common day off in all sizes of communities because so many places are now open on Sundays. She rang and packaged up my skirt and off I went home.

I’m tired and still fighting a cold, so I hope that this post doesn’t sound like I have any negative feelings about T or C. Museum people notwithstanding, the folks here are really friendly and it’s a lovely little community with all the services, much like Assiniboia. I’m really glad that I stopped in.

2 thoughts on “Out and About in Truth or Consequences, NM (and the Geronimo Springs Museum)

  1. We talked to a couple who winter in T or C. They drive their mororhome back and forth but have bought a house in T or C near where their daughter lives. He says the winters are cool but not bad. If you leave a hose out it will freeze overnight but is thawed by 10 or 11 in the morning.

  2. Pingback: Off to Centró | A Life By Design

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