Tuesday, March 7, 2017

NM To San Diego: Part 2 (El Dorado Hot Springs, West of Phoenix)

After leaving Faywood Springs, Google Maps suggested a short cut to Lordsburg NM that would save us about 20 minutes.  I told Karen we should trust Google Maps to give us a good route. Karen was very leery.

An hour later, Karen was right to be leery.  After heading a long way down a bumpy, dirt road we came upon a big, deep, dark mud puddle of water out in the middle of nowhere. There was no cell signal and no one else for miles. We decided it was best to back up for about half a mile until we could turn around and go back to Deming, NM on the regular paved route. From now on I will double check Google's suggestions better. The good news about this detour is that we were able to see a few really cool red tail hawks.

A bridge we crossed.

Backing up till we could turn around.
One of the hawks we saw in flight.

Once we got back to Deming, we were hungry and stopped at the town's Denny's for a good breakfast. We like Denny's. It's very consistent and always good. There were a lot of panhandlers out in front of Denny's. They appeared to be older, immigrant men. On the way into the restaurant we gave a few bucks to one of the guys in the area who came up to us.  On the way out, we were hit up very aggressively. We told this guy that we already gave to another guy. He was not pleased by our previous generosity.

We are always concerned that our handouts to panhandlers will be spent on drugs or alcohol. Yesterday, I read a New York Times article that has me thinking we shouldn't worry about how our charity will be spent: The Pope on Panhandling: Give Without Worry.

We jumped back on to highway 10 and headed west toward Tucson. This is a beautiful stretch of road. We are excited about exploring this area in detail once we are full-timers in a few years. There is a lot to explore in the southern corners of Arizona and New Mexico.

We continued on 10 past Tucson and then took highway 8 towards Gila Bend. Next, we headed north on highway 85 towards Tonopah. We didn't want to go near Phoenix as it was going to be close to commuter hours, so this bypass worked out great.

We got to El Dorado Hot Springs about an hour after sunset. The place was funky and rustic. As Karen signed up for a campsite in the office, the guy taking our info got up and grabbed a baseball bat and headed over to one of the pool areas. Karen and I looked at each other and asked each other if we had made a mistake picking this place to stay the night.

It turned out that two dudes had jumped into a private soak pool without paying the fee and the office manager liked to have his trusty bat when dealing with freeloaders.  We calmed down after he explained the situation. He was really helpful and friendly after he put the bat away.

We drove to our spot, set up our bed and headed to the public soaking area to soak away the strain of a long drive.

We hopped into a couple of old-timey iron legged bathtubs.  It felt great. Karen noticed something big moving on top of a nearby fence. We couldn't quite make out what it was. It looked like a big pigeon. It turned out to be a female peacock that was resting against the top of a fence.

After a good soak we headed to bed and slept really well.

Each campsite comes with 2 hours of private pool soaking each day.  We had signed up for the Sunset Pool for first thing in the morning. It was fantastic. We took our breakfast to the pool area. There was a table with chairs and some lounge chairs. The soaking was great. You have a large private area with views of the desert and a nice hot pool.

There are about five private pool areas. Each one is pretty nice. Next time, I would pick the Desert View soak pool as it had the nicest view of the desert and some nearby mountains.

There is a downside to the place that we discovered at the end of our visit.  As we were packing up to go, about thirty big house flies flew into our van.

A couple of the many peacocks at El Dorado Hot Springs

One of the soaks in the public area.

We soaked in the two bathtubs and the pool here. They were nice!

The funky office area.

Our campsite with friends.

Other occupied campsites on the property.

The corral pool.

The toilet area is open to the sky, but private with the surrounding fences. 

Breakfast at the Sunset Pool

Some of the campsites.
The Desert View Pool. We thought this was the one with the best view.

The Stargate Pool
Walking from the Sunset Pool.

A view of the area.
A huge industrial chicken raising and processing plant was built very near El Dorado Hot Springs in recent years. Apparently, the smells from the chicken plant can be overwhelming at times.

We were lucky in that we arrived on a windy / drizzly evening, so the flies and the smells were not noticeable. But, as we were about to leave the next morning, the winds died down, it got sunny and the smell and the flies arrived with a vengeance.

The flies all got into our van. We should have stopped a few miles away, opened up all the doors and windows and shooed them out. Instead, for three days we had flies, one by one, enter the front seat area of our van and bug us until we got them to go out a window.  Many times they would fly right back into our van, even after we had already shushed them out the window. They didn't want to leave the van for some reason!!!!  It is a cool van.

We would go back to El Dorado Hot Springs again as it was a really nice place to soak, but we do worry about what the flies and smells would be like on a hot and windless day. We hope to not ever find out.

Next up: Heading to Lake Havasu for some an amazing fireworks show.

El Dorado Hot Springs maintains it's funky rustic feel and prices are not high for this type of facility.

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