I had Spring Break this past week and decided to head to New Mexico in search of some hikes, some hot springs, and some green chilies. My sweetie, having lived in the area years ago, knew of a lesser-known hot springs that we could hike into with hopes of few to no other people there. Sounded great to me.
We had decided to camp the night before, then make the four-mile trek the next morning to the springs. Well…the weather had some other ideas in store for us, and Mother Nature dumped inches and inches of snow, forcing us to rent a small room at an old school mountain lodge rather than camp. This was our view when we awoke…
We had heard the road to the trail was closed, but we pushed on, thinking we could hike a bit further to reach our destination. We are talking about hot springs in the mountains with likely no one there!! We drove to the gated-off closed road, parked the car, and began our trek. And trek we did. Every trail and pathway was covered with snow. No markers or signs were evident to guide us. Suffice it to say that after 8 hours of hiking in mainly three to six inches of snow, and sometimes snowdrifts up to our hip bones, we never found the springs. We knew we got close, but the snow made it difficult to find our final destination, and the day was growing long. We had to abort, and accept that after 15 to 17 miles of hiking in difficult terrain, the destination was not to be gained.
As a yoga practitioner, I chose to view this experience as “yoga off the mat” in terms of not getting too frustrated and disappointed about not getting to the springs, not getting grumpy at each other, and noticing the beautiful trees, sky, air, and everything around us.
With weary legs, we drove to Ojo Caliente, historic and sacred hot springs. We decided to treat ourselves to a full day of soaking our bodies all day the next day as our reward.
While not empty of people, and not the destination we originally had in mind, it was an amazing experience.
Making the drive back to Nebraska, I reflected on how much gratitude I have. I’m grateful fort my body that can carry me long distances and works so hard on my behalf. I’m grateful to have the time and space to go on adventures. And most of all, I’m grateful to learn — over and over — that life is about the journey, not the destination. Holding on to these sentiments, Mother Nature threw us this little gift…
Meghan of Life Refocused