Hank – The first thing we did in the morning was check out Elephant Butte Dam. It was completed in 1916 and does a fine job of preventing the Rio Grande River from flowing. There’s a striking difference in the water level today compared to early in the 20th century. Much like Lake Mead behind Hoover Dam, there are several white bands indicating how much higher the water used to be. Elephant Butte Reservoir seems like a puddle compared to what it used to be. Elephant Butte itself is a volcanic core somewhat shaped like an elephant. It’s an island in the reservoir now.
Next we went into downtown Truth or Consequences to visit the Geronimo Springs Museum. This is yet another small museum packed with cool history. I found this video that provides a good overview of the museum.
I learned more about how Ralph Edwards became so connected to this community after the city changed its name to Truth of Consequences for his radio show. He returned every year for 50 years for the annual fiesta that started after the town changed its name and the 10th anniversary radio show was broadcast from here. You can read more about the history here.
The museum houses tons of prehistoric pottery and arrowheads. And there’s plenty of local history. The New Mexico Old Time Fiddling Championships have been held here for many years. And fiddle playing and dances continue to go strong at the Old Time Fiddlers Playhouse. There’s a fiddle on display that went to the war in the Pacific with a young man from here. The neck snapped one day due to the high humidity. He was going to throw it away when a merchant marine stopped him. He volunteered to take it and ship it to the infantryman’s home. It took a while but after the war was over the busted fiddle showed up in the mail. He had it repaired and kept on playing until he donated it to the museum.
We had a late lunch at a small place called the Grapevine Bistro (Make America Grape Again). The food was fantastic. I’ve never had a Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado on Toast (BLAT) sandwich like that one. While we were eating the guy waiting on us got everyone’s attention and asked if we were set for drinks. We were. A minute later he was walking out the front door with a to go order. He announced he was making a delivery to the brewery and he may not make it back. Pretty funny.
After eating we went to a local store where it’s kind of different. The front was plastered with license plates. Kathy thought maybe I could find a couple of good plates to make guitars with. The sign on the door said he had left to run some errands and to call or text him. I did and he never answered. We waited 20 minutes and decided that was long enough. Bummer.
We decided to drive to Tucson, Arizona and spend tomorrow there. I got us a room at the Inn on Davis Monthan Air Force Base. It turned out to be a distinguished visitor room with a bedroom, an office, and a living room. Whoo-hoo! Best military room I’ve had yet. I’ll take it as an anniversary gift. Today was the 44th anniversary of my joining the Air Force – Feb 21, 1975.
Kathy – Truth or Consequences is a cool little town, and the name itself has some pretty unique history behind it. Population is 5,948 which is just slightly larger than the towns elevation at 4,245 feet. The city sits down low kinda in a bowl with the high desert mountains surrounding it.
The garden area around the museum was a great place to plant my New Mexico flowers. That is the 34th state where we left flowers so far. The museum was packed full of fascinating displays, artifacts and information. Another one to add to our favorites list.
We enjoyed our time in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico including a fabulous lunch at a local bistro. We traveled though the desert to our next location Tucson, Arizona. On our drive we saw beautiful southwest mountain ranges, desert areas and small in between. New Mexico was a wonderful state to visit, now we look forward to seeing what Arizona has to offer.
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