About 15 miles into the dome wilderness area, in the Jemez mountains, I came to this barren opening in the forest, obviously recycled by fire. I'm not ruling out arson or human stupidity, but judging by the storm that has snuck over the ridge on me, lightening is the probable cause here
My goal today is to reach Ojo Caliente and be treated to a fantastic meal (prepared by the house chef) and a soak in the hot springs...oh and to catch up with my buddy, Andy. Referring to my map and using the "dome" as my reference, I orient myself and realize that my assumtion had been correct...the map was wrong but I was on the right fire road. I popped out at state road 4 and enjoyed 10+ miles of twisties into Los Alamos, Espanola, and then up 185 to Ojo Caliente. I was greeted by Andy and his beautiful wife, Jen, (they run the place) and treated to a beautiful sampling of tenderloin, sante fe chicken, shrimp etc...again, the food is first rate....then a soak in the hot springs. These springs have been used by the natives for thousands of years and are somewhat unique because they lack the distinct sulfer smell associated with many of the springs in the area.
The view of Ojo Caliente mineral springs from the BLM road coming in. The old hotel (est. 1914) can be seen in the bottom left of the picture. Out of view is the huge deck looking out from the main building. I can just picture the old hitchin' post out front...what an oasis this place must have been to those guys on horseback! The private (clothing optional) outdoor pools are located at the right of the picture, surrounded by the adobe walls. I highly recommend them!