Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Hot Springs Bring Tradition to Life.

Byline: Poco de Todo RICHARD MAHLER For the Journal

There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but you can still soak in a hot springs at no charge in Montezuma.

The San Miguel County village, about six miles northwest of Las Vegas in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, is one of 77 hot springs open to the public in New Mexico, many of which are free of charge.

"This is a wonderful place to rest your weary bones," Josie Salazar said, as I eased my aching back and the rest of my middle-aged body into one of the eight simple, open-air pools at Montezuma Hot Springs. Josie and her husband, Ray, had brought their two preschool age children to these natural baths for a soothing weekday morning plunge.

"Be careful that your shirt and towel don't blow away while you're in the water," said Ray, a longtime user of the springs who is typical of their friendly clientele.

In another set of outdoor pools, twenty-something moms Brenda Westin and Lidia Romero were laughing and splashing with their respective children.

"It's a perfect day," Lidia correctly observed. …

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