Vanessa in Taos

Vanessa is a senior majoring in biology and anthropology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. During summer 2012, she is studying at SMU-in-Taos.

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Mud and more mud

Today was bittersweet. I went on my last field trip with my botany class to Ojo Caliente, or the Hot Springs, even though that’s not the correct translation. The spa was only about an hour from campus, and some other Taos students were able to join us for the trip.

I had shared the trip information with other students earlier this week, and several of them kept telling me that I would have such an amazing time. Although I wasn’t sure what exactly I would be doing, I knew that the highlight  of the trip would be to have a mud bath. One of my friends kept saying how gross I would feel when applying the mud, but how amazing my skin would feel after washing it off. There was only one way to find out.

We arrived at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa around 9 am. Just the physical appearance of the place was spectacular! The adobe building and the plants that shaped the landscape were amazing. There was a dirt path lined with granite stones that led to the entrance of the resort. I already felt myself relaxing. The resort workers were so hospitable right when we entered. They showed us to the locker rooms and gave detailed descriptions about all the activities that were offered. I definitely wanted to try the mud bath!

We first swam in the main pool at the very front of the spa, then went to the arsenic pool in the back. The water was very warm, but it felt amazing as well. My skin was already soft just from that pool alone! Then, it was time for the mud. It felt really weird dipping my hand in a large bowl of mud and just slapping it on myself, but that’s exactly what I did. It didn’t take long for the mud to dry as I laid out on along the rinsing pool in the area. Kimberley and Daniel were having a mud fight, and the other students were trying to push each other in the pool. Then it was my turn to dive in, and I realized that my friend was right … my skin was extra soft.

I think the best part of the resort was the sauna. Nice and toasty. The resort was just amazing all around, but it was not the best feeling in the world having to leave. All of us started thinking about finals and finishing up papers and other projects. I really will miss Taos and Dr. Ubelaker. This has been the best experience yet!

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