After a spectacular three-hour drive heading up north from Santa Fe on Highway 84, we had finally made it. I had heard so much about this historic river town and its therapeutic hot springs. For months I had wanted to come here, take a break, soaking my tired bones in the mineral-rich healing waters.
So, my hubby and I were bathing in one of the 23 sulfur-rich pools overlooking the San Juan River, I reflected on the ancient native legend I read in the hotel’s information book. It said that these hot springs were discovered after Native American tribes pleaded to the gods for healing a devastating plague. Gathering along the riverbank, they prayed and danced around a ceremonial fire till exhaustion overcame them. The next morning they awoke to the sound of water bubbling from beneath the burned out coals. Seeing this as gods’ answer to their prayers, the afflicted bathed in the warm waters and suddenly their affliction was cured. They named the Great Spring “Pag-Osah,” healing waters, and ever since then Pagosa Springs has been a sacred place of healing.
Legend aside. The mineral-rich waters emerging from the Earth’s surface are a product of geological processes, where water has been pushing through superheated rock and magma over the past hundreds of millions of years.
I try to grasp nature’s power, watching fellow soakers enjoying the pools with temperatures ranging from 83 to 114 degrees Fahrenheit. For over a century now, the World’s deepest geothermal hot spring has drawn a diverse clientele from all over the globe to find relieve from arthritis, detoxify their bodies, strengthen their bones, or get reenergized for optimum health.
Sulfate, sodium, chloride, potassium, silica, magnesium, the list goes on. But for now that’s all I can remember, relaxing by the fire out on the terrace of The Springs Resort & Spa. The Big Dipper spanning across the night sky, I’m certain I will be back soon, soaking up eternity in this sacred place.