When I went to visit Spaceport America, (I posted about that visit here) the closest town to the site is a place called Truth or Consequences New Mexico. Located in the southwest of the state, it's a sleepy little town that the Interstate Highway system bypassed many years ago. I arrived mid-afternoon and since my tour of Spaceport was early the next morning, I checked in to the local Holiday Inn and decided to explore the town.
When I was a little kid, my family used to take "road trip" vacations and I recall traveling through this town with the funny name sometime before Interstate 25 breezed right by it. With the exception of some colorful paint jobs, the town looks much the same.
Back in the day when television was just starting to become a household fixture a man named Ralph Edwards had a TV game show called Truth or Consequences. In 1950, he made an on-air promise to air one of his TV shows from the first town to rename itself Truth or Consequences. The town of Hot Springs New Mexico took him up on the challenge. They renamed the town and Ralph Edwards upheld his part of the bargain. In fact, he aired his show from the town the first weekend of May for the next 50 years.
There really are hot springs in T or C (all New Mexicans refer to the town as T or C) and it's still a popular weekend escape for many residents of the state.
In fact, I was surprised to find a large lake and quite a lot of sailboats a little way out of town at a place called Elephant Butte Lake.
Just look at all those sailboats. Not a sight you expect to see in the desert southwest.
I decided to have dinner at a local restaurant rather than one of the well-known chain restaurants located near the interstate. I chose this colorful place called Latitude 33. (It looks like it's not open, but it was.) They served an interesting selection of Asian food.
The place was busy while I was there but, clearly I was the only stranger in the place. Everyone else was greeted by their name as they came through the door.
The town of Truth or Consequences may be just a blip on the map or a refueling spot for most people but, I enjoyed my short time there exploring the colorful, old-west atmosphere and bringing back a few childhood memories. It's slow-paced lifestyle was a perfect unwind after the long drive down from Santa Fe.