The name? In 1950, Ralph Edwards, the MC of the popular radio quiz show, announced that he would broadcast the 10th anniversary show from any town that changed its name to youknowwhat, and so Hot Springs, NM became T or C (as locals call it).
A vein of hot water flows under the town, and there are a bunch of spas. I arrived after dark and drove around sussing out the choices. I liked the looks of La Paloma. They had one room left. Bingo! $80 for rustic room and 24‑hour access to about a dozen different soaking rooms, ranging from 103 to 110 degrees.
After soaking a few times, I wandered out into the town and it turned out to be full moon, total eclipse night. Will my luck never cease?
I got a beer and sat on a bench on the deserted main street in the 28-degree night (in 2 down jackets, gloves, wool hat, scarf), and watched the moon slowly become smoky looking, then disappear. Went back to the spa and hung out with other guests around a courtyard fire.
Jumped in the springs again, and then again at 6:30 the next morning.