Thursday, November 3, 2011

Getting Caught in the TorC Vortex

The stories are legend. And none is the same. No one quite knows how it happens — maybe the car breaks down, or someone stops for the night. A friend calls, or they visit a spa, but somehow a person can set one foot in Truth or Consequences, and then the other. And then despite the best of intentions never leave. Or maybe they do leave but they seem always to come back.

It's called getting Sucked Into The TorC Vortex. Perhaps it's the mysterious the stone turtle on top of the mountain, perhaps it's that for thousands of years this has been a sacred and holy Indian meeting ground.  Or maybe it's the underwater hot water springs — 110 degrees of wetness just below the surface.

Or maybe it's because everybody here — well almost everybody — is just a little nuts.

Nobody knows why but people come and they stay and they can't get away even when they try.

We were sitting in the Black Cat Bookstore and Cafe just a week ago when Tess came in. Tess recently moved from Hawaii to Santa Fe and then from Santa Fe to here where she and her husband are building a health spa and retreat that will tap into the hot mineral water below.

"There is something really special about this place," she says while doing her morning yoga and gymnastics routines inside the bookstore. "Not like anyplace else. Even the moon looks different here."

Tess moved from Maui where she had a successful career in television, and in health and fitness. "I did all I could do there," she says, explaining that 40 she decided to come to the mainland.

When she speaks she still has that on look of awe and wonder about her for her new town and her dream of building a one-of-a-kind retreat.

Be careful Tess. You could be in danger of getting caught in the TorC Vortex from which there is no escape.

Tor C — Nothing To Do and All Day To Do It.

It is fall in New Mexico. It came quickly. One day it was 75 degrees, the next  50. The leaves are starting to turn and quickly blow away in stiff winds that sweep down from the mountains.

It is more established in the northern part of the state where the aspens yellow and quicken among dark pines. A friend from Santa Fe went up into the forests north of the city and sent back these remarkable images of fall in the northern part of the Land of Enchantment. Photos by Jude Byrne. Click to expand.

Click to expand.
Finally down south it was the season finale for this year's  Farmers' Market. The Turtleback Trio played. A chill wind blew off the Rio Grande. Few shoppers came and the vendors unloaded their goods at half price.

It's been a poor year for most vegetables, especially tomatoes. No one knows why. They grew late and small, some scarcely larger that golf balls. Same with apples and pears. Maybe the drought. And some pecan crops without irrgation failed entirely.

But the gourds and melons and pumpkins were fine — just in time for Hallowe'en.


  1. Again... beautiful pictures! The yellow!

    Well? you keep making TorC a must see/do!

  2. It's possible to escape the vortex, but it continues to suck. I'll be back when the Sonoran Desert gets too hot in the spring.