This trip provided a few more firsts for me. A brief layover in Phoenix was the first of the firsts. I’ve never been to the Phoenix Airport before, or Phoenix for that matter. I got off the flight and had to board another plane in just over an hour. My gate happened to be right next to the gate I just stepped off of. Score!
While I was waiting to board, there was some excitement in Security. Apparently, an issue with someone’s laptop. Luckily, this didn’t affect me in the slightest. However, once I was comfortably seated on the plane the terminal we were parked at was suddenly evacuated. Evacuation and airport are typically words you don’t want used in the same sentence, and by typically I mean never. I was prepared for a reenactment of Die Hard 2. But in the end, the plane sat in its parking spot for over an hour until whatever had caused the excitement was deemed not so exciting and we could finally take off.
My final destination was Ruidoso, New Mexico. As a young boy I visited New Mexico but barely recall much of it. I landed in Albuquerque and was quickly bombarded with the southwest. It came in the form of not just architecture and design, but every gift shop in the airport seemed to highlight some form or fashion of the southwestern culture. Which, from what I gathered, consisted mainly of bundles of dried red peppers hanging everywhere.
Ruidoso is about a 3 hour drive outside of Albuquerque and nestled in the Sierra Blanca mountain range. Scott of “Floatation Station” provided wonderful company for the drive and I was amazed at the beauty of the landscape. Luckily, it had been unseasonably warm and the majority of the leaves still clung to the trees. It was a feast for the eyes with all the yellows, oranges, and reds. Scott and his Wife, Becky, own the center I was headed towards and were incredibly kind and gracious hosts during my visit. Becky is a massage therapist and will also be offering massages at their center. Floating and massage compliment each other quite nicely and I highly recommend incorporating them both into your life on a regular basis.
As usual, the installation of the Dreampods went smoothly, and before I knew it they were up and running. A funny thing happened one morning while I was applying the finishing touches to the tanks: the Fire Marshall for Ruidoso came in to do an inspection on the business. After he spoke with Scott concerning minor things that needed to be added, he left. He returned later that afternoon for the final inspection, except this time, he brought back 4 more firefighters with him. They were anxious to see the pods and I answered all their questions regarding the benefits of floating. If there’s anyone who should be floating it’s firefighters. For that matter, Police Officers, paramedics, teachers….the list goes on. It was a nice opportunity to speak about floating, show off the Dreampods, and hopefully convince some people to give it a shot.
Two Dreampods were installed and running beautifully in record time. This left me plenty of free time to explore the beautiful town of Ruidoso. Quaint little shops lined the main strip of downtown, and I enjoyed strolling and window shopping in the brisk fall air. Everyone was incredibly kind and polite, so it didn’t take long for me to realize this community was an ideal place for a float center. It’s definitely a tourist destination and attracts people from all over the southwestern United States. There’s skiing in the winter and a reprise from the heat in the summer. I have no doubt Scott and Becky will do well, and now Ruidoso is on my list of future vacation spots.
I forgot to mention, Ruidoso means “Noisy Water”. The area’s original inhabitants, the Mescalero Apaches, believe the Sierra Blanca Peak is home to their protectors and it’s referred to as the Mountain of the Gods. There is a river that runs through town, hence Noisy Water. The only time the water in the Dreampods is noisy is when it’s being filtered and the pump is running. Sensory deprivation tanks are designed to do away with all outside noise and the Dreampod is no different. So to you out there who may be reading this, go crawl inside a tank. Whether it’s the Dreampods in Ruidoso or some other tank somewhere in the world, go float. Do away with the noise of life and lay back in the salty water, even if it’s only for an hour. You’ll be better for it.