Fresh Start 3Josh and Liz walked up to the main building for breakfast. It was set up as a buffet, and Judy greeted them as they got in line.
"Did you sleep well?" she asked.
"It was almost too quiet," replied Liz.
An attractive woman with a long raven coloured ponytail started laughing. "Everyone says that when they first get up here."
Josh wondered if she was Native-American.
"Hi, I'm Tara, you must be Liz and Josh," she greeted. "I'm so happy to meet our new neighbours."
She was joined by a blonde haired, blue eyed woman. She had the brightest blue eyes that Josh had ever seen. Both women looked to be in their early thirties.
Tara introduced her as Cari. The fact that they were obviously partners didn't faze Josh all that much. Even though his parents were from a military background, they were also very open-minded. Besides, they seemed like two nice women, thought Josh; what should it matter if they were also in love?
Over breakfast Judy introduced Liz and Josh. There were too many people for him to keep straight, so he just focused on a few. There was Gregory, the head groundskeeper and maintenance man and his wife, Maria. She was in charge of the housekeeping staff.
Josh was pleased that everyone seemed so friendly. He found out that Gregory and Maria had three children and that they would be home schooled at the resort.
Gregory was a large muscular man. He had the look of a man who had worked with his hands his entire life.
"It may not seem like it right now, but winter can get nasty up here. I don't like the idea of my kids travelling on the roads for nearly an hour each way, every day," remarked Gregory.
"Besides, with the knowledge of the staff we have here, we're better off than most schools," added Tara.
It turned out that several of the staff had been teachers.
Josh began to think that it might not be so bad to spend his last few months of school here. Besides, as he wanted to be a writer, this place seemed to be a great place to people watch.
"Liz, do you and Josh need anything?" asked Maria.
"I think we just need to learn our way around right now," she replied.
"I'll be giving them the tour this morning, but I fully expect you all to show them your own special parts of the resort," interjected Judy.
"You want to try one of our mud baths?" asked Cari.
"I can't wait!" replied Liz.
"What about you, Josh?" asked Cari.
"You should try it, Josh. It really feels good," piped in Gregory. "I get one once a week."
Josh shrugged his shoulders. "Sure, why not?" He figured if the muscular man liked them, then what was the harm?
"Great. Why don't you come by this afternoon, say around three?" asked Cari.
"Oh, that reminds me. We're supposed to get a thunderstorm this afternoon. Please keep an eye on the skies; we do get flash-floods around here," warned Judy.
"Lightning can also be bad," added Gregory.
Over the next three hours, Judy showed off the resort to Liz and Josh. The whole area was landscaped with native plants. Judy had the resort designed in the shape of a wagon wheel. The main building and restaurant were at the centre. The different spas were off on their own paths, like spokes from the axle. There were also hiking trails into the hills snaking away from the centre. Judy explained that she eventually wanted to have a stable, but that was sometime in the future.
"Horses are so expensive to maintain. I'm hoping that one of the local ranches wants to provide the business, even on a part-time basis," she stated.
The mineral pools were located to the west of the main building. The mud baths were just to the north of them.
Just as Judy had described, there were several large copper kettles that looked over a field, in the distance a mesa rose up, giving whoever was having a mud bath a spectacular view. Cari was adjusting the thermostats of the units as they walked up.
"Aren't they something?" she asked as she looked up at them.
"They're gorgeous," remarked Liz. She then talked to Cari about the temperature settings. The mud was normally just slightly heated, but could also be kept at ambient temperature, depending on the preference of the guest.
"We have a max temperature for all the baths and saunas," stated Cari. "The last thing we want to do is boil someone."
"I know that I'll appreciate that," added Liz.
"Come on, Doc, don't you want some excitement?" quipped Cari.
"Just remember, the less we pay for insurance, the bigger the bonuses will be come the end of the year," interjected Judy.
Cari nodded and turned to Josh. "You still coming by at three, Josh?"
"Sure, that sounds good."