What on earth do they have in common?
Well, for one thing they can both be found in Santa Rosa, a small New Mexico town that lies between Albuquerque and Tucumcari, situated on the Pecos River at the intersection of Interstate 40, U.S. Route 54, and U.S. Route 84.
Santa Rosa’s Blue Hole is a geological phenomenon. A blue hole is a submarine cave or underwater sinkhole, sometimes referred to as “vertical caves.”
Bell-shaped, around 80 ft. deep, with incredible clarity and a water temperature that is constantly at a lukewarm 64 degrees, the Blue Hole has counterintuitively helped land-locked Santa Rosa to become a world-renowned scuba-diving mecca.
It also continues to lure curious road trippers now just as it did in the heyday of travelling Route 66. Once a fishing hatchery, it is now home to hundreds of thriving goldfish!
Around 80 feet below there’s a metal grate to keeps divers from going any farther into the maze of caves that sits below it – in 1976, two students died while exploring “the unknown”. In 2013, the grate opened to a special team of divers from the ADM Exploration Foundation to explore what lies beyond.
Their initial probing was thwarted by debris and very tight passages but the excavation continues. It’s still unclear how far back the caves go.Since Santa Rosa, New Mexico is at an elevation of 4,616 ft, it is necessary for divers to use high-altitude dive tables to compute the dive profile and decompression stops when diving in the Blue Hole. No matter how stringent the requirements, the Blue Hole claims lives: In March 26, 2016, 43-year-old California diver Shane Thompson, a Navy veteran from the ADM Exploration Foundation, was exploring passageways where he became trapped and drowned.
Santa Rosa’s Blue Hole secrets remain a mystery but you can still dive the Blue Hole year-round and a couple of the most popular times to dive are at night when divers say you can lie on the bottom and gaze up at the moon and stars, and in the wintertime when snowflakes fall magically onto the surface before melting into the warm water.
Like many natural pools of its kind, the Santa Rosa Blue Hole is a small body of water that fills the surprisingly deep hole with shockingly clear water. For travellers, the swimming hole remains a popular oasis in the sprawling desert.
The blue hole is a public swimming park with free admission. Located right off the interstate, the pool is open for public use with no lifeguards on duty.
Divers from around the region flock to Blue Hole for both fun and certification. There is a dive center is located next to the Blue Hole, and is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. until the last diver is served. The shop rents gear, tanks and offers air fills, but does not provide instruction. For More Info: Contact the Santa Rosa Visitor Center at (575) 472-3763.
For more information, please visit the Blue Hole website linked below this post.
While in Santa Rosa, you won’t want to miss the Route 66 Auto Museum. For some serious retro road-tripping icons you have to stop here!
There are over 30 classic vintage cars on display, all of which are in pristine condition, and incredibly well maintained, kitted out with colourful bodywork and glistening chrome – they’d give any lowrider a run for its money.
The car buffs among you should be appraised that they also sell a small selection of their vehicles – imagine motoring along Route 66 in one of these beauties.
Do visit their Facebook page for more information.
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