Tuesday, June 28, 2011


After three months of touring and visiting, we are back in Deming, NM again. The last leg of our journey took us south on I25 from TorC through the rest of the Rio Grande Valley to Hatch, then southwest on cr 26 to Deming. Along the way we saw bare fields and groves of trees,

green fields,

glimpses of the river,

and Hatch, the town of chili and giant statues.

We also saw a pink house,

the return of yuccas, (not pictured) a large dairy farm, hay fields, and a wind farm.

We arrived in Deming safe and sound and got settled in. For a week we did household chores and errands, and worked our first two days. On Sunday the 26th we went to the Wal-Mart and saw this interesting trike in the parking lot.

After that we decided to visit the "ghost town" of Shakespeare, outside Lordsburg. We looked forward to browsing through the buildings and watching the reenactments and demonstrations. Instead there were only two guided tours, at 9am and 2pm. We had arrived at 11am. We decided to tour Lordsburg instead. I was interested in it ever since I saw the movie Stagecoach. Unfortunately, there wasn't much to see. The items of interest to us were closed on Sunday. We decided to give it up and go home. Back on the highway, Duane suddenly sighted a bunch of horses at the fairgrounds. We decided to check it out. We found the Hidalgo County Youth Rodeo in progress. We got a seat in the bleachers and watched the 0-5 age group pole bending. In this event the horses are ridden into the arena, guided in a figure 8 through the poles, then out of the arena. Fastest time wins. We were amazed by these little ones! This little guy walked the whole way, but the others trotted or loped. They were so cute and fearless!

We watched the rest of this event before we had enough dust and heat. Time for home.

Monday (yesterday) was our 19th wedding anniversary. We celebrated by going to the movies. Cars 2 was our pick. Very fun. Then we headed to the Adobe Deli for some good steak and ribs. Other than that we have been very quiet, trying to stay cool in the 100+ heat.

Stay tuned. You never know when we will do something interesting again.

Louise and Duane

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Being Sunday drivers, we took road 52, the northern leg of the Geronimo Trail National Scenic Byway to check out some of the little towns along the way. First up was Cuchillo, named for nearby Cuchillo Negro (Black Knife) Creek which was named for a local Apache chief. Settled in the 1850's by Hispanic farmers and ranchers, it became a stop for the stagecoach and a resting place for travelers. It was located midway beteen the railroad in Engle and the mines near Chloride and Winston. It wasn't a mining town, so it has a church!

The rest of the town isn't so neat. Click on the pic below to view the town "law". The policeman is a manekin head wired to the headrest!

I mentioned dramatic scenery. We drove up 2000 ft to nearly 6000. It was nice and cool up there. We were also in some of the curviest, roller-coaster roads we have ever been on--and in open range!

These weren't the first cattle to make us wait.

We had not seen a double hairpin curve before!

The Haves and Have-nots. Not all these cattle are in the fence.

We also drove through Winston. This town sprang up when a group of families in Chloride rebelled against the sinful ways of that town and created their own town--with a church. At its height the town had a population of about 1500. Its pretty dilapidated now. The nicest building is the one on the left--the original General Store, now the modern general store. We stopped here on our way home for cold drinks and a restroom break. The restrooms are actually bathrooms with showers!

Our goal on this trip was Chloride, founded in 1879 when silver chloride ore was discovered. At its height it was home to 3000 residents. Originally a tent city, by 1881 it had 8 saloons, 3 mercantile stores, 2 butcher shops, a hotel, boarding huses, an assay office, livery stables, a candy store, drug store, law office, a Chinese laundry, and a millinery store.

Interesting concept.

Past and present meet.

Chloride declined in the mid 1890's when the U.S. goverrnment selected gold as the monetary standard, dropping the price of silver so low it wasn't worth hauling out. In 1923 the owners of the Pioneer Store locked the doors and walked away. Only bats and rats occupied the place until the late 1990's when it was bought and restored over several years. All the tools below were displayed on shelves. The owners decided they could be better seen if displayed on the walls. Otherwise the merchandise was cleaned and replaced as it was.

Original clothing display.

Shelves of canned goods and tonics. Brands used then include Maxwell House and Folgers coffee, Quaker Quick Oats, Calumet Baking Soda, Del Monte tomatoes, and of course, Prince Albert in a can.

Several residents at the time were children of the miners. Two of these were especially helpful to the new owners. In their honer space was given in the museum. One of these was Cassie Hobbs, who made almost everything for her house and herself by hand. Below is her hand crocheted sun hat.

She made dolls, painted, made designed and made her clothes, and assembled and carved her home furniture. Her husband Earl, a cowboy, was away from home most of the time, so Cassie took care to make herself comfortable.

Crocheted shoes. Behind and to the left are crocheted boots (from cotton thread usually used to make collars, cuffs, and doilies) which Cassie was making when she died.

Original store as it looked when it was in business.

To the left is the Monte Cristo, originally one of the saloons. With 42 school age children in town, it was rented for a school. Undaunted, the owner opened up a new saloon across the street. In its heyday, Chloride was as unruly a mining town as any. Where the silver flowed, so did the whiskey and of course the people who made the money were the people with something to sell. Chloride still has a few residents, as to all the little towns on the Byway, but mostly the towns are slowly being reclaimed by the desert.

The Monte Cristo today houses work from local artists--paintings, photographs, handmade items of all kinds.

Once the bank was built, there was no money to put in it, so it became.......a saloon!

Hangin' tree. No one was hanged here, but unruly people were tied to it until they sobered up. It still markes the middle of town.

Cassie and Earl's place, also Cassie's workshop or "doodle dum" as she called it, are made of native stone. Both are registered historical places.

Backtracking on the road, we entered Winston and happened to capture these two trikes for our biker friends.

Serendipity sent these two pronghorns for our viewing pleasure.

Outside Cuchillo we found these well tended fields.

Most of the towns look like this--dilapidated and overgrown and looking like only ghosts live there. Note the "law" in the lower left corner.

We have enjoyed our stay in this area, despite daytime temps in the upper nineties and winds every afternoon until dark. The winds today are gusting up to 70mph, but we don't mind. They just help cool things off. Tomorrow we intend to end up in Deming, so our blogging will be more sporadic. Stay tuned, though. We just might sneak off to someplace unexpected!

Until more comes along,

Louise and Duane


Leaving Sky City campground on Friday morning, we continued east on I40 thruogh the Laguna Indian Reservation. We passed the usual continually changing high desert terraine until we got to Albuquerque and turned south on I 25. Then we began seeing this--a line of green along the east side of the road, and

hilly desert on the west. We had entered the Rio Grand Valley of New Mexico.

We decided that this is the ugliest rest area we had encountered in our travels. It turned out to be the best. The large buildings in the middle(there's one behind it on the upper deck also) are restrooms--welcomingly cool after the desert heat. The other "rooms" are picnic areas. The ones on the upper deck offer desert views as well as cooling breezes. Not hungry at the time of our visit, we declined the siren call and continued our journey.

Arriving in Truth or Consequences--T'r C--as the locals call it, we cut off on 187 for two miles further south to Williamsburg and the Desert Haven no-kill animal rescue. The spots here are usually filled by work campers, but we got an empty spot. We got full hookup 50 amp for $14 a night. All proceeds fund the animal rescue. After we set up we cruised through TRC looking the town over and arriving at the Wal-Mart at the north end for a few groceries.

Saturday we went to the Geronimo Springs Visitors Center for information and then next door (to the left) to the Geronimo Springs Museum. This place is a wonderful collection of 14 rooms of local history and artifacts. Duane looked over the blacksmithing tools and the very small collection of wood carving art. I admired the handmade quilts, the clothing, and the paintings depicting area historical events.

To the left of the museum is the original hot spring, which is located under this park. The water is pumped up to the top of the two fountain structures on either side of the walkway,

then down the troughs on either side of the park before going back to the spring under the little footbridge where I am standing above.

The onfoboard below offers a little history about the place.

At the museum we asked about places for a good lunch. Four were offered. One Italian place, one Mexican place, the Happy Belly Deli, and BBQ on Broadway. Denied our ribs in Holbrook, guess where we went. We each got a brisket sandwich--Duanes was sliced, mine was chunked. Both were good. Satisfied and full, we walked the other way around the block checking out the stores. For a recession, TRC doesn't have many closed businesses! The town seems to be holding its own. For tourists it offers the Geronimo Museum and the Veterans Memorial Park & Hamilton Military Museum. It lies amid the Geronimo Trail National Scenic Byway from which you can see dramatic scenery and visit several historic mining towns, and is home to 11 different hot springs. These mineral springs run at 110 df and don't smell like sulfer. All are privately owned by lodges and motels, but one offers solace for visitors not staying at the resort. Nearby (10 miles) is Elephant Butte Lake State Park. We got a 15 minute pass to cruise the park. It was a busy weekend. The campgrounds had just a few spots left and the beach was packed.

People were on boats and on the beach, but not many ventured in. The water temperature was 67df!

These pix were taken from atop the dam. Note the high water mark on Elephant Butte Island.

The Rio Grande supplying electricity.

Time to go home. This is our little campground. From the road are: work camper, work camper, us, the mobile home of the manager. The rescue animals are housed behind the manager's house. On this side between the manager's house and the road runs a little animal cemetery for the unfortunate animals.

Tomorrow, more exploring with

Louise and Duane