Sunday, November 20, 2011

2 rides in one weekend

On Saturday I went on my first "poker run". For those readers that don't know what a poker run is, it is often run for some charitable cause. This ride was ran to help the family of a little girl that was born with a cleft palet to pay doctor bills. You ride your bike to different destinations drawing a card from a deck at each stop. At the end of the ride the person with the best poker hand wins a prize of some kind. This ride covered a little over 100 miles. I ended up with 2 pair but didn't win. There were about 30 bikes on the run.

First stop of the run

Second stop

On Sunday I rode in a "toys for tots" ride. This type of ride is done to collect toys to be given to families that can't afford to buy presents for their children at Christmas. This ride was held in Las Cruces, NM. We left the mall parking lot and was escorted by the police through town to a convention center where you turned in the toy you brought. You had to pay a fee and have a new toy that cost at least $7.00. The fee, $10.00, goes to several local agentcies that help children of the poor.

Half car half bike

Some of the crowd

Bikes arriving

This is a gold plated Yamaha

Bikes leaving the lot

The pile of presents collected

They said that there was over 1200 bikes in the ride. After we reach the center, we were treated to a bbq lunch. There was a band playing, a bike show and some vendors. There were door prizes donated by local dealers, (I didn't win anything0, free drinks. Maybe I can win something at the next ride I take part in.

All in all I had a great time at both events. Todays rides covered about 130 miles, most of it getting there and home again. I wish Louise could have gone along but she had to work yesterday and chose not to go today because of the long ride to get there and it was pretty dang cold riding on the way there. I'm looking forward my next ride.

Till next time

Duane and Louise

Saturday, November 05, 2011


Its been said that third time's a charm and yesterday was ours. We finally found the ghost town of Lake Valley open and had time for a nice walking tour.

Lake Valley was a typical silver mining town. Silver was first found there in 1878 but the big boom started in 1882 with the discovery of the Bridal Chamber just 40 ft beneath the surface. A single piece of silver from this mine was displayed at the World Exposition held in Denver in 1882. It was valued at $7000 at a time when silver was selling for abut $1 an ounce. In 1884 the railroad was extended to Lake Valley. At the height of its prosperity, the town boasted 4000 inhabitants, a school, several churches, stores, banks and other businesses, most of which were brothels and saloons. Prosperity took a down turn in 1893 when Pres. Grover Cleveland replaced silver as the monetary standard in favor of gold. Silver prices plunged overnight. In 1895 most of Main Street was burned. A few settlers who had put down roots stayed into the 20th century. In the 20's and again in the 50's the area was mined for manganese ore. The last resident died in 1994. The BLM has since instituted a program to protect the area.

The walking tour begins and ends at the (second) schoolhouse. One end is a restored school and the other a nice museum. A well-informed on site docent welcomed us, gave us a lot of information and showed us around the museum.

As is typical of people leaving an area there was a lot of detritus, including this old washer

a '36 Plymouth (not going anywhere with the engine on the outside) and lots of glass and tin cans.

Originally a home, this c. 1920's building was last used as an Episcopalian chape.

Railroad Ave. was the longest street in town. It was entered by two dead end streets called Main and Keil.

Remains of the (railroad) coal sorter on Railroad St.

Adit and tailings of the manganese mine. Notice the little cabin on the far right. The big silver mine is behing the hill behind the cabin. The big mountains are across the street. No silver was found there.

The manganese mine is on unstable property and so was fenced off. I guess they really mean it!

Old railroad depot

Residence of Mrs. Blanch Nowlin. Her husband was the railroad superintendent for Lake Valley. She became a local dealer for Continental Oil Company (Conoco). She lived in this house until her death in 1982.

In her later years, her only neighbors were Pedro and Savina Martinez. They resided next door in the old Bella Hotel until August of 1994. Mr. Martinez arrived in Lake Valley sometine in 1904, as a child of two. He remained there for some 90 years and provided a wealth of information about the history of the town (to the BLM).

This is a railroad coal storage building. Note the remains of the coal sorter on the left.

Home and office of Dr. W. G. Beals. Later the Martinez family lived here for many years.

Another view of Beals office.

View of Main Street. Most of the businesses here were burned in the fire. The business row was never rebuilt.

To our friend Marsha, they didn't have the blacksmith shop idenified so I couldn't get a picture of it, sorry.

We were thinking of postponing our trip here until next week but decided to go on Friday. Good thing! The weather turned from sunny with a cool breeze to overcast with a cold wind by the time we were done touring. Today is worse! We really enjoyed our tour, though and recommend it to others.

Nuff for now,

Louise and Duane

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Local movie set.

We had heard that there was a movie set here in Deming, so today we went in search of it. I went to the visitors center to see what they knew about it. The lady there made a phone call to the man that owns the place. She gave me his number, I made a call and off we went. Wallace and Wanda, our managers, went with us to check it out. The man in the first pic is the owner who interduces himself as "Duke". He ask that you call ahead, I guess so he get into character. He built the town to give the movie studios a place in southern NM to shoot. He says that he was a stunt man in his early years and had worked with " The Duke" and Clint Eastwood. We were there for an hour and he never quit talking about all the films he was in and all the people he knows. I am not what sure what was true and what was not, but it all was interesting. He told us that the fim company that is getting ready to film a new "Lone Ranger" in NM has contacted him to use the set for the movie. In the movie Johnny Depp is going to play Tonto.

The town is pretty cool with a mix of old and not so old. We have been on several movie sites in our travels and most of them have walls that move in make rooms bigger. This one is all fixed walls so I'm not sure if the insides of the buildings would be used without remodeling. In conversation with Duke, he talked about the films here using the street for shots but never mentioned them using the inside of the buildings.

All in all we had a good time and enjoyed our visit to the site. We will wait to see if the "Lone Ranger" decides to use the streets for the new movie.

blacksmith shop

Main Street

Till next time

Duane and Louise