Monday, November 17, 2008

In Las Cruces

We decided to take a road trip. Thought it would be fun to go the back way into Mogollon from Magdalena. We took 52 to 169, and then had a bit of trouble. One part of the road was closed for construction, but a fellow using a gigantic backhoe to separate rocks from dirt (he was dumping the mixture onto an angled steel cage, so the dirt would fall through, and the rocks would roll down into a pile) told us we could go ahead. The most exciting part of the trip then ensued.

We had at one point to wait for a grader to smooth out a recently dumped truckload of dirt. That was the one time the Liberty had to go into 4wd, though there were plenty of other occasions that the clearance came in handy. As we were leaving the construction area, we noticed a fellow on a quad who was rather deliberately in the middle of the road. Perhaps his friend was the foreman, at any rate he asked us if we had any business there. Of course the answer was no, but I did mention that although I did not want to get anyone in trouble, we had been told that since we had 4wd we could go through. He said "That would be Jim" (IIRC) and then asked us not to come back that way since the road was closed.

There is a cute little hotel in Magdalena that we stopped at the first night, figuring that it would be a long way through Mogollon to Silver City. The High Country Lodge is rated #1 of 2 hotels in Magdalena, which is saying a lot. But when you are there you should definitely ask if Mike is around, because he has an amazing mineral collection in his room. Most of it came from the ridge above Magdalena, where he has partners with mining claims.

Spent the night in Silver City, then drove here, stopping in Rockhound State park south of Deming long enough to collect a few rocks of interest. If you are in that part of the state it is worth a visit, there was a great deal of Jasper and obsidian about, some of which seemed to have some other minerals mixed in. Lots of Geodes too, but we didn't find any, unless a couple of unlikely looking rocks are in fact full of crystal.

Just south of our hotel is old Mesilla, which used to be part of Mexico until the Gadsden purchase. It is not an old old town, it was founded after the Mexican-American war, because it was on the border at that time. There is some history there for all that, Billy the Kid was tried and sentenced to die there. Of course he escaped from Jail later, and was hunted down by Pat Garrett, but those things happened in another part of New Mexico.

Did some shopping today, there is a good knife store in town, and the Mesilla Valley Mall has a Western store that is running a sale. Shopping was definitely not what we had in mind for the trip, so that was a sort of a surprise.

Today we went to some of the agricultural towns further south of here, saw cotton fields (outrageous given the limited availability of water here) and pecan orchards. Took some pictures, will have one or two up later.


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