Saturday, January 28, 2017

Las Cruces, New Mexico

January 24 - 27, 2017
Las Cruces, New Mexico

Tuesday morning the sun barely beats us out of the park in Van Horn, Texas. It's a beautiful time of day - one I only need to see occasionally to appreciate :-)

The morning sun lights the hills.
Our goal is to get to our next stop in Las Cruces, New Mexico, before the high winds. Except for the last 30 miles it's not a bad drive. Heading due west we get strong cross winds, but much of Interstate 10 is north-west here which makes for better conditions.

Driving west at sunrise isn't bad until one (or ten) of those diamond plate trucks get in front of you - and reflect the blinding light in your eyes :-(
The skies are clear except for a single bank of solid cloud over El Paso. We can see it for miles, and it doesn't move as we approach, and then drive under it. Just a bit strange.....but we are approaching New Mexico :-)

And yes, the traffic is heavy through El Paso, but once we're past the construction on the west side we only have the winds to deal with the rest of the way.

When we get to the Coachlight Motel and RV Park in Las Cruces, the site next to John and Pam is open. Sooo great to see them again!

The park isn't a beauty, but the sites are level and everything works. Being close to town at a very reasonable rate is a bonus. A few of the seasonals are "eclectic", but it's quiet and we feel safe. Most nights they are completely full.

A quick set up and we all walk to the little diner attached to the motel. Although the Pit Stop looks as sad as the motel and park, the food is exceptional. 

Also in the park are Paul and Marsha who we have never met, but it doesn't take long over dinner later that evening to get to know this fun couple. There's just something about RV-people that all speak the same language :-) Farley's Pub has good food and good brew - the Milk Moustachio Stout (Tractor Brewing Company) is fabulous!! 

John, Jodee, Bill, Paul, Marsha, Pam
Wednesday morning we plan a trip to Hatch but see that Sparky's is only open Thursday through Sunday. Plans are meant to be changed so we'll do that on Thursday!

Instead we take John and Pam for the adventure that is Adobe Deli near Deming. The only thing more fun than going, is taking someone for the first time! Really, there's no place like it.

If you don't know what you're looking for you would just drive past. A 1950's school that looks entirely abandoned is home to one of the best restaurants in the area. After parking in the dirt "lot", making it past the loose dogs, through the chainlink gate where the OPEN sign is covered in dry branches, and around the corner you sort of see the sign over the sort of door. 

Almost there....
It doesn't get better once you're inside. Except that it's so unique, and the food is so good, and the wood burning cast iron stove is so warm......we all love it!  

My post from our last visit has more photos, there's a lot to see!


There are some pretty shady characters here.

Billy the Kid is a big deal in these "parts"

The Adobe Deli "trolley" is no longer doing whatever it used to do.
The "entrance area"

After our return to Las Cruces, Bill and I head to the little town of Mesilla. The Rio Grande River here is very not grande. It's a sweet historic district, but other than the pretty Catholic church and some restaurants there's not much here. 

Thursday is Hatch day! Famous for its chilies and Sparky's green chili cheeseburgers!!

First we follow John and Pam "just around the corner" to the little ghost town of Lake Valley

The BLM workamper on site shares the history of the place inside the old school house with our teacher companions, who then share it with us on the walking tour. It is absolutely the best way to see it!

Two buggies waiting for a few delinquents held after class.

Classes were held here until the 1950's
Looking forward to John's post on this guy's story!
This wonderful rock-topped hill overlooks the townsite.
Modern conveniences
While most structures are falling down, some details like this wallpaper and several ceramic door knobs remain.
The chrome headlights on this beauty are still shiny!
One of the last inhabited homes.

Not creepy at all....
All that's left of the hotel

The original school was the Conoco station in its last incarnation.
Learning about the main street that stood here before all burning down in 1895. A common theme in the ghost towns we've visited.
Although it's only 48 degrees with a light breeze, it's a bright and sunny day to enjoy this historic mining town. Sharing it with good friends is even better :-)

We all find our way back to Sparky's, and the very best green chili cheeseburgers. 

With pineapple cole slaw - so simple, so delicious!
A few characters keep watch from across the street.
We say good-bye for now to Tessa's buddies, and we spend a quiet last day in Las Cruces. Tessa can't get enough of Gramma Pamma, sticking close to her every time we're together - but I fail to get a single photo of them :-((. Good thing more opportunities aren't far away!

We love rocks and fossils so we check out the Zuhl Collection at the university. John's post about their visit has great information and photos. After they tell us about it we know it's a must-see!

One of several walls of a very large collection - all beautiful pieces.

Temnospondyl amphibians had four toes on their forelimbs and five on their hind limbs. Beautiful fossils.

Found in Arkansas, this large clear quartz crystal is 180 - 200 million years old

The collection includes several Ammonites. This Heteroceros is my favorite.

Large rose quartz sphere in front of petrified logs
Petrified sequoia 

Rhodochrosite from Argentina. My favorite color.

More pieces in the courtyard. I think this one looks like a long skirt :-)
Since the church was closed the other day, and I've heard it's beautiful, I go back to Mesilla to see if I can get in. Lucky me - it's open!

A small church, pretty in its simplicity.
Side windows

Balcony windows
We love New Mexico, but it's time to move on to Arizona where we have more people to see and places to visit. 


  1. Love the color of the woodwork in the church, Jodee! Loving both yours and John's posts on the area. 😀

    1. That wood ceiling is beautiful, it feels so natural. We all had a great time there!

  2. It's gorgeous there! The hands were creepy. Very cool though. The quartz look amazing, I can imagine all the energy stored in it. The rose quartz was beautiful!

    1. All the spheres are so powerful!! Yes, those hands were weeeeeird :-)

  3. What fun to meet up with John and Pam aka Gramma Pamma. Looks like you all had a great time. The ghost town is very interesting. It always amazes me that entire towns are emptied and left to fall down. Really like Bill's new beard. I was way surprised. What prompted him to cut it so short??

    1. A lot of the mining towns closed up when the mine dried up, or they didn't have the funds to dig deeper. This one was still inhabited into the 90's! He was growing it until his Cowboys went to the playoffs - which they finally did this year - I like it too!

  4. Paul and Marsha are fun people who are usually up for any type of adventure. I hope you get another chance to hang out with them somewhere down the road.

    1. We really enjoyed getting to know them - very fun!!

  5. Jodee, just so you know, I read and enjoy all your posts, but I don't like trying to comment from my phone. Lucky for me, I'm on my laptop now and can see the pictures much better! I really love this post. For a minute, I was wondering how they got that ammonite fossil in the same rock as someone's foot! I even spent time counting the toes until I realized it was just a smaller ammonite. (Not to worry, since we're not related by blood!) The church is gorgeous and so much of this post makes me homesick...even that weird little eatery. I can't help but feel a little envious, even though I try not to because that makes me feel a little ungrateful for my own situation, but guys must be having the times of your lives! So glad you're getting to do this and are keeping this blog. Remembering and living vicariously is good, too.

    1. Love that you're still traveling with us!! I thought they looked like toes too :-)))) We are indeed having a grand time. We are planning to be in your neighborhood the middle of July!

    2. Oh, I could show you some stuff...if I'm not retired and moved on by then. You seem to be able to find plenty to see and do on your own. Seems like I remember something about your sort of scouting out possible places to put down roots again. Is that still happening, or are you just going to be nomadic until you aren't anymore? I have friends who traveled for years in their coach and nowadays work at state parks here in Washington as camp hosts...sort of more permanent.

    3. Going til we don't at this point. Keep us posted on your plans!

  6. I'm with you when it comes to sunrises:) Your photos of the Zuhl Museum are wonderful!! Isn't that corkscrew thingy just the coolest!! You can tell which of us writes the blog by the lacking number of photos from the museum!! Glad you included so many gorgeous photos! I can't believe that I didn't get one photo of the you and Bill other than dinner with the six of us!! And how could I possibly forget my fluffy granddog!! Tessa and I need a photo op when we meet again!! We had such a great two days with the three of you:) So glad you joined us:)

    1. I took a ridiculous number of pics at that museum :-)))) I'm the worst at taking people pics - we'll have to remind each other next week! We're glad too - another really fun meet up!

  7. I loved your opening sentence.

    1. Thanks :-))) It is rare for the sun to beat us any where!

  8. I prefer the time of day of sunsets and they're equally colorful. What a great gathering of RV minds. Love your off the beaten path adventures, but the hands are creepy. Great bunch of rocks, as that area is well known for.

    1. I've always wanted to be a sunrise person, but it never stuck :-) We're excited to be back in the land of cool rocks!

  9. Oh, how fun to see you guys meeting up with Pam and John again! I'm sure there was plenty of hilarious conversation. :-)) Your photos of the treasures at the Zuhl Museum are wonderful—I want to stop there next time we're in the area. When we were in Hatch a few years ago the roofs were covered in bright red chili peppers drying in the sun. It was quite a wonderful sight!

    1. I can picture those roofs in my mind - must be spectacular to see! All the ristras are so beautiful too. We did indeed have a wonderful visit - you and Eric were spoken of fondly :-))))

  10. I loved the museum! The fingerprints were creepy! I'm so looking forward to meeting Pam for some hiking some time! Maybe we'll still be able to cross paths with you and Bill on our way through AZ to TX if it ever stops raining here!

    1. I can't believe you are still stuck! Maybe we will be close if you're going to see the family in Surprise. You and Pam will have a great time hiking when you finally get the chance :-))))

  11. That is one big green chili burger!!