A change of State

21 Mar

 

It was time to cross the border from Arizona into New Mexico, it is always exciting, wondering what a new area is going to be like, it also surprises us that you really canP1100859 see a change. Sometimes it is just the state of the roads which highlight it but today it was definitely a change of surroundings. From flat dessert valley’s we rose into mountain terrain along the winding 78 road. As we rose higher in the hills we could see in the far distance even higher ground with snow caps. The scar on the landscape was the huge mine area around Clifton, another copper mine we presumed, it covered a vast area of land.

P1100871As we dropped down the other side of the mountains the landscape was more undulating, in many of the ‘bottoms’ shallow washes flowed across the road from the recent rains, the surrounding countryside however was still parched and brown, fire hazard warnings set to moderate.

While in Bisbee a couple of people had recommended Silver City to us, we thought this would make a good destination and chose Rose Valley RV for our overnight stop. The local Tourist Information Centre car park made a good parking place for us to take a wander around the old part of town. P1100874 This is really old Wild West Territory and the stomping ground of Billy the kid. Rose Valley RV is situated on Memory Lane, at the end of the lane is a cemetery where, amongst others lies the Mother of Billy the Kid who died when he was 14.

Unlike Bisbee we did not find a great deal to keep us any length of time in Silver City, a great deal of the commercial property was run down and empty, such a shame as we have experienced how a town can thrive with tourism as its front.

Wednesday and on the road again, the weeks do fly by, we had to fill up with fuel before we left Silver City, the gas prices are rising almost as fast as the £ – $ is changing and we now are paying around $2.70 per gallon with forecasts that it will rise still further. haRVey drinks around a gallon per 8 miles very bad for our carbon footprint and our pockets!

Near Deming in the South West corner of New Mexico we  found Rockhound State Park. With only 26 camp sites we were unsure if we would get a place for the night but when we were met by the camp host (Charlie) on his John Deer cart, he assured us he had a spot to put us in. The volunteer had left that morning and we were allotted their vacant site, right at the edge of theP1100882 campground with great views out over the surrounding flat valley and to the mountains far beyond, what a lovely spot, especially with a glass of red and a sunset!

Complete quiet and peace seemed to surround this State Park despite it being full, rockhounders are obviously too engrossed in there rocks and minerals. We walked the trails and enjoyed pretending to understand some of the rocks we saw, P1100893 gathering some we were attracted to for our collection. You are allowed to gather 15lbs of rocks and take away with you, we just had a few ounces but were happy.

The view from the trail looked down over the campground and far out to P1100877Deming. In the far distance we could see the ridge of the Continental divide around 7,000 ft high. With water and electricity provided on site the $14 nightly fee we felt was a bargain and hope that this will be the standard of State Parks in New Mexico. If it is we will be using them regularly.

A winter storm warning was issued for the week end and we felt it would be an idea to take a little shelter as far south as we could. Las Cruces and Mesilla looked interesting, a campground with wi-fi and a laundry would be useful for the weekly catch up, we were pleased with our choice but the $46 fee seemed extremely excessive in comparison to where we had just been.

A walk into Mesilla on Saturday morning was chilly but interesting, this is the town where Billy the Kid was tried for murder and imprisoned awaiting the P1100907death sentence, but broke out of jail. The building now houses a gift store.

The church dominates one side of the square where many of the old buildings haveP1100902 a colourful past but have been preserved well. We had a look around one gift store just to look at the building which is the oldest brick structure in New Mexico I believe we have seen far more modern buildings in worse condition.

P1100903

We had done the right thing in coming down here though, while we experienced very high winds and a chilly night not too far north cars and trucks had been stranded in snow and very wet and windy conditions. Today is the first day of Spring!!!

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One Response to “A change of State”

  1. soos March 23, 2010 at 2:45 am #

    We enjoyed Rock Hound State Park as well- wish we had stayed in the campground there.

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