October 8-22, 2016
Viva Las Vegas! New Mexico that is. No Country for Old Men was filmed here. Scary. The Walmart parking lot makes a great hit and run overnight. No need to linger – pretty tough, time-trodden town. My main destination was Carlsbad and the National Park. Rolled in midday on Sunday just in time to watch the Broncos get spanked by Atlanta (after spending 1 hr on the phone with the idiots at Direct TV who don’t understand mobile satellite reception). Problem solved by the “supervisor”.
You only come to Carlsbad for the caverns. The town is a dump with lights. Strip City with horrible restaurants (La Juanita & Junior’s for Mexican weren’t too awful). Spent a full day at the Park. I’ve seen a number of caves and caverns but these are special. HUGE rooms with cool, lighted formations. Over 750′ under the surface so a long twisty downhill walk from the natural entrance. At 6:30 pm, hundreds of thousands of Mexican bats screamed out of the hole. Talk about illegal immigrants! Person next to me got hit by poop (aka guano). Some pics:
Next stop… Silver City, NM, an old AWE! stompin’ ground for Ricky, Marion and me. Coolest RV park yet- Rose Valley on Memory Lane. I had a lovely graveyard view (where Billy the Kid’s mom is buried). First thing I did pulling in was clip a juniper tree and take out my side patio latch! The juniper didn’t fair very well. No fear, found a good welder in town who fixed it good as new. Hard to maneuver this beast! Highlights were a hike up the historic Catwalk near Glenwood, a trip to the ghost town of Mogollon and a visit with an old outfitter – Leah Jones. Leah, retired now, is the best Dutch Oven brisket cook alive today (she has ribbons to prove it). Fun reminiscing about pack trips with her and Harley Paul (cool cowboy name). A few pics:
After a stop at the local welder, I’m off to my most anticipated RV campground yet – Rusty’s RV Ranch in Rodeo, NM. It was better than advertised. Had a site at the extreme southwestern edge far away from everyone else. Nothing between me and the eastern slope of the Chiricahua Mountains. Coyotes serenaded me at night and the Border Patrol checked my nationality every time I went into town. Down the road was where Geronimo surrendered in 1886 – thus ending the era of Indian wars. Another epic day of adventure when I drove across the AZ border to Portal (cool town), up and over the mountains and into Chiricahua National Monument (Wonderland of Rocks). Hiked the Echo Canyon trail amidst towering pillars of rocks. A real fantasyland of hoodoos and spires. Drove a dirt road back over Apache Pass and Fort Bowie site of many battles and Butterfield Stage attacks by Cochise and his warriors. I’m reliving my cowboys and Indians childhood! Here are some iPhone pics. Next journey into the past…. Tombstone, Boot Hill, Wyatt Earp & Doc Holliday! Post to come!!