Letters From a Bus
December 2007: Holiday Travels
3rd entry for December
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Deming Property Owners

Deming, NM, Day Four at Dream Catcher RV Park, Site: 45

Sunday, December 16, 2007 — Seven Months

On Wednesday, December 12th we decided to move the short distance west from Las Cruces to Deming, NM.  We left on a sunny 49 degree mid-morning and it only took an hour on I-10 to reach exit 85 on the east side of Deming. 

We went instantly from big town to little town.  In an hour of freeway driving there are no suburbs or a slow change from a large town to a small town.  The land between Las Cruces and Deming is empty.  We emerged from the desert and landed in Deming, population 15,000+.  It seemed odd and made us laugh.

We know something of Deming.  We’ve been paying taxes to Luna County for 25 years.  We started out at six bucks a year.  Taxes were $11 for years and now I think they are up to $22.  It started when we went to a Dave del Dotto real estate seminar in the early eighties.  It was the time of the foreclosure gurus who claimed we could make a fortune on no down payment property investments.  Well, we never made a fortune because we never bought foreclosure property.  All we ever bought was a half-acre corner lot in a place we’d never heard of — Deming.  And that happened because Dave auctioned off 1/2 acre Deming Ranchette lots during his seminar and Dennis raised his hand.  $500 later we were property owners in New Mexico.

We always meant to visit Deming some day — but we never did.  Every once in awhile over the years I’ve gotten on the Internet and looked at photos of similar properties and checked property values.  Today our “investment” is worth less than $1,000 — but it never seemed like a big deal.  It was our personal curiousity.  You know those evacuation routes they post in big metropolitan areas?  Then what?  Where are you supposed to go after the big disaster?  Dennis and I joked, "We can go to Deming."

Deming is a thriving little town.  It’s very popular with the RVers and snowbirds.  There are over 800 RV slots available around town.  And we weren’t the only fools who bought a lot.  Maybe Dave del Dotto helped to put Deming on the map.  http://www.cityofdeming.org/

Pulling out of Sunny Acres in Las Cruces on our way to Deming, NM. 12/12/07

Deming, New Mexico

“Deming, New Mexico is located in a secluded corner of the Southwest between El Paso, Texas and Tucson, Arizona and about 33 miles from the border of Mexico. This area was farmed by the Mimbres Indians 2,000 years ago and the first United States settlers came about 200 years ago. Today people come for the lifestyle and the climate as well as economic opportunities. Like most of rural New Mexico it has an abundance of affordable land and housing, beautiful natural surroundings, moderate climates and safe streets. Deming is also known for having abundant and pure well water. Deming's population is 14,116 (Census 2000.) New Mexico is in the top ten states for population growth and Deming is among the fastest in the state, only Rio Rancho and Las Cruces are growing faster.http://deming-ranchettes.info/

"The history of the area dates back nearly 1,000 years ago, when the Mimbres Indians, the first people known to inhabit the area, lived in villages along the Mimbres River and farmed the area. Primitive though they were in other respects, the pictures of daily life they painted inside their pottery reflect their gifted creativity and unsurpassed skill in reproducing likeness of animals and birds. Known throughout the world, some beautiful samples of the magnificent Mimbres Pottery are on display in the Deming Luna Mimbres Museum.

It was about 1800 that the Americans entered Southwest New Mexico. Deming's first years were hard ones, with the usual problems of a small Western town. It had such a bad reputation that some outlaws rounded up in Arizona were given one way tickets to Deming. Back in 1850 it was a Butterfield Stage Trail stop.

Deming is the county seat of Luna County and was founded in November, 1881. Named for Mary Deming Crocker, wife of a railroad magnate of the Southern Pacific Railway system the town was the result of railroad expansion to the West. The Southern Pacific, building toward the Pacific coast, reached this point in late 1881, and made preperations for the construction of a round house and repair shops. This activity furnished the incentive for the erection of a city of tents and shanties. Six months later, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe completed its junction with the Southern Pacific at Deming, thus assuring Deming a prominence in the Southern part of New Mexico.

Attractions in and near Deming include: Luna County Courthouse, Deming-Luna Mimbres Museum, Old Custom House, Marshall Memorial Library, Shakespeare Ghost Town, Rockhound State Park, Columbus, Along the Border, Gila Cliff Dwellings, The Catwalk, Spring Canyon, and Elephant Butte." http://www.cityofdeming.org/sights.html

En route on I-10 heading west toward Deming, NM. 12/12/07
Left: We went to the Deming Courthouse to find out where our Deming Ranchette lot is located. Above: We head east on SR-549 to find Deming Ranchette Unit 36. 12/12/07

We went over to the courthouse right after a late Huevo Ranchero breakfast at Si Senor’s.    As I suspected our quest was not unusual and we were immediately directed to a woman who looked up our lot number and location.  She gave us a map with the road names in the subdivision and told us how to get there. 

Although the afternoon was getting late, we couldn’t resist.  Following a rural road that parallels I-10, we drove east of Deming for over eight miles.  A two-lane highway (Hwy-549) yielded at a north T-junction to a two-lane road (Hwy-377) that took a bend and continued east.  That became a dirt and gravel road (El Dorado) and that petered out into a one-lane farmer’s dirt road.  There was nothing on any side but desert chaparral.  Ahead we could see a windmill and as we approached we could see cattle gathered around a watering hole.  There were no fences.  We were on open rangeland in the middle of the Deming Ranchettes.  But where was the corner of Hopi and El Mar?  There were no road signs.

We guesstimated that our portion of land was more northward towards I-10 so we went back to a gravel crossroads and turned north on Lewis Flat Rd.  This well maintained road took a sharp bend on Maricopa and brought us to, of all things, an RV park.  Other than the windmill and the I-10 freeway, it was the only sign of civilization on all horizons visible in the entire area.  As there were no clear markers in this non-existent development we decided to stop and visit with the folks at El Rancho Lobo and see if they knew anything about the location of Deming Ranchette Unit 36, Block 6, Tract 23.

To learn more about Deming Ranchettes or to see a map of our lot, click on these links:
Deming Plat Index:  http://deming-ranchettes.info/Deming%20Plat%20Index.htm
Deming Ranchettes Unit #36 http://deming-ranchettes.info/Deming%20Ranchettes%20Unit%2036.htm

SR-377 became El Dorado, a dirt road which ended at a cattle watering hole — maybe around Lalo Rd. This Deming Ranchette Unit 36 is open range for cattle.

We turned around and then tried to drive north on a dirt path that might be El Mar up to a cross street that might be Maricopa.

To the west we spotted trees and RVs. We saw some signs and figured this must be El Rancho Lobo RV Park. We decided to drive over to see what they might know.

There were welcoming signs on the El Rancho Lobo gate so I got out of the Honda and rolled the gate back for Dennis to pull through and then rolled it forward into place to prevent free range cattle from wandering onto the premises.  RVs were casually parked in an open area dry camp with no hookups and we stopped to speak to a group sitting outside.  They were extremely friendly and urged us to drive into the portion of the park with hookups and speak to the hosts.  We drove over to the hosts RV and they couldn’t do enough for us.  We told them we had an RV and asked if it could be safely driven to this location and did they have 50 amp and space for a 42’ bus?  On Hwy-377 we had crossed over the Mimbres River on a small bridge that was limited to five tons.  (We weigh 26.5 tons.)  They explained that you could take Hwy-549 east for 8.8 miles, passing Hwy-377 and turn north for 2.5 miles on Country Rd B041, a gravel road.  This brings you to El Rancho Lobo RV Park, 12235 Maricopa Rd. NE, Deming, NM   88030.  The gravel road known as Lewis Flats Rd. bypasses the Mimbres bridge. 


Our hosts explained that they are full until March but that then they might have one opening.  Next thing we knew they were walking us around the facility to show us their amenities — club room, laundry room, etc.  And then as newly enthusiastic rock hounds they shared their collection and knowledge of the types of rocks in the area.  Soon others were dropping by and people walking their dogs and before long an hour had flown by and the sun was beginning to set. 

The RV park is owned by Waldon & Ellie Wolf.  Waldon's grandparents were homesteaders here and Waldon spent much of his youth on the ranch. He inherited something like 26 acres so it predates the Deming Ranchettes that surround it.  Waldon and Ellie built a house and have lived on the property since 1980.  They got interested in RVing and ended up converting their house and a portion of their land into an RV park.  As we were leaving, we met Ellie who was walking her dog.  She told us that our road, Hopi, ran along the northern border of the Wolf property but that it was only a vague trail.  She told us to drive on Maricopa, a road that runs along the southern border of the Wolf property, and then turn north on a visible trail that would be El Mar.  This would bring us to an approximation of the crossroads of our lot at El Mar and Hopi.  In the course of our talk she invited us to return for Christmas dinner.  It is a potluck and she provides the meat.  She always does a big dinner for two-dozen people.  She said to bring our RV out and that they could always squeeze us in.  She was an ex-teacher (like me) and I liked her tremendously. 

It seemed amazing to me that there was such a friendly RV park only a quarter-mile away from the property we own — but will probably never develop for our own use.  In the dim light of a glorious New Mexico sunset we drove to the approximate location of our lot and took a few photos.  A few days later we returned and took more pictures.  In full light we were able to confirm our corner with the discovery of some marker stakes.  It was fun to see the place that I’ve known about for all these years.

We visit with the camp hosts at El Rancho Lobo RV Park. They are "rock hounds" and they showed us their collection. Geary and Sue Freid told us to visit nearby Rockhound State Park and Hot Springs State Park. 12/12/07
After talking to Ellie Wolf of El Rancho Lobo RV Park we drove past their park on Maricopa Rd., turned left on El Mar and stopped opposite "The Ranch" towards sunset to look for the corner of El Mar and Hopi Rd. As you can see the roads are actually hard dirt trails. 12/12/07
On Sunday we returned to the Deming Ranchettes at mid-day to look for our lot again. This time we succeeded in finding markers that showed us the (more or less) exact location. I kind of felt like an archeologist searching for evidence of a pioneer stake at the old family homestead.
Driving north from SR-549 on BO-40, Lewis Flat Rd.
12:15 PM 12/16/07
Driving north from Maricopa on El Mar Rd.
12:20 PM 12/16/07
We think we've found the crossroads. Dennis walks the property looking for a marker. Facing east. 12:23 PM 12/16/07 Facing northeast, I zoomed in on a big sign by I-10. It isn't as close as it looks in this photo. 12:23 PM 12/16/07
Looking north towards I-10 down El Mar Rd. It's about a quarter mile away. 12:24 PM 12/16/07 Facing west towards The Ranch, El Rancho Lobo RV Park. It's about a quarter mile away. Hopi Rd. runs along their northern property line which would be to the right of those trees. 12:24 PM 12/16/07
We find a marker but what does it say? GUA?MAS??? Must be Guaymas Rd. That would be the east-west road just north of Hopi Rd. 12:24 PM 12/16/07 We confirm that we are on the north/south road of El Mar. 12:32 PM 12/16/07
Looking for faint traces of a crossroad, we move south one block. We think we've found the spot. Facing east. 12:26 PM 12/16/07 Dennis scouts around to be sure. Facing south towards the windmill and watering hole, which are not in sight. 12:33 PM 12/16/07
Facing northeast. Lewis Flat Rd. has an overpass over the freeway — but there is no entrance or exit. 12:34 PM 12/16/07
We know that our half-acre lot is essentially useless for building purposes because in July of 2006 Luna County passed Ordinance #37 which requires a minimum of two acres for such development as well drilling and septic tank.  Naturally this has grieved thousands of Deming Ranchette landowners who are attempting to fight the ordinance. 
Elsa declares, "This is it."
12:34 PM 12/16/07
If we got serious about building on our lot, a pad for our bus for example, we would have to buy the three lots adjacent to our own.  (That would involve approaching the owners of tracts 21, 22, and 24.)  I’m not sure that would be easy or even if we would want to do that.  Clearly no one else ever made an attempt to develop a lot — even before 7/06.  They must all be absentee investors like us.  But I did love the area out there.  The highway is too far away to be noisy and it is very beautiful in a wild desert sort of way.  Also the RV Park might make for some very nice neighbors….

In Deming we stayed at Dream Catcher RV Park.  It was what RVers call a parking lot.  That means it is a big gravel lot with hookup posts — but without cement pad or lawn or bushes to divide the sites.  It was noisy from not only nearby I-10 but the railroad next to it.  It was also cold and windy.  However, it was easy to walk the dogs with plenty of space. 

Dream Catcher is an Escapee’s Park.  Escapee’s is an organization based in Livingston, TX.  They are an active advocate and lobbyist for RVers.  It isn’t just a discount club.  When you join, you join a family.  They send a newsletter and offer services such as mail forwarding.  This was the first time we happened across an Escapee’s Park so I was prepared to think well of it. http://www.escapees.com/

As usual, we pulled into a long parking area in front of the registration door.  Immediately three or four other rigs pulled in right behind us.  I’ve never before seen a line for registration.  The lobby quickly became crowded with other RVers who were excited to arrive and ready to get settled.  We were first in line so they waited politely. As usual, the hostess gave us a form to fill out.  She asked where we were from and I said California. 

“Isn’t your RV illegal in California?” she asked.  She meant the length of the bus — or did she mean our total length with the tow car? 

“No!”  I was shocked and looked up to stare at her. Dennis stepped in to explain that you can’t drive everywhere in California but you can drive anywhere you are allowed to drive a city bus. 

The hostess said something else negative about California.  She got my ire up and I replied defensively. A woman in the waiting crowd stepped up to me and patted my arm.  “We’re from California too,” she said.  I was so angry and preoccupied and befuddled that I didn’t look up at her.  I finished up the form and said to Dennis, “We better hurry.  There are a lot of people parked behind us.” 

We left.  “What was that about?” I asked Dennis as we got in the bus and drove to our assigned site. 

“California is not an RV friendly state.  They have stringent rules and regulations about RV length and where you can drive.  There aren’t many RV parks in California and they are very expensive.  She’s just spouting the Escapee line,” he replied.

“Huh!  It felt like an attack to me."  I've lived in California since 1950. It's my home state and I love it. Many people have issues with California and promote negative fantasies about it. They don't like California because it has requirements to protect our environment. I've gotten sensitive to this attitude. California ranks first in population and third in size.  (Texas is second in population and size.) A densely populated state requires more regulations than are needed in a state like Wyoming (51 in pop. & 10 in size).  Laws are designed to keep a state as nice as possible for the most people.  California leads our country in their efforts to use clean fuels and clean vehicles so that we can have clean air.  Escapees are afraid that in a few years RVs may be outlawed.  We don’t agree.  Already they are in the process of developing a hybrid diesel truck.  ULSD (Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel) is required at the pumps. Today the new diesel buses have catalytic converters and they are pretty clean.  With stringent requirements from states like California, someday RV diesel pushers like ours will run even cleaner and have even better fuel mileage.   Our philosophy is that you don’t dig in your heels and try to keep everything the same for yourself.  Instead, one tries to make changes that will make the quality of life better for everyone in the future.

Dream Catcher was very inexpensive for us because of our Escapee membership.  But then it turned out that they read the meter where you hook up.  They charge you for the amount of electricity that you use.  That was a first for us.  You have to go to the office to check out instead of paying a set rate for so many days and then just pulling out on the appointed day.  The meter raised the price so it wasn’t as cheap as I thought.  And the park didn’t have that much to offer to begin with.  They hosted an open house or a visitor’s hour at four every afternoon but somehow we never found time to go.  Although I was curious to meet other RVers staying there, I wasn’t attracted to see the hostess again.  Silly of me...

The Dream Catcher RV Park was two thirds empty while we were there. There was plenty of space to walk the dogs. Left: Our bus is in the background. Right: Dennis tries to keep Margot dry and out of the puddles. The feel of this park was very different from the feel of El Rancho Lobo RV Park. However it was a convenient location near town.

On the other hand, we got an immediate sense of warmth from our neighbor when we pulled into our site.  On our left was an Alfa and the woman spoke to me in passing saying we had a beautiful coach.  She told me that they had been looking at Tiffin Motorhomes and were thinking about buying an Allegro Bus.  Our brief but cordial conversation helped to smooth my ruffled feathers.

A few days later we walked next door to have dinner at the Holiday Inn.  Our Alfa neighbors were just finishing their dinner and we nodded to each other.  We spoke as they left.  We were planning to see nearby Silver City and they gave us some helpful information about the drive to Silver City and things to see.  They left early the next day and I was sorry I hadn’t gotten any contact information from them.  In the morning I took the dogs outside to “go potty” and saw a plastic Wal*Mart bag hanging from the rear view mirror of the Honda.  It was a gift bag from Barbara and Tim Campbell.  They left us two magazine brochures with tourist information about New Mexico and Deming and Silver City.  They also left a card and a note.  I was very pleased and touched at their thoughtfulness.  The card had their email address so that I could write to them.  What would we do without the Internet?

That was the morning of the fourteenth and that happens to be my birthday.  So I felt like I’d gotten an early birthday present.  Birthdays these days are dicey for me.  I’m happy to feel fairly healthy and energetic but I’m not happy to be only two years away from seventy.   No, no, no!  If I were home, my sister would have us to dinner and produce a birthday cake.  And we would meet my friends before hand for “pupus” and fancy tropical drinks in the bar at Trader Viks.  But we weren’t home and we eat out all the time and I always receive everything I want so we didn’t have elaborate plans to celebrate my achievement of reaching 68 years of life.  Our plan was an all day outing — a drive into the mountains to see Silver City.

I was still in the process of doing Christmas cards so after a stop at the Post Office to drop cards in the box we headed northwest on US-180 towards the mountains.  At ten o’clock it was 42° chilly but a beautiful sunny day with that wonderfully blue New Mexico sky.  In a half hour we came to the junction of SR-61 and turned east.  The Campbell’s told us to stop and look at City of Rocks State Park.  They stayed there in their Alfa and they said it had beautiful views.  It sure did.  We were very glad we drove over to see it.  We looked at a small RV park with electric hookups.  Further up the road were sites at the edge of the park where you could dry camp and enjoy privacy with your own distant view of desert and mountains.  It was beautiful and we definitely want to return to spend some time there.

Our first sight of the rock columns made me feel like we were approaching a Stonehenge made by nature. To the right is a a small RV park with hookups in City of Rocks State Park. 12/14/07
We drive past the RV park to the northern edge of the park to see the desert views. On our left, northwest, we see RVs in dry camps. They are tucked in near the rocks to get out of the cold wind. 12/14/07
If you're willing to dry camp (boondock) you can have a beautiful, private site by the rocks and a north facing view across the desert to the mountains. 12/14/07
We stop to walk around Site #17. The rock pinnacles are amazing and have wonderful shapes. Some 1000 years ago, the Mimbreno Indians sought shelter here from the elements and predators. 12/14/07
There's a BBQ to have an open fire and it is sheltered by the rocks. The rocks are lava tufts left over from lava ash rained down on the area from a large erupting vocano millions of years ago. 12/14/07
Our City of Rocks detour took the edge off of our Silver City explorations.  We arrived in town and we were hungry so we stopped at the Adobe Springs Café for lunch.  It proved to be a very nice specialty restaurant run by a Czech couple, both chefs.  She is the pastry chef.  The interior had several rooms nicely decorated but less than half full and it was chilly.  Unfortunately service was extremely slow and we were there for more than an hour and a half.  The food wasn't worth the time wasted.

We didn’t start to explore the downtown on Bullard St, (between College and Broadway), until almost two o’clock.  We made an effort to walk up and down a few streets and looked at a few arts and crafts gift shops.  But it was very cold with a tremendously chilly wind.  So after forty minutes we gave up and went back to the car.

Silver City

"Situated in the foothills of the spectacular Pinos Altos Mountains, Silver City lies just east of the Continental Divide, in southwestern New Mexico. Norman Ford, in his recent book, 50 Healthiest Places to Live and Retire, gave the historic community a high rating, primarily due to climate, elevation, terrain and "lack of urban stress."

Silver City lies at the center of an outdoor recreation paradise. It is a gateway to the three-million-three-hundred-thousand-acre Gila National Forest. The forest includes the Gila Wilderness, the first land in the world to be set aside specifically as a wilderness area and, today, the largest wilderness in the Southwest.

Silver City’s quiet, tree-lined streets, with their mellow adobe and stately Victorian homes from a bygone age, are but a short walk away from the busy downtown center with its modern shopping. Mining, ranching, tourism and the one-hundred-and-seven- year-old Western New Mexico University are the major contributors to a thriving economy.

The Mimbres Indians (from "Mimbreno," the willow people) called the Silver City river valleys home around A.D. 1000. They produced remarkable black-on-white pottery, with a sophistication and intricacy of design seldom rivaled in all the centuries of Southwestern pottery making. Like their neighbors, the Hohokam, to the west, or the Anasazi, to the north, the Mimbres people vanished mysteriously in the early centuries of the second millennium

Silver City began as a rip-roarin' tent town in the spring of 1870, when a silver bonanza was discovered one half mile west of the present-day courthouse. Within less than a year, over eighty buildings had been constructed,, and in 1871, Silver City became the seat of Grant County. When the boom ended, the people stayed.

In those early years of development, all of southwestern New Mexico was plagued by Apache raids. Bands of these fierce warriors roamed the area, led by famous chiefs such as Chato, Cochise, Geronimo, Mangas Coloradas (Red Sleeves), Nana, Natchez and Victorio. Because of the rough terrain and strategic lookout points, the impenetrable Gila Wildness area was an important stronghold where the Apaches felt safe from US Army pursuit. Geronimo is said to have been born in the Gila Wilderness area.

In the late 1800's, Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch were familiar with every saloon and "soiled dove" in Silver City. Between robberies, they worked as cowhands at a nearby ranch. Billy the Kid spent his early years in Silver City, and his childhood home is now the downtown site of the distinctive Murray Ryan Visitor's Center.

Other Silver City notables include General "Black Jack" Pershing and Apollo 17 Astronaut Harrison "Jack" Schmitt.

There are hundreds of superb hiking and climbing trails in and around Silver City. They include the City of Rocks State Park, a spectacular geological monolith rising from the desert floor; the famous Catwalk National Recreation Trail, which clings to the walls of Whitewater Canyon; and the beautiful Mimbres River Valley, where the Nature Conservancy has established a protected riparian area for some of the best bird watching in New Mexico."  http://www.desertusa.com/Cities/nm/silver.html

On the exit road from City of Rocks facing southwest. 12/14/07
Downtown Silver City on Bullard St. 12/14/07

It was time to get back to the dogs, as we don’t like to leave them alone for more than six hours.  But first we wanted to find the Rose Valley RV Ranch.  The Campbell’s stayed here and recommended it.  It is right in Silver City and would be very convenient for exploring the nearby Gila National Forest.  We drove in and talked to the hosts and toured the park.  It looked great and we plan to return when it is warmer. I really want to see the Gila Wilderness, the Cliff Dwelling National Monument, the Catwalk, and the surrounding communities of Glenwood, Reserve, Quemado, Mimbres, and Truth or Consequences.

Gila National Forest

“The Gila National Forest has spectacular scenery ranging from high cool mountains with aspen and douglas fir to warm semi-arid lowlands with juniper, oak and cactus. It is one of the more remote and least developed National Forests in the southwest. Covering 3.3 million acres of publicly owned forest and range land, the Forest is the sixth largest National Forest in the continental United States. The Forest is also home to the first proclaimed Wilderness area...

Every National Forest offers its own unique beauty. The Gila's beauty is in its diversity of rugged mountains, deep canyons, meadows, and semi-desert country. Elevations range from 4,200 to 10,900 feet and cover four of the six life zones. Flora and fauna are diverse. Ocotillo and cactus are found in the lower elevations, and juniper, pine, aspen, and spruce-fir forests are plentiful in the high mountains. Wildlife such as the black bear, mountain lion, elk, deer, antelope, bighorn sheep, and wild turkey inhabit the Forest while the bald eagle, peregrine falcon, and the red-tailed hawk soar in the wind.

The Gila National Forest boasts a rich history of the Mogollon and Apache Indians, Spaniards, Mexicans, ranchers, prospectors and miners. Apache Chiefs Mangas Coloradas, Geronimo, and Victorio, Aldo Leopold: conservationist, ecologist and author of the Sand County Almanac, and renowned lion hunter Ben Lilly are but a few of the personalities from the past that have left their mark in the Gila. Place names like Raw Meat Canyon, Tepee Canyon and Grave Canyon tell the tales of the past.”  http://www2.srs.fs.fed.us/r3/gila/

Rose Valley RV Ranch in Silver City has very cordial hosts and pleasant, rustic private sites. It would be an excellent base for exploring Silver City and the Gila National Forest. 12/14/07
Heading out of Silver City and scenery on the way back to Deming. 12/14/07
Margot and Rudi celebrate big time when we return to the bus. They run back and forth and jump on the couch and bed and into our laps. We took them for a walk upon our return. Then they continued with their high spirits by playing tub of war. One of their beds is the object of contention. This is accompanied by alarming growls and snarls but it is all in good fun.

I had calls all day from friends, my sons and my sister so I felt that I had a very good day on my birthday.

On Sunday afternoon we explored two nearby state parks. We drove to Rock Hound State Park and then up to Spring Canyon State Park.

Rockhound State Park

Located on the rugged west slope of the Little Florida Mountains, Rockhound State Park is a favorite for "rockhounds" because of the abundant agates and quartz crystals found there. Scattered throughout the park are rock and mineral specimens of volcanic origin. These treasures range from varieties of silica minerals, quartz crystals, chalcedony, Agate, and common opal. Visitors are allowed to take up to 15 pounds of rock for their personal collections.

Hiking trails provide spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. The hiking trails at the park provide visitors with climbs of varying degrees of difficulty and breathtaking views. Reaching the top, visitors survey the 7,000 foot peaks of the Florida Mountains. Turquoise is mined in the Burro Mountains to the northeast.

Below, the street view is heading south up into Spring Canyon and then turning to look north back towards Deming in the Mimbres River Valley. Once again the strange rock forms of New Mexico can be seen in the mountains at Spring Canyon. 12/16/07
On Monday 12/17 we will leave Deming and head west to Tucson, AZ and from there up to Phoenix to visit Dennis's niece, Jewel and her husband Dan Riley. They are a lovely young couple and we can't wait to see them.
Elsa Walton, Dream Catcher RV Park, Deming, NM, Sunday, December 16, 2007