Sunday, April 30, 2017

It's Wine Time

Deming has two wineries and we decided to check them out Friday.  St. Clair winery had a live band playing and a couple specials so it was off to check it out.  We've been there before and sampled some of the wine, but nothing stood out from the rest.  This time we found a super table wine and a couple others that we liked.

We got there about the same time as the band was setting up and after tasting some wines indoors we moved outside to hear the music.  The musicians were from Las Cruces and Alamagordo and played some country, old rock and roll plus some songs I've never heard before.

It was quite windy as it had been for the past 7 days and we found a table that was sheltered from the wind.  The dust still flew through the air and at times it was quite heavy.  We stayed and listened to the music for a couple hours and called it quits.

 We ordered the meat and cheese tray plus a couple glasses of wine.  It was a very relaxing evening and we had a great time.  The lady in red below is married to a band member and filled us in on the guys.  She was a very animated supporter of the group.

 Earlier in the day we traveled  out to the Luna Rossa Winery just west of Deming alongside of I-10 on the frontage road.  As we entered the tasting room the owner of the winery greeted us like long lost friends.  He was from Italy and has lived in Deming for 30 years.  The winery has over 330 acres of grapes and uses 30 acres around the winery for their vines.  The other acres of grapes are sold to wineries throughout New Mexico and Arizona.

We tasted a number of wines and finally selected two bottles to take home with us.  In addition, Gerry had a free cup of gelato which she enjoyed very much.  She's been searching for a DQ to satisfy her needs for ice cream, but hasn't been able to find one since we left Tucson.  At least she has Texas to look forward to with all their Dairy Queens, aka Texas stop signs.

Speaking of Queens, I just wanted to share this photo of our great granddaughters Aubrey & Penny holding hands while they are sleeping.  What can I say?

That was our day, how was yours.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Palomas, Mexico - The Pink Store

We drove down to Columbus, NM and since we were so close to Palomas, Mexico we decided to continue on down there for a visit.  The main reason for the visit was to have lunch in the Pink Store.  They give you a free margarita and we picked up a card for a free drink at the Pancho Villa SP during our visit there.

It was simple to cross into Mexico.  Nobody paid attention to us and we just waltzed in and walked the couple blocks to our destination.  I did stop and talk to the Mexican border control person in my lousy Spanish, but she was able to understand me.

 The Pink Store is in plain view as soon as you enter Palomas.  There are a couple pharmacys, dentist office and optical offices near the Pink Store.  We didn't visit them since we didn't need any of their services.  Our neighbor at the RV park had some major dental work at 1/4 the price he was quoted by his local dentist.


 We enjoyed our free drinks and my Taco Salad was quite different but very tasty.  Gerry a nice enchilada plate that was very good and quite large.  She was almost able to finish it off.  They had a large bar with enough liquor to please most anyone.  Tequila seemed to be the most popular liquor as one would expect in Mexico.

 After our late lunch Gerry decided to look around the store for some bargains.  Since the motorhome bins are full it would have to be something small.  She did find some beautiful glass pieces for a very reasonable price but didn't think we had room for them.

 The dinner plates would go well in a Southwestern home, but the furniture looked out of place.  Notice the nice glass bowl on the table.

There was a statue of Black Jack Pershing shaking hands with Pancho Villa in the courtyard next to the Pink Store.  It looked strange to see the two of them shaking hands when in fact they were enemies. 

We didn't get accosted by panhandlers and people trying to sell us items we didn't want other than one man who made a halfhearted attempt to sell us something.

As we were leaving there was a steady stream of children crossing back into Mexico.  The younger ones went to school in Columbus and later we saw a number of busloads of children returning from attending school in Deming, NM.  These were the anchor babies that we were born in the US and live in Mexico with their parents.  I wonder who pays for these children to attend school in the US and if the parents pay anything toward their education.  Highly unlikely that there is any payment coming from them.  From what I understand this is typical in the border towns all along the border between the US & Mexico.  We saw the same thing in Naco, AZ and Nogales.

We headed back to our RV park and called it a day.  It was interesting and we had a good time with the trip down there.

That was our day, how was yours?

Friday, April 28, 2017

Columbus, NM and Pancho Villa State Park

We decided to visit Columbus, NM and the Pancho Villa SP.  They are about 35 miles south of Deming and we set off to check them out.  We were there a couple years ago and didn't have that much time to fully explore the area and wanted to visit it again.

The house shown below was in Deming and was brightly decorated.  It stood out and you couldn't miss it as you drove by.  You never know what you are going to find when you get off the beaten track.

 Columbus, a small town about 3 miles from the Mexican border, is remembered for when Pancho Villa raided the town in 1916.  He underestimated the number of US troops that were there and suffered the loss of about 70 of his men.  Pancho Villa was fighting the Mexican government with the intention of overthrowing the ruling party.  One theory is that he wanted to draw the US into the battle and receive help from a couple countries.  That didn't work.

General Black Jack Pershing used airplanes, trucks, cars, etc. to chase Pancho Villa around Mexico but never caught him.  He had 6 airplanes and it took a week or so to get them to Columbus due to the lack of airports and fuel.  They had to bring the fuel in trucks over dirt roads for hundreds of miles and that took time.

The planes were only used to search for Pancho and didn't have guns on them.  Over the course of a couple years the planes crashed, fell apart and weren't of that much help.  

1st Aero Squadron 

1916 armored tank

The state park is located on what used to be the Army base that supplied the troops chasing Pancho Villa and his troops.  Now the base is used as a state park with campsites, a neat museum, and buildings from the base that are 100 years old.

 Interpretive walking trails wind through extensive botanical gardens and many cacti had beautiful blooms on full display.  There are more than 30 different cacti at Pancho Villa State Park.  Now if I only could identify more than 4-5 of the varieties that would be fantastic.


The railroad was established to transport copper ore from Bisbee, AZ to El Paso, TX for refinement.  It immediately became a multipurpose line with passenger and freight business.  The passenger carrier became famous for the daily runs from California to El Paso.

The railroad had many ups and downs and closed for good in December 1961.  The last message sent by the telegrapher was "What Hath God Wrought".


The building below was the Hoover Hotel in Columbus.  Mr. Hoover was Mayor of Columbus at the time of the infamous Villa raid.  The Hoover Hotel was the center of some of the heaviest fighting the morning of March 9th.  Lt Castleman had set his machine gun and line of defense in the street just north of the hotel.  Castleman chose that location for several reasons..  1. to protect the bank. 2. to keep the Villistas from going north up Ease Boundry where Camp Commander Col H J Slocum resided. 3. Castleman's family also live on East Boundry.  4. Castleman's action also protected the Hoover Hotel residents.

If you are ever in the area make sure you take time to visit the museum and take a walk around the park.  They are updating the camping area and installing more 50am electric sites and making them bigger by combining two sites.  That will make it much nicer for the larger motorhomes that require 50amp service to operate better.  

That was our day, how was yours?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Adobe Deli - Deming area

I heard about an eclectic bar/restaurant nearby where we are camped and we decided to check it out.  It was a little windy and just about dust storm level, but we were taking a backroad with very little traffic.  So off we went out into the boondocks.

The dust got worse the closer we got to to the restaurant and we were having second thoughts about making the drive.  We slowed down and finally were able to see the turn off for the place.

The restaurant is in an old schoolhouse that closed down 35 years ago.  The bar and dining room were in the old gym and had the most unique decorations and furniture.    The bar was made out of adobe stone with a wooden bar setting on the stones.

It's hard to see but the windows were covered in metal roofing.  The room was full of stuffed animals, old appliances, a tank with fake alligators, etc.  Everything looked like it had been recycled and it worked out fine.

The specialty of the house is ribs and the orders are huge.  As you can see they are brought out on a skewer along with the sides.  Gerry talked to a lady that had ordered them and she said she only ate about 1/3 of the ribs and took the rest of them home for later.  She gave a thumbs up to the taste of the ribs and said she loved them.

I picked up this beautiful lady who was sitting at the bar having a Mai Tai or something like that.

The waitress/bar tender was a cute sassy young girl and as usual I started teasing her.  She gave as good as she received and we had a nice conversation.  At one point she said she wasn't flirting with me and then changed her mind.  I told her she would have to work on her standards for people to flirt with.  Cute girl with a sense of humor.

The place was full of old stuff and many signs.  Gerry spotted this one and got a charge out of it.  This was after the girl flirted and I was beginning to worry a little.

The owner must have liked scales since he had a number of them in different rooms.

His telephone was a little out of date and the beer was warm to say the least.

We both got a charge out of this poster explaining the "most wanted".

There was a windmill in one room and I tried to get a good shot of it, but it was too close.  I liked how it turned out and kept the photo.

Some where along the line the owner pick up this Boar's Head Delicatessen sign.  It had prices that were quite old, but it looked real neat.

The highlight of the article was this stuffed two headed calf.  It actually looked real and most likely was.

You don't see copper washing machines like this anymore.  Most of the old ones were enamel from the ones I remember when I was a lot younger.

They had outside dining but since we've had a week of strong winds and dust it didn't look that appetizing.  What do you think?

They also used a trolley car as a dining room but it didn't look like it was used that much lately.  I didn't see any air conditioning so it would have been used in the winter if at all.

The resident elk looked like he was eating the shrubs growing all over the entrance gate.  It wasn't very clear where the entrance was and we actually had to search for it.

They served huge meals and neither of us could come close to finishing ours.  Out came the doggy bags to take the leftovers back home with us.  The bbq sandwich I ordered was at least a ft long with a pound or two of bbq on it.  Wow!  Gerry had chicken cordon bleu and it was quite strange, but she liked it.  

All in all we had a good time there and glad we went.  I don't think this will be a go to place for us in Deming, but it was fine for a change.  It is definitely unique!

That was our day, how was yours?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

City Of Rocks State Park, NM

 Gerry and I are holed up here in Deming, NM waiting for the high winds to die down so we can move down the road.  In the meantime we have been checking out local attractions and restaurants.  One real nice attraction is the City Of Rocks State Park about 30 miles north of Deming.  We drove up there not expecting how beautiful the park is.  As you drive up to the entrance the rock formations stand out and look fantastic.

City of Rocks gets its name from the incredible volcanic rock formations found here. The park encompasses a one square mile area in the scenic Chihuahuan desert region of southwestern New Mexico at an elevation of 5,200 feet. The “city” is a geologic formation made up of large, sculptured rock columns, or pinnacles, rising as high as 40 feet and separated by paths or lanes resembling city streets. These rocks were formed about 34.9 million years ago when a very large volcano erupted. Then, erosion over millions of years slowly formed the sculptured columns seen today, creating a stunning, otherworldly landscape.

Located about halfway between Silver City and Deming, City of Rocks offers camp sites, hiking trails, excellent mountain biking, wildlife viewing, birding, stargazing, picnic areas and a desert botanical garden. The uniquely designed, new Visitor Center includes a large display area and modern restrooms with hot showers.

  The new visitors center looks quite massive, but the office portion is on the right of the entrance and bathrooms on the left.  The stone wall makes it look larger, but almost 2/3 of the wall is just that,a wall with parking behind it.

 We noticed the rocks below to the left and drove around the park in reverse order.  There are numerous crevices between the 30-40 ft boulders and would be a great place to play hide and seek.

 We couldn't figure out what this rock formation looked like but it was impressive.  Just let your imagination run wild and see what you come up with.  An Elephant?

 The steps next to the mushroom are part of the campsite.  They have tent sites and this is one of them. 

 Sometime in the past 1,000 years or so this rock split and the colors inside of the rock are very nice.  The other half of the rock is laying in front of it.

 There were a number of these flowers in the park and they are just starting to bloom.  I would love to see them in full bloom, but that will have to wait until another time.

 I wonder how long those two little rocks have been in place between these boulders?  This is another campsite and a small motorhome or trailer would fit in there nicely.

 This area was open and it looked like a little valley between the rocks.   Gerry was wondering how the rock in the center remained standing up after all those years.

 There is a slot between these rocks big enough for a person to fit through, much like a slot canyon.

 This group of rocks was set off from the main section and they had 3-4 campsites in the area.  When we drove through on a Sunday afternoon 2 of the sites were occupied.

 The windmill looked to be in very good shape and I'm guessing it is used to fill the tanks with drinking water or for the bath houses in the park.  As you can see it was very hazy due to the high winds and dust being blown around.

 This motorhomer had a prime campsite with a great view of the valley below.  They had privacy with the rocks on the left side of the motorhome.

We stopped by the visitor center but it was closed for some reason.  I think the Ranger was making his/her rounds and locked it up while they were gone.

We thought it would be an hour or so visit to the park and wound up spending over 2.5 hours checking it out.  We could have spent more time there, but it was getting late and we wanted to visit a few more sights in the area.

They had a small section near the visitors center that had room for 10 rvs with water and electric hookups.  They were nice big sites but didn't have the huge rocks near them.  Most of the other sites were too small for our 40ft motorhome so if we went there I guess it would be in this area.
 Campground Facilities:
52 Developed Campsites
5 W+ E Sites (30 amp)
1 W+ E Sites (50 amp)
3 W+E+S Full Hookup Sites (30 amp)
1 W+E+S Full Hookup Sites (50 amp)
Water in Campground
Group Campsites

If you have the time I would recommend visiting the park and taking your time seeing it all.  We did reverse our drive in the park and saw the rock formations from the opposite view.  That worked out very well and we saw more details going around the right way.

That was our day, how was yours?