Thursday, April 06, 2006

Deming, New Mexico

New Mexico, Land of Enchantment; that's what the sign says that welcomes you into the state. While we have not yet explored the entire state, those areas we have traveled have exemplified the states' motto.

This week we're relaxing in Deming, New Mexico, population 14,000+. It's a small, friendly town that sits at 4300 feet in elevation with the Florida Mountains providing a dramatic contrast to the flat desert floor surrounding the town.

We were greeted by the sight of a lilac bush in full bloom upon our arrival at the Dream Catcher RV Park. Once again, I'm thrown by juxtaposition of spring flowering bulbs and plants with the desert terrain; I have yet to get used to the fact that the higher, cooler elevations allow for the same type of flowers we would see growing this time of year in Ohio. I was told that we just missed the daffodils and tulips which bloomed in profusion this year. Sigh.

This is our second visit to Deming. Our first was in the fall of 2003 and at that time we visited both the City of Rocks State Park and the Deming Luna Mimbres Musuem. The people of Deming are very proud of their museum and rightly so as it has been carefully and lovingly created in the old Armory building, now on the National Register of Historic Places.

This year we geocached at the Rockhound State Park and Spring Canyon State Park, which is actually the same park with two units. Rockhound State Park has a small visitor center with displays of the type of rocks, minerals and semi-precious stones you will find on the grounds as well as displays on the types of plants found in the surrounding desert and the early history of the area. There is a 1.2 mile walking trail that leads you to the areas where you can rock hunt; each person is allowed to bring out 15 pounds of rocks and geodes. There were signs warning that the rattlesnakes are active now that the daytime temperatures are warming up, which did not please Denny at all as we were bushwacking through the vegetation to find the caches. Fortunately the only reptile we saw was a medium-sized lizard so we got through the day safely.

Spring Canyon is a day-use park that has several nice covered picnic sites. We took a break from geocaching to have our lunch here and enjoyed the total silence of the park. Yes, there were birds chirping, but when they stopped for a moment there was utter stillness in the air; no road traffic noise, no planes and no trains, just the lovely silence of the hills. We sat quietly hoping for some signs of the animals that live in the park-big horned sheep or the oryx, an African antelope imported to the area for hunters years ago but nothing moved in the mountains today. As we were sitting there the winds started picking up and the rain started to fall so we knew it was time to head home. Later that afternoon the winds were gusting to 50 mph and the dust was blowing so thickly that the highway patrol closed down Interstate 10 between Lordsburg and Deming, so we were thankful to have arrived home before it became too dangerous to drive. Once again, geocaching led us to places we had left unexplored in a previous visit and allowed us to learn more about our surroundings.

1 comment:

crallspace said...

More pictures of Deming !! Please!

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