Somewhere West of El Paso a balloon hovers above, keeping watch on the Mexican Border. Three sister mountains line the desert with art. The colors change all day, moment by moment as the sun warms Las Tres Hermanas and the vibrant life hidden beneath the warm breeze.
Five Reasons to visit the desert and when:
~Flowers fill the desert in spring
~Prickly Pear Cactus, buy it preserved, pick it fresh, enjoy! Take leather gloves, a pocket knife and a spoon to scoop out the soft, sweet flesh. Also, a good source of water is abundant in cactus. Nature has its sweets.
~Country Music of the folk sort. The LOW-HI RV Ranch in Deming boasts a nationwide membership of Loaners On Wheels. This happens to be the international HQ. The club has members RV living across North America at any given time including Canada, Mexico, and you’ll have to check on Alaska, but I wouldn’t be surprised. There is no need to be a part of the club, any type of rig, van, etc. is typically permissible, prices are good, children are tolerated. Note: RV park dwellers have their own quiet culture. There are many enjoyable outings planned by the various travel clubs, visitors are warmly welcome, pot lucks, folk jam sessions, dances etc. The culture is superb. This is a superb way to get in touch with a wise generation, make new friends. These people know how to have a party!
~Camping out in the desert is rewarded from sunset to sunrise, and into the night. The Star show is amazing. Sky views of the desert have inspired humans since the beginning of time. Moving in nature requires a bit of precaution and knowledge. Outside the city It’s not uncommon to encounter animals resting. Typically wildlife is nocturnal, changing with the seasons.
~Gila Hot Springs, Cliff Dwellings. More like a long day trip, Gila wilderness is a home to the Mexican Gray Wolf. Driving a long detour from Silver City on Highway 152 East toward Caballo Lake State Park, the carcass of a large headed dog lay half eaten on the road. It appeared massive in size, maybe an old Alpha male. Buzzards, buzzards, buzzards…
The Hot Springs are something like a shallow-silt bottom hippy breeding ground out of a 1960’s music festival, sans music festival, bring your own camping gear, pay the small fee in the box on site for the private owner, people were always clothed, but beware, tubs are semi-private with some plants nearby and makeshift short walls. Decorations are of the re-purposed nature. The nearby river cools down a sun baked, hot tub boiled family from Denmark as the two young children play with others. We’d met on the hike, up to the Gila Cliff Dwellings. Take a walk through ruins, imagine the life of a tribe in an oasis along the sparse watershed.
The Hotel Cockroachifornia:
If it says 25.99 a night, low weekly rates, the owner only allows two towels per room…………. Please Stay Away. Once upon a night, I accidentally looked at one of these rooms. No worries mate, the trash bin is nearby, because this thought makes me ill. I took one look, turned and demanded a refund. The intoxicated man at the slum motel almost refused giving a refund. Inquiring about the health of a room that appeared to be soaked in urine, he clutched up the cash and gave it back. I’ll let that dust settle, there is one motel with an indoor pool, jacuzzi. Comfort Inn, maybe the Hampton has these, it’s been a while.
The lesson: A few years later in London, I must have walked with Little Explorer Girl 10 miles and looked at twenty disgusting motels before settling on a place.
Check the room out before paying, Lobbies can be deceiving.