Sunday, May 31, 2009

I am over two weeks behind in posting to our blog so it may take me a month to get caught up. But here goes.

We left Elephant Butte, NM on Friday, May 15, which is a couple of day early. A severe storm was going to be coming through the area with winds in excess of 45 mph, so we wanted to get out of it's way. Ended up in Tijeras, NM which is just outside of Albuquerque and spent two nights at an RV park on Route 66. On Saturday the kids had to work so Jim and I decided to explore part of the Turquoise Trail.

Tijeras is the gateway to the Turquoise Trail which encompasses 15,000 square miles and is located in the heart of central New Mexico. The trail links Albuquerque and Santa Fe and the name comes from the blue-green turquoise first mined by the early Pueblo people, an agrarian based society dwelling along the Rio Grande as early as 900 A.D. The Spanish arrived here as early as the 1500s. Francisco Vazquez de Coronado was the first of many explorers in New Mexico. Missionaries. Spanish settlers and Anglo-Americans all followed and joined the native American Indians already here.
The Turquoise Trail is synonymous with Native American spirituality, Spanish explorers, adventurous mining, and brave pioneers. A major Western gold rush occurred here around 1825, years before the California Gold Rush. But Cerrillos, (the little hills) was coveted long before the search for Gold for its rich deposits of turquoise, as well as lead ores, used to glaze and decorate traditional Rio Grande pottery. The Cerrillos hills represents three cultures and the longest intact record of historic stone maul and pick and shovel mining in the Southwest. Golden grew into a substantial town virtually overnight in the early to mid-1800s and received its name from its placer gold deposits. Madrid was mined by squatters in the early 1800s and later became a substantial company-owned coal mining town, with a population of over 3,000.
We ended up in Madrid (pronounced Mad (like Dad) rid). Because of the unique geology of this area, a phenomenon found in only two other mines in the world - both hard and soft coal - were mined here with shfts as deep as 2500 feet. When coal use declined the town became a ghost town. However, in the early 1970's artists and craftspeople arrived. They converted old company stores and houses into shops and galleries.

Madrid is also where the movie Wild Hogs was filmed. That's the film with John Travolta, Tim Allen, and two other "older" guys who take off on their motorcycles. The store behind me in this picture was the gas station in the movie and Maggie's diner is just now being set up as a store but wasn't open while we were there.
We had seen the move Wild Hogs before, but after being in Madrid we had to go buy it and watch it over again so we could say - we were there!
We had lunch at the Jezebel Soda Fountain which is the original soda fountain from the early 1900's.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Look at those ears! Yes, it is definitely windy down here.


Truth or Consequences Veterans' Memorial Park - The Wall. There are four replicas of the original Wall of names (located in Washington DC), all built to half scale. This was the second replica and was dedicated on November 7, 2003 here in T or C after it toured Ireland.
Behind the wall is this five pointed star called the Walk Of History. Each pillar represents a war that the United States has been involved in starting with the Revolutionary War and ending with the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. The pillars give the dates of the wars (or non-war for Vietnam) and the number dead or injured as well as a history of each war.
The eagle is the Guardian of the Walk.
Miss Liberty is dedicated to 911 and the police officers and firefighters who lost their lives that day.
This park is truly a monument to our veterans and should be visited by anyone who is in this area.



Look at these beauties. The big one was 4 lbs and 23 inches. Boy, was he some good eating.


The rocks forming the City of Rocks, the Kneeling Nun Tuff, were produced by a very large volcanic eruption that occurred 34.9 million years ago. The Kneeling Nun Tuff was formed by a violent eruption of volcanic pumice, ash, and hot gas in an eruption 1000 times greater than the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. The entire eruption of the Kneeling Nun Tuff would have taken from months to years.

The initial stages of the Kneeling Nun eruption are likely to have produced large volumes of pumice that rained out of the sky, blanketing the surrounding countryside. The main phase of the Kneeling Nun eruption was the most violent. During this time, close to 1000 cubic kilometers of volcanic pumice, ash, and gas were erupted through the volcanic vent that had been formed by the earlier eruption. The vent would widen during the main eruptive phase, allowing large amounts of volcanic material to erupt very quickly. This material would move as a large, hot, turbulent cloud, traveling as far as 200 kilometers from the vent, and depositing volcanic material in it’s path.

The layer of volcanic material produced by the ignimbrite eruption was still very hot at the time it was deposited. Because of this heat, the volcanic fragments in the layer of volcanic material compacted, or welded, to form the dense rock that you see at City of Rocks today. The rock layer is thickest near the vent, and becomes progressively thinner with distance from the vent area. City of Rocks is around 30 kilometers from the vent of the Kneeling Nun Tuff.

The formation of the columnar landforms that we see at City of Rocks today would have begun shortly after the main eruption of the Kneeling Nun Tuff. The timing of the formation of the pinnacles is not known, but is likely to have taken many millions of years. Erosion and modification of the pinnacles continues today by a combination of freeze- thaw action, wind and effects of vegetation.

Continued erosion and modification of the pillar shape continues today and, in several million years, the City of Rocks may be eroded to a flat plane,

Located in the Mimbres Valley at the northeastern edge of the Chihuahuan desert at an elevation of five thousand two hundred feet above sea level, the "city" is a fantasyland of wind- and water-sculpted pastel rock columns. Only six other places in the world have similar formations.


We drove over to Silver City, NM and were greeted by these beautiful animals.

Once we arrived in Silver City we determined that there was too much to see in one day so we put it on our list of places we want to spend some time. We did however, get to see the childhood home of Billy the Kid (a replica) that is besides the Visitor's Center.


Look at those eyes - are we loving the warm weather or not? But of our two pups - Skittlez is the indoor dog. Scooter will stay outside as long as her feet and butt can handle the heat. But Skittlez is ready to go in after about five minutes.

The girls are learning to ride in the backseat with their seatbelts on. We gave them each a pillow but they like to be close to each other in the middle of the back seat.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


This is what happens after a hard day of laying in the sun in the desert.


Sandy & Mike parked next to us in the campground and when we visited with them we found out that Mike loves to fish. So they extended their stay and Mike and Jim went fishing every chance they had. Sandy and I did drag them away from fishing long enough to go to the Fiesta. They are from Roswell and we're hoping they will be able to come to Florida next November and spend some time there with us. If not, we will stop and see them on our way West.


On the first weekend in May, Truth or Consequences has their Fiesta to celebrate the changing of the name of the town from Hot Springs to T or C. There is something irresistable about small town parties. These pictures are from the Friday night Karaoke Contest. The them of the Fiesta this year was Flashback to the 60's. Some people really took this to heart. It was a great time and we had a lot of laughs.

I'm not sure what happened to the photographer (other than he was laughing so hard) (Jim) so the pictures of this lady didn't turn out very good. She rode up on her scooter and was so overcome by the music that she was able to get up and dance. (That would be the black picture.)

The next day they had a parade which we thoroughly enjoyed. So I've included some of the pictures for you to enjoy along with us.


Stumbled upon this resort in Elephant Butte completely by accident. Most of Elephant Butte is mobile homes and older homes. Rather a poor seeming town. Then there is this resort. The lots run from $75,000 up and the homes run from $1,000,000 and up. But they do have beautiful views and a great golf course.