Saturday, May 12, 2018

Day 12 - Las Cruces to Socorro

Well, that doesn't sound like an adventurous day - except we took the very 'scenic route', via Lordsburg & Silver City.  Left the hotel before the 7 AM breakfast & ate at McD's, on the road by 7:20.  Too early, since nothing in Deming opens until 9, it's only 60 miles, and driving under 70 on I-10 will get you run over.  So we found a side road that ran roughly parallel to the big hiway, and got there not quite as early.  First stop was a visit to a couple of characters we met 2 years ago:
This fellow has been there a while - he's a tail-dragger
 This one looks hungry

Next stop was Deming's Luna-Mimbres Museum, with three levels of  artifacts from various eras located in an old National Guard armory, with extensions.  Bill examined the interpretation and pottery of the Mimbres culture, while Sandra had a nice talk with the lady in charge.
These replica pots hold signs all over town

We left about 1030 for Lordsburg, where we planned to eat at Ramona's.  Wait, no cars parked in front?  What's this?  A fellow on the roof looked down at us and shook his head.  Well, that was a wasted stop.  So off to Silver City, once a mining town where Billy the Kid first got into trouble with the law.  It's now a thriving art center, home of a state university with an outstanding Mimbres pottery collection - we couldn't find it.  It's also the home of La Cocina cafe, which is worth a stop!

We also missed the turnoffs to Ft. Bayard and a Mimbres archeological site.  We didn't miss the huge copper strip mine in the area.  It's actually quite colorful in its own way:

This road is known as the Geronimo Trail Scenic Byway, since the Black Mountains were part of the domain of his White Mountain Apache band. 

                                         The road started off rather mildly

Then quickly became curvy with lots of ups and downs:

Rocks beside the road could be interesting, as long as they stayed off the road:

Eventually we reached a high point overlook, I think about 8600' above sea level.  Some bikers were taking a break, then 4 women showed up heading for the 'facilities.'

We finally came out at the old mining town of Hillsboro.  It's shown as a ghost town, but like so many others in New Mexico,  many of the ghosts still seem to be animate.  It was full of shops, with even a garage sale going on.  We did find this ghost of a building:

Finally back on the Interstate, we headed for Socorro and the HIE there. Tomorrow we take another 'scenic' route to Albuquerque, via Carrizozo and the Salinas Missions.  332.6 miles for today, 2795.9 for the trip.

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