Greetings from Deming, NM

Greetings from Deming NM! This is a town with no less than 7 campgrounds that I counted. We are paying $18 a night for full hookups, cable, access to a neighboring hotel with a pool and wifi…there are probably 10 hotels or motels in town, I didn’t count. And I have no idea why! This town has no museums, no parks, no activity other than Walmart. Maybe the proximity to the Mexican border?

We are going to be paralleling the border for the next two stops. Border patrol is everywhere and we have been stopped twice. Both times I had our passports ready to show but we got us through without a problem.

Anyway, we are still on stones, since we are still in the desert. Butterfields in Benson AZ was really very nice and is high on my list of places to snowbird. They have their own observatory!  Butterfields is on stone, too, but had paved roads, and trees. It was right behind the Safeway and across the street from the post office. We never did get to do everything in the area, although we did spend a day in Tombstone.

TombstoneAnd, yes, it was a tourist trap. All the buildings had been restored on the outside. The road is closed to traffic – horses only – and the employees all wear period costumes. Virgil, Morgan and Wyatt Earp all wander the streets keeping law and order and occasionally getting into disputes with “the cowboys”. Doc Holiday wanders in and out. They will happily pose for pictures until it is time for the show – the shootout at the OK corral – which you have to pay for. It was fun.

The day before we had been to Gammons Gulch, a movie set. That was owned by the son of a man who did movie sets for John Wayne. He knew everyone from back in the day. As a kid on the set, he was allowed to be an extra and when he wasn’t working, he was running errands for the actors or the director.

He actually grew up in Tombstone which was a dying, impoverished town before becoming a tourist trap. When he became an adult, he bought property outside of town and began building a permanent movie set. That is Gammons Gulch. It has quite a number of authentic looking buildings with completely modern interiors to be used for makeup or whatever.

Several of the buildings were open to the street and could actually be working businesses if needed for the movie. They were a blacksmith, a Chinese laundry, a jail, a working telegraph offices and even a saloon with swinging doors. Probably more. The salon had a great interior complete with tables, a bar and a stage. There was a a piano he played for us.

Several of the buildings had been built by the movies so they looked different from the front than from the back. They were all build on railroad tracks so they could be moved, which also meant they weren’t taxable:-)). There is a lovely church there. If you want a Western themed wedding, the whole town is only $750 a day.

 Strip Mine

From there we went to Bisbee, a former mining town.  Lots of museums and quaint shops, all on HILLS.  There was quite a bit more to do in the general area, but we just ran out of time. Maybe we will come back next year.

We left early on Sunday following directions that said, “1. Get on I-10. 2. Follow I-10 for 187 miles. 3. Get off I-10.” Probably the easiest part of the trip. No horrible hills but we constantly saw signs that warned of high winds and dust storms. There was even a series of signs that said what to do in a dust storm. (Get off the road, turn your lights off and keep your foot off the brake. Stay off the road until it is clear again.)

We thought because it is monsoon season here, we wouldn’t see a dust storm . We were wrong. You know that bad storms you have been getting? We get the same thing, usually around sunset. And they are BAD – heavy winds, hail and so on. So when were setting up at this campground at 3PM, we saw one coming. (You can see them for miles, it’s so flat. They have a black cloud with black rain underneath.)

We set up quickly, and then looked out the window to see the four horsemen of the apocalypse marching toward us. They pounded on the side of the trailer for half an hour, screaming and yelling the whole time. Then they flew over us, becoming brown dementors as the swirled toward the mountains in the distance. Maybe now I understand the signs…

Anyway, we have a couple of days to relax here. There are no trees but the dog park does have grass! We took Rocky yesterday and he didn’t quite know how to react to a spongy surface. We are going into travel mode across Texas. Drive a day, rest a day, drive a day, rest a day. We should get to see the eclipse from Dallas. Then on to New Orleans! Very much looking forward to that, although I hear they are having flooding problems. Oh, well, can’t be much worse than monsoons and dementors.