Wine: Our last night in Deming, NM was March 30. On the spur of the moment we stopped at the Deming’s St. Clair Winery. Great people, great wine. Deming has two wineries plus walnut and pecan orchards.
Mexican Mennonites: We had an interesting conversation with our wine server about this. At the Deming WalMart, we saw a group of Mennonites get out of a car with Mexican license plates. The guys were wearing jeans, western shirts and cowboy hats; the women, the usual long, modest dresses and thin cap-like bonnet but their dresses were colorful. I later read that many Mexican Mennonites have plans to move to Russia due to recent drought plus drug trafficking issues in northern Mexico.
Elephant Butte Lake State Park: From Deming we went north to Elephant Butte Lake State Park in Elephant Butte, NM, a few miles from Truth or Consequences, NM. The park is on the edge of the 40-mile long Elephant Butte Reservoir, the largest lake in New Mexico. The lake was created when the Rio Grande River was dammed in 1916. Camping there was like being in the middle of an aviary. It was like waking up to Jim's bird-singing iPad alarm app. Except better.
Truth or Consequences: Ralph Edwards was host of a TV show called Truth or Consequences, where guest performed stunts for prizes. In 1950 Edwards offered to broadcast the show from the first town that changes its name to the name of his show, and Truth or Consequences (formerly Hot Springs), NM was born. Four times a referendum went on the ballot to change the name back to Hot Springs. Four times locals said no.
Near T or C:
--“The Very Large Array” -- a radio astronomy observatory that provides information about black holes, new stars and more. It consists of 27 huge radio antennas in a y-shaped configuration.
--Spaceport America -- the world's first commercial spaceport, which is exactly what it sounds like: A place where you take off for outer space holding a commercially-purchased ticket. Not yet entirely in operation, however.
--Ted Turner Ranch -- the CNN-founder/Jane-Fonda-ex-husband/and generally brilliant-crazy guy owns 3 ranches with a total of a million acres in NM. One is nearby.
Eeuuww: How long can you go without dumping your gray tank? Seven days and five showers. That’s how much time/shower activity had passed when I yelled “Jim, the gray water is backing up into the shower stall.” Lesson learned. (Other times we used the park shower room, in case anyone's concerned about hygiene.)
We are not stuck: Per Jim, the definition of being stuck is when you have to call a tow truck. It's not having sand up to the wheel wells, having to dig said sand with my hands, and having to rock the car between drive and reverse while Jim pushes. Or so I learned on the beach at Elephant Butte Lake.
|The entry to Elephant Butte Lake State Park has pay stations that look like little Airstream RVs or maybe aliens.|
|Elephant Butte Lake and our car, not far from where we spent a few moments burrowing our tires into the sand.|
|A store in the funky town of Truth or Consequences, NM.|
|Jim doing some trash pick up at Elephant Butte Lake. It sometimes appears that the state bird of southern New Mexico is the plastic grocery bag.|