Kilbourne Hole — Southern New Mexico’s largest sunken crater

The Kilbourne Volcano near Deming Photo by Thomas McGuire Try to imagine, if you will, traveling along a deserted, sandy, narrow, semi-graded track in the middle of the south central New Mexican desert. Everywhere you gaze, there is a myriad of thorny mesquite, interspersed with the ever present chaparral brush (also called creosote bush or greasewood), dry yellow grass, and tall yucca plants. Here and there a fast moving lizard darts across the sandy road in front of you, or […] Read more »

Deming — a fast growing rest stop

The Luna County Courthouse in Deming, New Mexico Red-brick monuments to Deming’s past as a turn-of-the-century western outpost still stand sentinel in the downtown area. These sturdy buildings figure as prominently into business, life and politics now as they did in their heyday. By enduring two world wars and major changes in transportation and communication, the structures affirm Deming’s historical continuity in the Southwest:  a dominant place of respite on the trail to elsewhere that never outgrows its usefulness. From […] Read more »

City of Rocks

City of Rocks. Photo by Mark Erickson. The landscape of Southern New Mexico, West Texas, and northern Mexico has not always looked like it does today. In fact, beginning some 45 million years ago, parts of the region literally exploded, dramatically altering the shape of things. Time after time, volcanoes in the area erupted, spewing forth immense quantities of thick lava and clouds of boulder-to-dust-sized rock fragments. Torrential rains caused mudflows of volcanic debris to surge off the hillsides, drowning […] Read more »

City of Rocks

City of Rocks. Photo by Mark Erickson. It catches you by surprise. Unseen from the state highway, down a two mile spur of blacktop, the City of Rocks State Park rises, suddenly, from a vast yellow plain of waving grama grass. The columnar, pastel stones make an uneven and disheveled skyline. Some tower as high as fifty feet. Others hunker to the earth like brooding trolls. In the interior of “the city,” the rocks meld and merge to form arches, […] Read more »

Columbus, New Mexico’s soiled doves

“Soiled Dove”. Photo courtesy Bill Kelly. From the Ringo Kid’s girlfriend Claire in Stagecoach, through Miss Kitty in television’s Gunsmoke, to the waif-like Diane Lane in Lonesome Dove the prostitute has been among the more enduring images of the literary and cinematic West. She was called “soiled dove”, “shady lady”, “fallen woman,” “lost sister”, “saloon belle”, and a host of other appellations. She was quite simply the ubiquitous whore, and her portrait has been painted on many different canvases and […] Read more »

Columbus, New Mexico — Pancho Villa and the Railroad Depot Museum

The Railroad Depot Museum Photo courtesy Railroad Depot Museum. What vision comes to mind when you hear the name Pancho Villa? Bandit, hero, valiant leader, ruthless tyrant? All of those names have been associated with him. He was not an easy man to define; it would depend on when you met him during his career. Here in Columbus, New Mexico, the same holds true. Some of our citizens have been told by their older relatives that he was a defender […] Read more »

A walk across the border for pan dulce

A walk across the border for pan dulce By Phyllis Eileen Banks Pancho Villa Park in ColumbusPhoto by Joann Mazzio When we first moved to New Mexico from Alaska, we explored some out-of-the-way places because we didn’t have that opportunity in Alaska. Out-of-the-way places there required an airplane. Columbus, New Mexico, population 700, intrigued us after we learned that three families from Alaska had built adjacent houses, complete with airstrip, in that remote desert community. So what was there? It’s […] Read more »

Deming — snowbird heaven

Deming, NM. Photo by Carla DeMarco. Thirty miles north of the Mexican border, set against the backdrop of the Florida Mountains, rests Deming, New Mexico, an Old West outlaw and railroad town known for its pure water, prime rock-hounding and annual duck race. Once a stage stop along the Butterfield Trail, Deming was founded in 1881 at the junction of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe and Southern Pacific railroad lines. Deming was named after Mary Deming Crocker, the wife […] Read more »

Columbus — steeped in international history

Old Customs house in Columbus. Photo by Barbara Agte. With a fascinating history, a 24-hour border crossing, a varied and unique geology, a New Mexico State Park, a museum, and a mild winter climate, Columbus is a New Mexican village which attracts visitors from the U.S., Asia, and Europe year after year. Columbus has had an unusual and colorful history. The village was first established in 1891, just across the border from Palomas, Chih., Mexico. In 1902, when the El […] Read more »