Feb 1 - City of Rocks and Native Grafiti
The City of Rocks State Park is about 30 miles north of Deming... US-180 north to NM-61, then 4 miles northeast to the Park entrance. What we found is a fascinating collection of huge weathered rocks, many standing monoliths, some 40 or more feet high, like a jumbled disorganized Stonehenge. The result of volcanic activity a few years ago (35 million or so), it's an example of nature at work and the variety of what can be produced by natural processes. We walked among the rocks, scrambled to the top of some, tried to get lost in this forest of stone.
|That's a campsite there by the tree and picnic table. Might be a problem getting the bus-house|
Heading back toward Deming on US-180, we took a turn to the east on NM-26. At mile marker 5, Green Leaf Mine Road goes off to the north. We took that road. For the most part, this is a two-track single lane dirt road that we were informed would probably pose no problem for our low-clearance front-wheel-drive toad. The information we had was that about 6 or so miles down this road (actually turned out to be almost 10 miles), over a number of berms, a dam, some cattle-guards (zit-zits), an abandoned mine site, and around several blind curves we'd find a primitive parking area next to a hilly outcropping of rocks. Up in those rocks, somewhere, (this is where our information got sketchy), there is a collection of Indian petroglyphs... native graffiti. Our job... find it.
Into the hills we scrambled, tracking what seemed to be various trails or paths that wove among the rocks. There are no signs to guide the search, we simply had to look... which actually added to the experience. We decided to split up and double our efforts, Dar taking one section of rocky hill and me another. But the Indian art revealed itself slowly. You search... and think you see something. But is it man-made or a natural coloration of the rock? Not sure. Suddenly, you see a small one... unmistakable. Then another... and another. Then dozens of them... almost everywhere we looked on that particular part of the hill.
We took dozens of photos and savored the success of our exploration. I can't really add anything about their age, or who might have done them. As usual, my skepticism leads me to think it's possible these objects may not even be what we're led to believe they are. In a few cases we could identify more recent scratchings in the rocks ("Biff loves Betsy 1978") alongside a typical image of a big horn sheep, a circular set of dots, or the image of a bird. Regardless, we found what we set out to find.
By this time it was getting woefully close to "chillin' hour" and we had already scoped out a small local brewpub in downtown Deming (Mimbres Valley Brewing Company) where we might enjoy dinner out tonight. As is our m.o., we took a seat at the bar, ordered a craft beer and a burger apiece, and struck up conversations with some interesting locals who really added to our Deming experience.
We've said it before and we'll say it again: You can find history, adventure, a story... almost anywhere you go... as long as you ask and are willing to search it out.
More pics in our online album soon.