I find my way to Memorial Hospital and stop in to visit Harold. He looks good and surprised to see me. We talk for half an hour. A kind and open heart. He opened an invitation to visit him in Monticello any time. I find an RV Park on Valley Drive and unhitch, set up camp. The camp manager is another Washington transplant. She has a UW welcome mat! I'm laying low for the day. Plot out a few points of interest. Old Mesilla looks interesting. I head over in the evening, just a few miles to Old Mesilla. This plaza has some colorful history. Indian camp, Outlaws and rustlers, confederate soldiers, raging politics, capital city of Arizona and New Mexico Territories, Mesilla , established 1849, was once a bustling town. People of Mesilla turned down the railway in 1881 and people of smaller Las Cruces voted to allow the “Iron Horse” through. Thus the shift in wealth and power to Las Cruces. OOPS! Historical signs are posted all around the plaza. One can’t help but feel a connection to the old west when standing in front of the adobe courthouse which housed the state capital and the location where Billy the Kid was sentenced to hang. The courthouse is now a tourist attraction where souvenirs are sold.
I check out their coaster offerings and find none in the style that I make. I’m finding many opportunities to sell my wares along the old west trail.
I stop into bar on the corner called El Patio. Order a beer and find friendly folks and a homey atmosphere. I would definitely hang here if I lived in the neighborhood.
Judge Roy Bean, Doc Holiday and Billy the Kid drank here, according to a Mesilla resident.
I have a smashing vodka martini at the Double Eagle restaurant which is a National Historic Landmark. The bartender is super friendly and encourages me to nose around the six different dining rooms. The decor is ritzy; much authentic and in tact. The hand carved oak bar, corinthian columns, crystal chandeliers, tin ceiling, amazing plantings, and an eerie story of tragic ghost lovers.
Next day I trek to El Paso Texas in search of a pair of cowboy boots. Leaving Las Cruces I notice the amazing mountains, the Organ Mountains. Who named this magnificent formation? wow what a woeful name.
I pass several border patrols and worry a bit about the joint in my glove box. Decide to let it ride. No problems getting through to Texas. I notice immediately signs of wealth.
There are no more spotty piles of rusting autos or broken down trailers. Buildings look newly maintained, freshly painted. My first venture into Texas. I’m trying to find the outlet store for Tony Lama cowboy boots. I get happily lost rambling through Upper La Mesa suburb shopping centers of El Paso. Its one after another, shopping marts extending seemingly forever.
I check my GPS and spot my faulty turn. I correct my course and am soon trying on cowboy boots at Tony Lama. Put a few pairs aside, promising patient sweetheart saleswoman I’d return after some comparison shopping.
I stop at Office Depot and buy an Epson scanner, something I need right now.
I drive around El Paso a bit and realize I’ll have to explore this on another trip. There’s just too much to see and I’m overwhelmed. Tall buildings are beaming. Just not in the mood to deal with elevators and city people.
I head on the highway and get lost again, this time in the Franklin Mountains State Park, largest urban park in the US. I float around on the trails and take in the sweeping view of El Paso below. I miss the dogs. Head back to camp.