Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ride To Chloride

We weren't especially in the mood for a day of rock-hounding, the activity most of the rest of group decided to embark upon, and since we've been here less time than the others we decided to take the day to accomplish a few necessities and do some driving around and sight seeing. A ride to the semi-ghost town of Chloride seemed like just the thing and an itinerary was created to accomplish all the goals of the day.

First stop: Elephant Butte State Park. Everyone saw the elephant! Everyone but us, that is. "We didn't see no stinkin' elephant." A pretty mountain range, yes. A big lake created by a dam, sure. An old beat up and plum wore out volcano, ditto. But an elephant? Moving on!

Second stop: The rock shop at Hillsboro. If you were paying attention a minute ago (reading and retaining are two different things- as any former reading teacher will tell you), you heard me say we hadn't intended to go rock hounding. And that was not our intention by visiting the rock shop. The owner of the shop also manufactures some dry washing and mining equipment and we needed to pick up a few spare parts and supplies- what with all the gold we're finding! Uh-huh. Sure. The shop was closed in preparation for the boss man to go on vacation, but he saw us roll in and opened up to see we got what we needed- a nice thing to do seeing as how we initially bought the equipment from him a couple years back.

Backtracking from the rock shop, we took the New Mexico Scenic Highway to Chloride. Scenic it was. The slide show will provide evidence of just that- I am sure you will agree. The museum(s) at Chloride document the gold rush days and early settlement of the area. I somehow don't think the town has changed a whole heck of a lot since then, so there were some fascinating places and artifacts to see there. My two favorites: the dentist's chair and his "instruments" which I am sure account for the brown coloration of the seat on the otherwise white chair, if you know what I mean. And the still-operational, first ever food processor- something the likes of which I have never seen anywhere before and which pretty much made the trip worth-while all by itself.

Next stop: Truth Or Consequences. New Mexico Choan had recommended La Cocina (The Kitchen) for a good Mexican meal and so we set the GPS and drove right to the empty building where IT USED TO BE! Bummer. Didn't see it anywhere else so we settled on "fast chicken" which turned out to be "slow agony" but that's another story. Only after eating the sub-standard, quickly plucked and fast fried "pollo" did we realize, as we drove out of town that La Cocina had in fact moved out to the edge of town and yes, across from the area's one and only Walmart. It wasn't possible to follow the foul, I mean fowl, with anything additional, so that will go on the list of things to do another time... a list that seemingly grows larger for every thing that we ARE able to do.

Fueled up the Quig in T-Or-C ( locals look at you funny if you actually say "Truth Or Consequences). Fuel is wicked pricey there, but not as high as the general store down the road from camp in Arrey. I won't claim to know where the middle of the desert is...but I have reason to believe we may be somewhat near it based on local prices. Trust is also a major issue this close to the border with Mexico. Even a small fuel purchase required leaving not only the credit card with a picture on it, but also the driver's license with the clerk while I pumped. I didn't see any bogus Walmart charges on line when I got home and checked so I reckon they actually did just "hold it."

Then we wrapped up a nifty day with a stop at Bullocks (that's the grocery store, not Sandra's place). What a hoot that place is. Being the tallest guy in the store, I was the go to guy for short people who needed the tall guy to reach the guacamole and chicharones on the top shelf now and again. Happy to do it. De nada! Buena noche.

Be doubly sure to watch the slide show for the New Mexico Speed Trap! Stonewall had told me to be certain to obey the limit while passing through town! (Not sure he knows who's in the squad car :-))

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