Lordsburg, New Mexico to City of Rocks State Park, New Mexico
City of Rocks State Park, New Mexico
March 2, 2020
Another big day of driving - the trip from Lordsburg to City of Rocks State Park was approximately 80 miles. 😀
As I mentioned yesterday, Lordsburg has seen better days. But at one point, the town had real Mexican food!
I had to double back on US 70 for several miles to merge onto New Mexico Route 91. The road climbs a couple or three thousand feet out of Lordsburg before I entered the Gila National Forest. A bit of information about Gila:
It is protected national forest established in 1905. It covers approximately 2.7 million acres, making it the sixth largest National Forest in the continental United States. The forest's terrain ranges from rugged mountains and deep canyons to mesas and semi-desert. Due to the extremely rugged terrain, the area is largely unspoiled. There are several hot springs in Gila National Forest, including Middle Fork Hot Springs, Jordan Hot Springs, and Turkey Creek Hot Springs. Gila is home to namesake wildlife that includes the Gila monster, Gila trout, Gila topminnow, several members of the Gila (western chub) genus, and the Gila woodpecker. Other notable species include black bear, bald eagle, cougar, spotted owl, elk, white-tailed deer, osprey, peregrine falcon, bobcat, collared peccary, timber wolf gray fox, white-nosed coati, pronghorn, mule deer, bighorn sheep, and wild turkey. The Forest contains the Cosmic Campground which is a 3.5 acres area that is ideal for star-gazing. In 2016, the campground was given the status of being the first and only International Dark Sky Sanctuary in North America. I will have to go to this campground next time!
The scenery during the drive was, ho hum, breathtaking.
I have seen the following road sign several times in the past couple of weeks, and I’ll admit it bugs me. Who thought there was a need to include the little fireman driving the fire truck? The fire truck tells us all we need to know. My intuition tells me it was a micromanager boss who couldn't say that the truck itself was enough - he needed to "prove" that he knew best. (Bad memories!)
The next major milestone on my drive was Silver City. I had already been there back in January so I just passed through.
About 90 minutes later I came to my home for the night - City of Rocks State Park. Whoa! It is this collection of volcanic rocks in the middle of nowhere. It's a bit freaky. 🤓 The park encompasses a one square mile area in the scenic Chihuahuan desert at an elevation of 5,200 feet. The “city” is a geologic formation made up of large, sculptured rock columns, or pinnacles, rising as high as 40 feet and separated by paths or lanes resembling city streets. These rocks were formed about 35 million years ago when a large volcano erupted. Erosion over millions of years slowly formed the sculptured columns, creating a stunning, otherworldly landscape.
I met a great couple when I arrived at City of Rocks. Their license plate caught my eye - Maryland. Josh and Amy started on their adventure in September as full-time RVers. Tired of the rat race. Sound familiar? Their approach is different from mine - they find a place they want to be and stay there for an extended period using their RV as a home base and vectoring out on day/multi day trips to experience the area. They are currently in Albuquerque (that is hard to spell) and will soon be moving onto Yellowstone to work in the park for six months. So I should see friendly faces when I arrive there later this year.
The day ended with - are you tired of these yet? - a memorable sunset.