Last days in Las Cruces

Las Cruces, NM

In the final couple of days of our stay in Las Cruces we did a bit of touring and visited a couple of “interesting” restaurants in nearby towns.  We often make a point of touring college campuses during our travels, using our bicycles to see as much of a campus as possible.  We planned to bike around the campus of New Mexico State University but cool temperatures and high winds force us to limit our visit to a drive through the campus in the Jeep.  One structure of interest to us was the design of the football stadium.  From the parking lot the stadium appears to be a bit small.

View of the east side of the stadium

View of the west side of the stadium

But when we went inside the stadium we found most of the seating and the playing field are below ground level.

When we traveled through Ft. Stockton, TX earlier this month, we were astonished by the huge statue of a roadrunner (OK, maybe astonished is a bit strong, but it was pretty big).  But that big bird is only the second largest in the world, so when we found that the largest was just a few miles west of us along I-10, we just had to drive out to check it out.  Made of refuse from a local dump, the roadrunner is 20 feet tall and 40 feet long.  It sits on a rock next to a rest area on the eastbound side of I-10 that has a great view of the Las Cruces area and the Organ Mountains to the east.

We were fortunate during our stay in the Coachlight RV Park to be joined by two other couples we have grown to know during our travels:  Paul and Marsha of Where’s Weaver and Bill and Jodee of On the Road Abode.  One evening the group drove across town to Farley’s Watering Hole to enjoy a meal and some conversation.

John, Jodee, Bill, Paul, Marsha, and Pam

The next day (Wednesday) we planned to go to the town of Hatch with Jodee and Bill for lunch at Sparky’s, the restaurant we mentioned in the previous blog.  But not only was it closed on Monday when we first planned to eat there (we hiked instead), but we found that it is also closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Luckily, Jodee and Bill had an alternative restaurant that they promised was even more “interesting” than Sparky’s.  So we all jumped into their Jeep and headed west on I-10 for lunch at Adobe Deli.  As we approached the town of Deming we exited the highway and took a side road into a parking lot.  Jodee announced that we had arrived at the restaurant, but John kept saying that he couldn’t see it.

Does this look like a restaurant?

Do you see it now?

How about now? Just go through the gate . . .

Finally! Jodee and Tessa show us the way

The “restaurant” is in an old school building that closed in 1977.  The main dining area is in a large room that was probably the gym.  It was cold outside but the room was warmed by two propane heaters (normally used on outdoor patios) and a wood burning stove.

The dining area (it has a stage for bands on the weekend)

The bar with a few patrons in the balcony

Bill, John, and Jodee check out the menu while Tessa keeps an eye on the lady with the dog treats in her pocket

Hall decorations

Waiting for a call from Capt. Kirk

The Adobe Deli may have been the strangest looking restaurant we have ever seen, but the food was delicious!

The next day we finally headed north to the town of Hatch with Bill, Jodee, and Tessa.  We drove two vehicles as we intended to do a hike on the way back.  But we ran out of time so the hike never happened.  Hatch prides itself as being the chili pepper center of the country and Sparky’s, a local restaurant, was reported to have the best green chili cheeseburgers in the world (or at least in Hatch).    Before stopping at Sparky’s we drove through Hatch (it didn’t take long) and continued west on NM-26.  After about 20 miles we turned right on to NM-27 and drove 12 miles to the ghost town of Lake Valley.

The mining town of Lake Valley was founded in 1878 after silver was discovered in the nearby hills.  Almost overnight, the small frontier town grew into a major settlement. Today the mines are played out and all that remains is a ghost town.  The Bureau of Land Management has restored the schoolhouse and chapel.  Other buildings in the town site have been stabilized to slow further deterioration.

The restored schoolhouse

Dr. Beale’s house

The chrome on the headlights still shines!

The last people to live in the town were Pedro and Savina Martinez who resided in the old Bella Hotel until 1994.  Pedro arrived in the town at the age of two in 1904 and lived there all his life.

Bella Hotel

An old sealed mine just above town

An old bank safe sits abandoned along one of the town streets.  It had been located on the second floor of a bank that burned down in a fire in 1895.

The building below served many purposes including a school, saloon, general store, and gas station.

After taking a self-guided walking tour of the old town, we headed back to Hatch for lunch at Sparky’s.

Front entrance of Sparky’s

Odd statues occupy the area in front of the entrance, along the parking area across the street, and in the small parking lot next to the building.

Odd painting on the wall in one of the dining areas

Sparky’s turned out to be a really cool and different place to eat.  And the stories about the green chili cheeseburgers are true, they are delicious!

Well, that wraps up our stay in Las Cruces.  Next up we head to Naco, AZ located right along the border with Mexico.  We will be meeting up with Dave, Sue, and Lewis (he’s a dog)  to enjoy a week exploring nearby Bisbee and playing golf.  More on that later . . .

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23 Responses to Last days in Las Cruces

  1. exploRVistas says:

    Sometimes those stadiums are deceiving! Back before the above ground additions, the Big House at the University of Michigan looked tiny on the outside. Walking through the tunnel was a jaw dropping experience!

  2. I stopped in Hatch for lunch a couple times traveling between Las Cruces and Chloride. Never took time to explore. Shame.

    Traveled between Deming and Hatch once but I didn’t see the Adobi Deli. Double shame. I hate it when I miss a place like that.

    May I copy your pictures of Adobe Deli to use as a setting in some of my stories?

    I’m gearing up for our summer 2017 trip — The Great River Road. We’re going to do it from New Orleans to Lake Itaska. Should be plenty of interesting places and stories along the way.

    I don’t know how to put links in a comment, so I’ll just list them and hope you can connect.

    Chloride: http://placesoffthemap.com/2016/03/28/chloride-new-mexico/

    Deming and Hatch: http://followthecougar.blogspot.com/2015/07/a-day-on-geronimo-trail-national-scenic.html

    my stories: https://rlhazlett1.com/our-stories/

    Great RiverRoad: https://experiencemississippiriver.com/the-great-river-road-the-best-drive-in-america/

    • placestheygo says:

      Yes, you certainly may use the Adobe Deli photos! It is not to be missed if traveling that way. You wouldn’t notice it if someone hadn’t told you about it. The sign is very small at the driveway which is a dirt road. But there are nice billboards for it on I-10. Sounds like you have a great trip planned with lots of new adventures. Thanks for the links. I’ll check them out.

  3. Larry says:

    I’m enjoying your visit. We were in the area for about a week many years ago when our son was stationed at White Sands. I would like to get back in the RV for an longer stay.

  4. colibabas says:

    We really enjoy finding funky places like those. Safe travels!

  5. montanaclarks says:

    I love the roadrunner sculpture and how cool that Tessa could be in the restaurant/bar!!

  6. pmbweaver says:

    What a hoot Sparky’s is. Uncle Sam holding that chili pepper cracks me up.
    You are right. We would have probably drove right by Adobe Deli. We plan to stop in Las Cruces again…add Adobe Deli to our new list of sights to see.
    Thanks for the great few days we spent together. It it such a joy to visit places with good friends. Looking forward to seeing you two in Tucson.

    • placestheygo says:

      Yes, Marsha, you need to see the Adobe Deli in person!! Quite a place:) It was very nice to finally have some time together. It’s nice that we will be in Tucson at the same time. Hopefully, we can get in a hike:)

  7. Jodee Gravel says:

    That is a beautiful stadium – we didn’t even know they had one! Such a fun time with you two -thanks so much for sticking around the extra day 🙂 Love the photos of the “entrance” to Adobe, still hard to believe there’s a restaurant in “there” even after we’ve been twice now!

  8. That Adobe restaurant is unique! I do love a good green chili burger…yum!

  9. Sherry says:

    That roadrunner is hilarious. I’m surprised Texas is willing to come in second. Loved your lead in to the restaurant and no I didn’t see it at all. Were you guys the only patrons? Where does Jodee find these things? Glad the food was good. Pedro must have been sad at the demise of his town. It’s amazing that towns just really sort of disappear in the west. I just love how you manage to meet up with someone at nearly every stop. Sorry we didn’t catch you in Florida.

    • placestheygo says:

      No, Sherry, we weren’t the only patrons:) We were the first there so there wasn’t anyone in my photo. But several retired couples like us arrived and seemed to be very familiar with the place. Someone referred Jodee and Bill on their last visit to the area. Jodee wouldn’t go in the first time. She made Bill go in to check it out…haha!

  10. Laurel says:

    Love that roadrunner sculpture! How fun that you met up with Jodee and Bill and other good friends—both the Adobe Deli and Sparky’s look so bizarrely interesting. Probably won’t find either becoming chain restaurants anytime soon. :-))

    • placestheygo says:

      Haha! No, I don’t see any franchise’s opening any time soon. But both places were so neat. I’m glad we made the visits, It was nice that Jodee and Bill caught us. We weren’t expecting to see them til Tucson.

  11. Debbie L says:

    Love Sparky’s weather! So many interesting things, so another name for you two could be, “Oh the Places they go and things they do!” What fun!

  12. geogypsy2u says:

    Lots of good eating. Like John’s “new” car with the shiny chrome.

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