Thursday, March 23, 2017

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Tuesday (3/14) to Wednesday (3/22):

We left Terlingua and made the 185 mile drive to Van Horn, Texas. We spent one night at the Desert Willow RV Park which is a Passport America campground. We paid $13.50 in cash and got full hookups with WiFi for the night. We drove around Van Horn to see if there was anything to see and did not get out of our Jeep. Later on we learned that a local Tex-Mex restaurant, Chuy's (not the chain), has a shrine to John Madden. John Madden, the former Oakland Raiders football coach and TV football analyst, did not fly and drove across the country in a motorhome to get to game sites. While driving through West Texas he stopped in Van Horn for the night and ate at this restaurant. Somehow the owner's created several works of art honoring Madden and his stop in Van Horn.

The next morning we continued along I-10 through El Paso and crossed into New Mexico. The air quality in El Paso was terrible with a lot of smog hanging over the El Paso-Juarez area as we passed through. We stopped at the Visitor Center Rest Stop in New Mexico but the center was closed.

We finished up our 175 mile trip to Las Cruces and checked into the Sunny Acres RV Park. This is a small park that was purchased by a family from Fort Stockton, TX a few years ago and they are trying to upgrade the facilities at the campground. We will be here for 8 days and will try to do some small repair/maintenance items on the motorhome. 

Las Cruces is a city of about 105,000 and is home to New Mexico State University (NMSU). NMSU was one of only a handful of schools to have both their men's and women's basketball teams make the NCAA tournaments. We did visit the old town of Messilla which is located on the outskirts of Las Cruces. It is older than Las Cruces but was bypassed by the railroad (which ran through Las Cruces) so it did not grow (still has about 3,000 residents). Billy the Kidd was arrested and convicted of murder in Messilla but later escaped before being killed by Pat Garrett.

Catholic Church on the square in Messilla
We used are time here to repair several of our electric bay door locks that had stopped working. We were able to open the mechanisms up, clean and lubricate the moving parts of the locks and get them working again (we had 4 locks that were not working).  I also used the time to finally get our DirecTV DVR connected to the internet. With this accomplished (assuming we are connected to the internet through our WiFi Ranger), we are able to use the DirecTV app to control the DVR: change channels, watch recorded programs on any TV in the motorhome (we have 4) and set programs to record even if we are not physically present near the motorhome. We also did some cleaning of our fantastic fans as well as doing a "dry" wash of the outside of the rig. Connie and I spent several hours cleaning the windows inside and out along with cleaning the dashboard and furniture. I also made sure that all of the screws in the rig were tight as there are always a few that work loose as we drive around some bumpy roads.
Product I picked up at Escapees Escapade
last year. Worked great on locks.
We had trouble with our power again at this park. On Monday evening the power went out to the rig and we could not get it to work at the pedestal. The son of the owners came by and tried to fix the problem, but one of the wires inside the box was fried and he was not able to work on that part of the electrical system (they have an electrician they use but he teaches a class a the local community college on Monday nights). So we ended up having to pack everything up and move to a different site within the park. Luckily they had an open spot since that have been full most nights we have been here.

Our first site at Sunny Acres RV Park

Our second site at Sunny Acres RV Park

On St. Patrick's Day we visited the High Desert Brewing Co. which is located about 1/4 mile from our campground. We passed on the traditional Irish meal of cabbage and corn beef for nachos. We got the small order of nachos which was enough to feed both of us. Connie got green chiles on her half of the nachos and the chiles were hotter than she expected. We tried a sampler of several of their brews before ordering a glass of the Irish Red Ale and Dark Bock to have with our nachos.

One evening we ate dinner at the La Posta del Messilla restaurant. It was recommended to us by Denise Miller and was an excellent choice. We split one of their combination plates to get a sample of their food which was very good. They had several parrots in an aviary located at the entrance to the restaurant.

Connie has come down with a cold after dealing with allergies here in Las Cruces. The air has been dusty and the trees are putting off pollen here in New Mexico. Hopefully she will get better quickly as we move on to Arizona on Wednesday morning.