Monday, March 12, 2012

Rock on to New Mexico

We head to our first stop in New Mexico, which is a place called City of Rocks State Park.  It is a park half way between Deming and Silver City. We drive north from Deming and are within a few miles from the park wondering where are these rocks? We are still driving through prairie grasses in the scenic Chihuahuan desert region. Suddenly we round a curve and there they are. Large sculptured rock columns, some rising as high as 40 feet. How did they get here, out in the middle of nowhere? Magic? Actually they were formed about 34 or 35 million years ago when a very large volcano erupted. It took millions of years to slowly form the columns seen today There are  only six other places in the world with similar formations.

          In the campground, there is one section of sites with electric off to the side. Most of the other sites are tucked into the rocks on the city streets. Growing among the rocks are emory and gray oak trees and typical desert plants, such as cacti, ocotillo and yuccas. Our site for two nights in the back north end, a large spot against the rocks on one side and with the open prairie on the other.

       We purchased an annual pass for New Mexico State Parks for an one time  charge of $225.00 for out of state residents. The only other charge would be if you wanted electric and that would be $4.00.  We did make a mistake in buying on line along with our reservations for this park. For some reason I thought we could pick up the pass at the first park we came to. However, after Joe made several phone calls, found out it was mailed. Fortunately, we were able to get our pass number to use until we get the card, which could take a week or so as it is going first to our SD mail drop and then has to be mailed to where ever we are. Hopefully we won't have a problem not having the physical pass until then. We love this park and its peacefulness. It also has some of the darkest skies and stars are amazing.  They even have star parties where you can look through a telescope for a closer look at the constellations.  


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