Wednesday, April 15, 2015

City of Rocks State Park, Deming, New Mexico

Deming, New Mexico has proved to be a nice base for some fun places to explore.  One of those areas is the City of Rocks State Park, 29 miles north.  We found that New Mexico state parks charge a day-use fee to enter, unless you are camping there.  But since we were staying at another state park, we got a free pass to enter other parks.  So it's another free day of entertainment!  

These unusual rock formations were born from a volcanic eruption many years ago that was 1,000 times greater than the eruption at Mount St. Helen's.  In the years since, the earth has been chiseled away to leave unusual formations with street-like spaces between.  So that is where the name for the state park came from--Rock City.  These boulders are huge, as you can see Denisa strolling down a boulevard in the middle of the "city."
Where the rock structures have eroded, they left interesting divots that made great seating areas.  Mark found this rock top with his and hers loungers.  But "her" had to get up to take the picture.
It is so fun to climb on these rocks, and Denisa thought this would be a great place for a game of hide and seek.  Mark thought it would be even better for a round of paint ball (as long as you didn't use paint).  We both thought it would be a really fun place to bring kids. Whatever fun is planned, we thought the blue skies made for great pictures.

All around the perimeter are camping areas, so people can pitch tents or pull their trailers into their own private block of the city.  Those areas have no hook ups, but do have lots of ambiance.  There is an area with electric and water hookups for RVs, but that would be in the traditional one-site-beside-the-other-in-a-line area away from the rocks.  So you give up the ambiance to have hookups.
After playing in the City of Rocks, we found it also had a bike/hike trail that completely circles the city.  So of course we had to explore that possibility.  The gravel surface meant that you had to pedal continually, and that innocent looking pasture setting was much more hilly than we thought it would be.  We got a good cardio workout on this ride!  You can see the City of Rocks from a distance of about a half mile in the picture below.
 On the bike ride we got a bonus view of the plateau named Table Mountain behind the city.  Since we saw Table Mountain near Cape Town, South Africa, we thought we would see how it compared.  There was no gondola that would sweep you to the top in four minutes like in Africa.  But there was a walking trail that would slog you to the top here in New Mexico.

After exploring the City of Rocks, we still had enough of the afternoon to go to the Deming Luna Mimbres Museum that we had read good things about.  This small town museum is run by volunteers, so it is free to the public.  We will seldom pass up a well reviewed free attraction, and this one did not disappoint.  We found it to be one of our favorite small town museums, and it was huge!  Located in the old USO building downtown, it covers two floors.  We wished we had gotten into town sooner, because we were almost running through all the rooms in the hour we had before it closed.  Their claim to fame is their large collection of mimbres pottery.  In case you aren't up on the latest mimbres pottery style (like we weren't before going here),  Denisa is standing outside the museum beside a over-sized reproduction of a mimbres pot.  These distinctive pots were made and painted by the Indian tribes that inhabited this area almost 1000 years ago.  They are categorized by black geometric design and figurative animals painted on white bowls, and the detail that they took the time to paint was fascinating.

The crown jewel of another fun day, was dinner out at a fancy restaurant.  Well maybe not fancy, but fun for us.  We had been seeing billboards for Blake's Lotaburger since El Paso.  It's a small chain of restaurants that started in the Texas/New Mexico area.  With a son named Blake, we knew we had to eat there some day.  We had been sending our Blake texts of the billboards that had pictures of hamburgers with their latest marketing slogans, "Hot, Single and Looking for Love--Blake's Lotaburger."  Today was the day to try one of those hot single burgers!  We can report that Blake can make a great hamburger, and we loved the onion rings too.


  1. We loved NM. Stayed for a week at the Escapees park there. We, too, were impressed with their museum. Well worth the trip.

  2. We loved NM. Stayed for a week at the Escapees park there. We, too, were impressed with their museum. Well worth the trip.