May 31, 2014

A Sunday Drive

I have mentioned in the past that growing up, our family had the tradition of the Sunday Drive and that we continue this even still to this day. Here ( and I mention our drives to Deming and City of Rocks. Well, recently we packed up some water, doggie treats, doggies and headed out for a day trip to Lake Valley, NM. Our primary goal was to see the ghost town there but we ended up seeing, feeling and experiencing a lot more. Let me explain.

After a quick highway drive to Hatch, where the 10 am line for green chile cheeseburgers was already outside the door, we got off the beaten path and drove some less travelled paths to Lake Valley. We passed a large solar energy farm and then came to a wind farm. I was not aware that these were here so it was a nice feeling to see some renewable energy being created.

When we arrived at Lake Valley, it was impossible to miss the ghost town, situated on the side of some small hills, presenting itself to the road. We went inside the gate and proceeded to drive around. Before leaving, we made a stop at the Lake Valley cemetery and had an experience which I will detail in my next post.

(Photographers note: This is a nice place for picture making but it is difficult to do so with two dogs in the car who would jump out and wander if given the chance and who would bark at everything that moves - people, leaves, birds, dust, etc. Thus I only took a few pictures which I will post at the end of this piece.)

We then continued on our way up to Hillsboro, taking a nice drive on a winding, hilly (Mrsfabp’s favorite type) road, where we saw lots of nice springtime desert flowers. 

Upon arrival there, I was in for a bit of a shock. Yes, it is a small town, I expected that. Yes there was not much going on, I expected that. Outside of Main Street, the roads there were treacherous. That I didn’t expect. Main street is paved but that is the only pavement in town. We drove some of the side streets to see some of the ruins there but the roads themselves were ruins. I doubt ancient Rome’s roads were worse. These Hillsboro roads (and I use that word loosely) were rut filled, hilly, rock strewn disasters. A 4 wheel drive would have been more appropriate that a PT Cruiser. It was amazing to say the least.

The day was winding down, we were hungry and so a stop at Sparky’s in Hatch was in order. When we arrived, the line was out the door and around the corner of the parking lot. But that did not stop us. We ordered and waited...and waited...and waited but it was all worth it when our number was called and the food delivered. We grabbed it and went to a local park where we feasted on green chile cheeseburger, pulled pork burrito and green chile cheese fries. The fries were loved by man and dogs alike.

A quick drive home and our day’s adventure was complete.

Now some photographs:

Old schoolhouse, now the Lake Valley Museum

Old building foundation

Lizard Rock up behind the schoolhouse

May 21, 2014

All Aboard!

I like trains, no doubt about it. As a kid we used to take the subway into NYC. We had a train set in our basement that provided many hours of fun. When we had our own children we took them on many train rides - Conway NH and Lancaster PA to name a couple. When we first moved to New mexico, one of our early highlights was taking the Rail Runner Express up thru Albuquerque to Santa Fe. I like trains.

Recently when taking a couple of photography classes, the professor mentioned an abandoned Southern Railyard up in Hurley, NM, near Silver City. When we planned a little getaway to Silver City, a stop in Hurley was a necessity, which we did.

First, a couple of notes about Hurley. There was/is a town in Wisconsin named Hurley, a mining town. Well it seems that many of the inhabitants decided back in beginning of the 20th Century to move to New Mexico because of the new industry there, copper mining. They settled in a small community, one square mile in size, and worked the mines. And yes, there in an abandoned railroad repair yard there.

We visited the town for a couple of hours and I took a set of pictures. They are in black and white because I felt that this lent itself to the feelings of abandonment and solitude so prevalent there. Hope you enjoy them.

Yard station
Two abandoned engines
Shock spring - the yard was strewn with them
Cooling vents
Drive wheels and engines
Old water tower