Monday, February 20, 2012

Silver City, NM

Lovely old mining town of Silver City has held us captive for a bit longer than we expected.  Weather has slowed us down....'snow', but it's the kind of place that has history, architecture, good mix of folks from well to do to homeless(rather have the blend, than all one way.)

Art seems to be the common denominator of many of these old towns  that otherwise would be just another place between some destination.  Marfa Texas was another, but I didn't take enough photos to document it well.

Had fun, just walking the town.  Talked to neat guy walking his big dog; a Pyrenese mix.  He was homeless, communicative and friendly, loved his dog and seemed to be a local figure. His dog was a gentle great animal.

Stopped a gentleman to ask about an old building across the street from where we were standing

and he gave us quite a bit of history of it and the towns entertainment in the years before WWll.  It was one of 3 movie theaters of the day.  The town had no buses then and not many folks had cars.  Towns were far apart and roads less than good, so people walked to the movie theaters for some fun.  We then asked for the location of a church we had been looking for and he said, "Can you wait a minute and I'll take you there?"  He was picking up some hot tomales from a store up the street and dang when he returned, I must say, they looked good
-- Nice folks here.

Artistic flavor is not just on Main Street.  Side streets offer displays of old quaint homes being saved, with an eye to beauty, individuality and some flair.  I loved the tile work over these windows.

 Gives the look of stained glass, doesn't it?

Outside of towns main streets, we are in an RV Park called the Rose Ranch, on Memory Lane.  The Memory Lane Cemetery is next door so we take our daily walks over there and view some history.

Silver City was the home of Billy the Kid.  Came across his mothers grave.

Up in the Cliff Dwellings National Monument north of here last week, we read about a bounty hunter, Ben Lilly.  He was noted for killing about 250 bears and 450 mountain lions.  In those days, 'that' was a good thing.  (maybe not considered as such today, but..)  Ben was said to be in his prime when in his mid 50's outworking his younger counterparts seriously.  Would sleep with his dogs outside even in sub zero weather.......  just loved the outdoors.  Died in a Poor house in his 80's.  Ben is buried here too.
Back in town, we browsed thrift shops and antique stores......
I had to laugh at this ceramic model of an early road trip!  My father first took us in a 15' Kenskill trailer from NY to Fl., that was so similar to this one.  He towed it with a 1950 Buick  stick shift.  6 weeks of bliss for a young boy!  Will never forget the freedom we enjoyed.

Laughed too at this McDonalds!  Worked at 2, exactly like this during the winter months when in high school '62/'63.  What memories some of this stuff can bring back!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Big Bend, Rio Grand / Mexican Border

 Entering the final few miles of driving south into the Big Bend National Park offered us another grand tunnel.

 In the Chisos Mountains a few miles west of where we camped.

 Hiking a trail down to the Rio Grand a few miles from our campsite, we noticed burros and men on the other side of the river.

  The Rio here is gentle, shallow and sometimes appearing near still.

 We found the men had set up little 'donation request sites' along the trail we were on, trying to offer their crafts for a few US dollars.  The town across the river had been a mining town years ago, but once the US mining company got what it wanted, the town was left to it's own devices.  Tourism was 'something for them' until 911, when the US clamped down on this open border location.

  The people there have little so try to ask for 'donations for their crafts'.  Signs placed on our trail by the US Gov. said clearly, it was a "Crime" to purchase.................  yet they were allowing the Gift Shop at the N.P. campground to sell these same crafts for 3 and 4 times the $.
 Along the river's sides were evidence of pre-columbian indian habitation.  These holes were created by the Indians grinding their seeds and grain on the rocks, slowly eroding the soft rock into pockets quite deep.

Layers of silty sediment builds up and then later might be washed away

 but within it is sometimes embeded plant or animal life that becomes fossilized, like these seed pods.

Small Towns of Texas

Texas is ONE BIG STATE!  I've driven it many times east/west, north/south over the years on motorcyles, vans, motorhomes and even a long low cloud floating seventies Caddy Eldorado, but nothing shortens the days it seems to take.  Nothing except just slowin' down and enjoying the view.

I just love Texas for it's variety, quaint old towns, artsy flair and humor.

Hearse turned Limo, in Marfa, Texas
Even government has humor, always having the biggest house in town!

Enjoy some photos below, and maybe even a comment or 2!  ;)

Especially love the way things are left to age and perfection is 'not' the only goal.  Seeing history is a part of life here and left to stand on it's own.

Our Terrarium

While hiking near Gum Springs National Forest, we decided to keep a bit of it to trigger memories in the future.

We picked up a few things near where we stood and have them in a Zip Lock- still perfect for a few weeks now.  Will get a glass cookie jar or ?? and make a terrarium for our motor home.

Gettin' off the Interstate

We try to travel off the main roads as often as possible so we can 'see' our country.
Sharecroppers homes side by side near the work buildings.

After taking the Natchez Trace Parkway south, we decided to  camp for the night in a State Park.  Following directions from our GPS, we enjoyed some country roads.

Doing so, led us through some old farming areas.  While in decay, there was a beauty to the structures I had to photograph.

  In years gone past, these would have been subject matter for my illustrations and paintings, but now....well just additions to this blog.

Enjoy and visit down memory roads.