While our friends and family in the great Northeast were getting hammered with the Blizzard of 2016, we were driving around the back roads of New Mexico, looking for ghost towns and other points of interest!
Here’s a map of our route –
We left from Truth or Consequences (bottom of map) and picked up Rte 52, which took us (more or less) to the ghost town of Chloride.
At one time, Chloride was the center of a large silver mining area. According to an internet source – During the 1880s, Chloride had 100 homes, 1,000-2,000 people, eight saloons, three general stores, restaurants, butcher shops, a candy store, a lawyer’s office, a doctor, boarding houses, an assay office, a stage line, a Chinese laundry and a hotel.
Today there are about 10 people in residence and many of them are involved in restoring several buildings that are still standing. The Pioneer Store was pretty much closed down with all of its inventory intact, so about 90% of the items in the store are original!
The bank was less than a shell
but today it’s a quaint cafe, which serves a pretty sweet little lunch.
Its hours are limited, but we thankfully found it open!
This cabin was originally in a neighboring town (Grafton), and was moved to this spot several years ago.
It was a very interesting stop, trying to imagine that town as a bustling turn of the century community!
Instead of just unwinding our drive back to Truth or Consequences, we decided to take the long (as in very long) way home and headed north on 52. Yes, that is 40+ miles of dirt road. But when has a little dirt road stopped us?!
There wasn’t much between the paved ends of the road, but we did see a couple signs of life!
Where there’s a gate, there must be a ranch, right?
It wasn’t marked on the map, but this certainly looked like some abandoned settlement.
We traveled most of the way with the San Mateo Mountains on our right, but on our left the Plains of San Augustin stretched out before us!
Eventually, as we neared the paved highway, we saw this in the distance-
We weren’t sure what a “Very Large Array Telescope” is, but we were pretty sure we were going to find out!
I’m not going to attempt to explain how these work or why they are important (you can check it out HERE!) but they certainly were impressive to view!
As you can see, they are aptly named as Very Large –
(Not so science-y, but this site was in the 1997 sci-fi film “Contact” with Jodi Foster. Just in case it looks a bit familiar!)
After checking out the Very Large Arrays, we hopped back on the paved road (Rte 60) and headed to Socorro.
Look – snow!
Sadly, by the time we made it to Socorro, we were too tired to do much exploring! So after a quick stop at Sonic for some energy to get us down the road, we hopped on the big highway and headed south!
It was a beautiful day to travel some of New Mexico’s back roads and it was grand to share it with friends! And we were back in time for quite a lovely sunset.
Thanks for coming along on our Saturday adventure, and if you’re interested in seeing a bit more of the New Mexico countryside, you can check out the whole set HERE!