Trip Start Mar 04, 2005
253Trip End Dec 31, 2014
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Where I stayed
Dream Catcher RV Park - run by the Escapees Club $18 full hookup
The Southern Pacific and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad connected here in 1881 making them the second transcontinental railroad to be completed in the United States. At the time there was hope that Deming would rival Chicago as an important railroad hub and the city was nicknamed New Chicago. The city name is a tribute to Mary Ann Deming Crocker, wife of Charles Crocker one of the 'Big Four' of the railroad industry of that time. The coming of the railroad would bring with it a surge in population.
During the first World War, the War Department established Camp Cody near Deming, as a training encampment that covered over 2000 acres. At the termination of the war, Camp Cody was used for a tuberculosis sanatorium for ex-soldiers. During World War II, an Army Air Force Base was installed in Deming. This base trained bombardiers and there were over 5000 men stationed at here.
Once settled in at our campground we took a look at the New Mexico map and discovered that we were within an easy 'day trips' drive to Gila Cliff Dwelling National Park. This is someplace we have always wanted to visit but it is a bit out of the way. The trip, one way, is about 90 miles but the last half of the trip would take over 2 hours to travel due to the condition of the road. It was well worth it as the drive is very scenic.
The dwellings are located along a mile long loop trail that takes about an hour to hike. What is interesting about these dwellings is that they were only occupied for one generation. Archeologists believe they were built around 1275 and abandoned in 1300. The five caves contain 46 rooms and it is estimated that 15 families lived here. As with other ancient dwellings we have no way of knowing why they left or where they went. It's all a very puzzling mystery!
We traveled on different roads on the way back to the coach. Still slow and scenic but by doing so it allowed us to stop of at City of Rocks State Park. Formed of volcanic ash welded together 35 million years ago, then sculpted by wind and water these rows of monolithic blocks exist in only six other places in the world! It is truly something to behold! There is a campground here and I think it would be an amazing place to 'camp out' for a few days, if for no other reason then to watch the sun rise and set!
Deming is proof that you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover. We found a very charming town, good food, inexpensive camping and some intersting sites to check out. Deming will definately be a must stop on future trips across Interstate 10!