Monday, December 20, 2010

Driving To and Walking Around Deming

First, the positive points about traveling the 350+ miles from Phoenix to Deming, NM.

It's early December and there are no problems due to winter weather conditions. We have usually stopped in Tucson, but not this time, so it was especially gratifying not to have to fight snow, ice, and strong winds during the relatively long drive.

The terrain is flat with only a few small hills. After driving the Grapevine and of the some of the moun-tainous areas of southern California, this was a welcome change. We could see mountains as we drove past them, rather than over them.

Once past Tucson, there is relatively little traffic. From our RV park north of Phoenix to Tucson there is traffic characteristic of major cities--and it moves faster than I do. After Tucson, there is a change.

I will never use the word "boring" to describe driving conditions. I am quite happy to be driving along interstate highways with little traffic and much less stress.

However, there were long sections of open highway during which we would focus on a mountain or hillside and drive for miles and miles with the same mountain or hillside still on the horizon with little apparent change in the distance to the landmark.

We have found beauty in a variety of landscapes, and this drive provided additional time to observe these examples of eastern Arizona and western New Mexico scenery.

Taking photographs from the interstate produces photos that often have a "softer" appearance. The yellow-beige grasses and the "purplish" mountains create a photo more like a painting.

Along this sparsely-populated stretch, we would consult our guides for truck stops to determine where to stop for fuel. But we were able to make it to Deming, NM without having to compete with truckers for fuel.

Deming is located in the Southwestern part of New Mexico, 33 miles North of the Mexico border and about 60 miles west of Las Cruces.

Deming was founded in 1881 and its first years were hard ones. It had such a bad reputation that some outlaws rounded up in Arizona were given one way tickets to Deming.

As a result, the jail just to the east of the Luna County Courthouse (left) may have gotten a lot of use. The 1910 Courthouse looked quite good after a century of use.

We took the Historic Walking Tour around the downtown area. The Customs House, built in 1889, was the home of Judge Seaman Field, U.S. Customs Officer.

Built in 1913 and opened as a restaurant, this building with its six boarded transom windows now houses the Tinaja Alta Trading Company.

The Deming Center for the Arts was rebuilt after a 1914 fire and is the home of the Deming Arts Council, which presents exhibits ranging from work by students to works done by well-known area artists.

One of Deming's important commercial structure from the 1829s to the 1950s, the J.A. Mahoney Building was completed in 1912.

Morgan Hall, built in 1908, was originally the City Hall and fire station. It was remodeled in 1938 and today serves as a community center with meeting rooms and stage productions.

One of the town's most important community meeting places, the Baker Hotel still looks like the place for anything important to be discussed.

(We are in Deming, but we'll return [photographically speaking] to Phoenix on Christmas Eve.)

No comments: