Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The border patrol and winter winds

It's a long and boring drive on the interstate 10 into Las Cruces. At times it seemed the only ones on the road besides us were the border patrol. There are lots of them in their signature green and white trucks, some with trailers for their ATVs, parked on the side of the road. We saw one stopped on the shoulder with two officers holding guns on a couple of young Mexican men lying on the ground in their red and turquoise hoodies. I don't know if they were carrying drugs in their backpacks or just trying to get into the land of opportunity.

On all the roads heading north from the Mexican border are border patrol checkpoints where all vehicle traffic must stop to be questioned. We've had to show our passports and say where we were coming from but so far we haven't had the sniffing dogs inside Mohita. One officer seemed a little suspicious though. When we told him we were exploring the area he said, "And you are travelling around in THIS?" We tried not to be insulted.

Yesterday we arrived in Las Cruces, a city of about 100,000 not far from the west texas town of El Paso. We drove in from Demming in a windstorm. We'd spent the previous night being buffeted by winds gusting to 50 mph. They come howling across the wide open spaces this time of year whenever a front comes through. even though the sun is shining and the sky is clear blue, the wind makes it mighty cold in the morning. We liked Las Cruces better than we expected. There's a cute little 'old town' called Mesilla with adobe buildings, good restaurants and shops, there's a large and pleasant state university, and a downtown area with the main street closed to traffic and a farmers market happening. We visited the city art museum and saw a very interesting exhibit of New Mexican art. The museum also offers classes in ceramics, painting, and weaving. All the towns and cities in this area seem to have thriving arts communities.


  1. I know it seems may seem suspicious to you but violence in this area can erupt at any second.
    Your RV, truck or even a car can/is being used for drugs and people. The two "young Mexicans" could be just that but ..... better not to take a chance. A Border Patrol Agent was killed recently.
    My little VW convertible has been drug dog sniffed so many times when I drive from Tucson to California and especially when I drive back from Tubac.
    You didn't visit Organ Pipe National Monument, about 50 miles from Tucson. If you go on a tour now it is with armed Forest Service Agents. A Forest Service Ranger was shot to death there and it is listed the most dangerous park in America since about 2002 I think.
    I used to go there with my family when I was a child. I wouldn't let anyone I loved or knew visit there now. And it is a beyond beautiful park.

    I know a wonderful Photographer who likes the desert area from Tucson to Nogalas. He wants to photograph as many species before they are all gone. Because of the smuggling of drugs and people the eco-system is being destroyed. As he recently wrote about one of his photos where you could see a gun strapped to his leg... he said I do not want to be a sitting target. He also travels with a crew.

    It seems every time we drive through Demming there is usually some sort of wind storm or a sometimes a wonderful rain storm. I don't really remember Las Cruces, stayed there many years ago, but it sound really lovely now.

    Pet the Doggies for me.
    cheers, parsnip

    1. Hi Parsnip,
      Oh my, it does sound scary--and very sad that it's come to this. We're in T or C now taking the warm baths. Still windy here but we're hoping it will settle down soon.

  2. You may be in the land of opportunity, but it's really dangerous down there. Stay safe. That said, poor Mohita...suffering such insult!

    1. Thanks Rudee, we're taking care. And Mohita has a thick skin!


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