October 31 - November 1, 2015:
We awaken to bright sun, so nice to see it here in sunny New Mexico. It was about 70 miles from San Antonio to Caballo Lake State Park, just south of Truth and Consequences, New Mexico. I took old route 1 for half the trip, all alone, no one else on the road. I suppose this was the main road before I-25 was built, parts of it are on the El Camino Real. It runs parallel to I-25 except for a few miles like when it goes down into Nogal Canyon and then uphill to a point looking down on I-25. I like driving these back roads as they are much more sedate and scenic.
|All alone on the road for miles|
Caballo Lake State Park is formed by a dam on the Rio Grande River, is the 3rd largest lake in New Mexico and is mostly for irrigation purposes. Nice campsites with electric and water, shower facilities, dump station for $14 a night. A great view of Caballo Mountain across the Lake from our campsite.
|View of the Lake|
We ride south to the town of Hatch, world famous for its Chili peppers. We stopped at a roadside store, buying a small ceramic bird, then had lunch at the world famous “Sparky’s Burgers, Barbecue & Espresso”. It was a special treat as a young hispanic band was playing traditional music in the dining room. I had another great green chili burger, now three in a row, all claiming to the best in the world. They need to have a competition here to settle this issue. I may have reached my limit of chili burgers for the year. This place is a must see, even without the chili burgers, as the walls are covered with old advertising signs, not reproductions but real old original ones. They also have live music quite frequently. Outside they have quite a selection of real goofy stuff, but fun.
|A giant RV man in front of a Hatch RV dealer|
|A piano smashed into roof of a classic RV ?|
|Front of Sparky's|
|This is the Sparky's mascot|
|The band performing at Sparky's|
|Old advertising sign at Sparky's|
|Weirdness across the street |
On the north side side of Caballo Lake is the town of Truth or Consequences. We were here about the same time last year and had to make a stop at the “Passion Pie Cafe" (a favorite) for a coffee and a muffin. This is a great cafe not to be missed ! Truth or Consequences is known for its name derived from the TV game show, its many hot springs, its great museum and a budding arts district.
|Mural on downtown building|
|Our Heritage mural on downtown bank|
|Downtown street view|
|The classic El Cortez Theater|
|Raven mural on building is a favorite|
|The Passion Pie Cafe|
We next take a ride into the Black Range Mountains to the old gold and silver mining town of Hillsboro settled in 1870. Along the way were many interesting sights, beautiful country !
|The Black Range Museum seems to always be closed|
|The Percha Creek Bridge built in 1927|
|A extra nice Cholla Cactus|
|Huge fruits on that guy|
Next stop is the City of Rocks State Park;
Twinkles and Slick