One evening during my trip to New Mexico…..
I am driving west into the sunset on Interstate 10 after a day spent at Cloudcroft and White Sands. The land is perfectly flat. The sky is still lit up in front of me but it is quite dark behind me. The sky is clear except for a few wispy clouds. The universe opens up in front of me. I wish I could take a picture but it is not possible at 80mph. There is no place to stop in the desolate countryside that I am passing. I can see for miles. I drive by a mountain range to the left of the highway, not too far away, wondering if I was looking at some place in Mexico. As I approach Deming, I see the rail cars of a freight train caught in the orange evening light, framed against the beautiful sky in front of me. The train is also heading towards Deming, and pretty soon the railroad line and the highway are running parallel to each other. I catch up with, and pass, the freight train as I enter into Deming, NM, my stop for the night.
Deming is a very small sleepy town not too far from the border with Mexico. In fact you can see the occasional Border Patrol truck being driven around town. I do not think that Deming is well known for anything at this point. I had passed through this town during a cross-country trip in 1987 and was curious if my faulty memory matched reality. This is primarily a railroad stop for freight trains. The town itself lies around a one to two mile stretch of road that parallels interstate 10. It feels typical of a place along a highway that survives by offering services to travelers. There are quite a few motels and even some chain restaurants. The streets are quite empty as a enter town late in the evening. I need to to get me some authentic Mexican food. The local restaurants close early for the evening and I have to eat at the Dennys.
Went roaming around the town early in the morning as the sun was rising.
I parked my car (seen in the picture below) at the gas station so that I could walk around and take pictures.
Went searching for Irma’s and managed to get me some real Mexican breakfast. The restaurant is around the corner in the picture below.
I could stand in the middle of the road to take pictures.
My nice little hotel room cost only $40! I must have stayed at some similar place on Interstate 10 in 1987.
Soon after breakfast I checked out of the hotel and took off north on a local road (Route 180), heading for the Gila National Forest and the Gila cliff dwellings.