We had gone to Silver City primarily because of its listing in a New Mexico Fabric Arts Trail book that Susan had. Four of the featured stores/galleries were in Silver City. To our dismay we discovered one was closed, one had moved elsewhere, one sold only yarn, and we couldn’t get to the fourth because a Western New Mexico University homecoming parade had the streets blocked. Silver City promotes itself as an arts community, but it doesn’t measure up to Bisbee. Our trip here was pretty much wasted time except for Shevek and Co. which was worth the trip.
We then drove to Las Cruces NM where we had lunch at Si Senor, which didn’t measure up to La Casa de Don Miguel in Carson City, but perhaps we’re getting more discriminating. Although the food was not memorable, it was plentiful, so we decided we needed an afternoon hike.
Outside Las Cruces is Dripping Springs National Recreation Area (for some reason they didn’t honor our pass but required $3 each in exact change—I guess we would have left if we hadn’t had it) which features hiking trails in the NM hills plus the ruins of a 1870s resort and early 20th century tuberculosis sanatorium. How exciting! The trails were not particularly difficult and we saw a few interesting sights along the way.
Rock formations and vegetation.
In the 1870s Eugene Van Patten developed a 16-room resort on this site. There was also a large dining room and concert hall. Noted guests included Pat Garret and Pancho Villa.
In 1917 Van Patten went bankrupt and a Doctor Nathan Boyd purchased the resort. When his wife later contracted tuberculosis, he converted the property into a sanatorium and built new facilities for the patients.
View from on high
There is a cave on the park property in which a hermit once lived. It seems this Italian named Agostini-Justiniani spent many years walking through Europe, South America, Mexico, and the American Southwest. In the 1860s he ended up at La Cueva, where he was believed to have mystical healing powers. There was an abundance of herbs nearby that helped effect his cures, and sick people were transported to La Cueva to be healed. Unfortunately in 1869 the healing hermit was murdered and the crime was never solved.
This scene was not unique to Dripping Springs but I thought it would make a good photo.
Upon leaving Las Cruces we continued south to El Paso TX where we enjoyed yet another beautiful sunset.