Thursday, March 21, 2013


When we travel west we always stop in Columbus, New Mexico. We like its uniqueness and friendliness. We camp in town at Pancho Villa State Park. Before Janice left us, we wanted her to experience The Pink Store, located just across the border in Palomas Mexico. When we crossed the border it was a bit unsettling to see Mexican police and military with M16s. We walked as quickly as we could to the The Pink Store to shop and have lunch. Before we went into Mexico, a park volunteer, who goes over to Palomas often, made the comment that it is very safe and there has never been any problems for US citizens.  Janice immediately asked, "What about Canadians?" Yvonne Romero, the owner of the store, always greets us as we arrive and makes everyone feel welcome.

Mexican Military in Palomas   Photo Credit Janice Henshaw

Statue of Pancho Villa in Palomas Square

Tarahumara woman selling her creations in Palomas
The Pink Store
Lunch   Photo Credit Janice Henshaw

This year we stayed to experience Camp Furlong Days. The annual event promotes friendship and goodwill between the US and Mexico.  Residents from both sides of the border join in celebrating. The date of this event is the date Mexico invaded the United States in 1916.  This year the Columbus Historical Society honored the 18 US victims of that day with photos on display. There were speakers and vendors and people singing and dancing in the plaza. The most spectacular of all was the parade of riders who had traveled over 150 miles to cross the border to join with riders from the U.S. in a celebration of peace.  

Parade of Mexican riders joined with the US riders 

Cabalgata Riders 

Centered in the Village Plaza - dancers, music, arts and crafts and food treats

This man is holding a picture of his grandfather who was killed the night of the raid.
 He was born the same date and time of the raid thirty-two years later. 
Sapphire Energy outside of Columbus, NM    Click here to read more

Loved the food at this little place in Columbus.  Manuela, the owner, takes orders, cooks, sometimes serves and somehow squeezes a little time to chat with customers.  

We make so many new friends while traveling and sometimes we're on the same routes and staying at the same campgrounds. We also look up friends from home who are traveling in the South for the winter. It makes traveling so much more fun. We looked up Marlene and Dave Ferguson before they headed back to Michigan and then spent a couple of days doing fun things with Mary Ann and Bob Warner. Of course when we're in Deming we try to look up the Kretek twins who we met through the Warners three years ago. These two women are now in their 80's and have lived in Deming since birth. They are very involved in the community and are very active. If they're not playing golf then they're involved in some fundraiser. They are characters and have some interesting comments on historical events in the area. They definitely don't like Pancho Villa. Their parents lived during the time of the raid and I'm sure they heard many things against him through the years. Also they remember as children the sound of the bomb that was tested in a remote area north of them.  It shook their windows but their mom said it was nothing, just go back to bed. Their brother had a paper route and had to go deliver papers and he saw the glow from it.  Info on atomic bomb 
Regarding the spaceship crash and the aliens, their friends who lived near Roswell saw the army come in and haul something out.  The army (government) said it was just a weather balloon but the ranchers say it was a space craft crash and they believe the ranchers and their friends.  Info on Alien Spaceship    (Gertrude and Geraldine Kretek pictured below)

Camping friends, Jon and Ellen Konnert, we met in Big Bend and again at Columbus and once more at Portal.
We look forward to meeting again.

From Columbus we continued west on Hwy 9 to Arizona and into the Chiricahua Mountains. We love the Portal, AZ side.  It was the first time driving into our favorite National Forest Campground with our new, taller motorhome.  We weren't sure if we could get in without scraping, so we parked the motorhome at the visitor's center and drove the car to the campground watching for branches that may be too low. There was only one that we had to worry about but we squeezed in just fine. 

After a couple days we drove to the West side of the Chiricahuas to the National Park but camped just outside of the park entrance because all the larger camping spaces were full. This little triangle of BLM land was the best camping spot. We were the only ones and it was dark and peaceful. The next morning, inside the park, we caught a morning shuttle to the top of the mountain and hiked the 9 1/2 miles back to our car through beautiful rock formations and landscape. Now it's on to civilization and the light and noise of Tucson and Phoenix. 


  1. Wow, Mexican food, dancing mamacitas and awesome geology! Seems like a great part of the trip.

  2. We love the Portal area and have hiked and camped in that campground - Sunny Flats, eh? Also over the mountain and all the hiking trails at Rustler Park and in the National Park. What the road over closed this time of year?

  3. Shhhhhhh! I didn't give the name on purpose - the boomers are coming and they'll be taking over everything!!! hahahaha
    It was only 20 miles up and over the mountain to reach the National Park on the west side but driving up in the car we hit snow and mud about 8 miles up. We hated to have to drive all the way around (about 150 miles) but decided it wouldn't be smart to take the motorhome over. We've gone over the top before but it was in a mini-van. Good to hear from you.