Today I should be posting pictures of the Guadalupe mountains. Sadly, I didn’t make it there. So goes the glamorous life of an RVer.
Some of you may be envious of my lifestyle. Going to photographing wherever. I guess if I was in your shoes, I’d be envious too. But this morning — well, let me tell you the story.
I’m in Van Horn, Texas. Planning to photograph the Guadeloupe Mountains. It’s 5:30 in the morning. Doing my morning routine. I step on the pedal to flush the toilet. It broke. Luckily everything operated correctly before the little plastic piece went skidding across the floor. Change of plans, I’m now spending the day to find a place to get the part that just broke.
Let me tell you about Van Horn, Texas. It is in the middle of nowhere. Just an overnight stop for RVers and truckers off I-10. A Google search shows me there’s nobody that repairs RVs other than their motors within 100 miles.
I eventually find a dealer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It is 123 miles away. So, the next morning. I’m off to the dealer. My appointment was at 11:00 AM. I rolled in at 10:00 AM because I changed time zones. They were more than helpful. At $200 an hour, I’d be very helpful too. Long story short. Part not in stock. I now have a brand-new Throne.
Las Cruces was on the way to my next stop the Caballo mountains. With the cost of fuel rather than going backward 123 miles, I decided to continue and arrive early. This gives me some extra days allowing me to visit both the Caballo Mountains and lake, but add a side trip to Chloride, New Mexico, a ghost town.
The Caballo Mountains border the Rio Grande, and the lake was formed by a dam project. Caballo Lake is a favorite place for water lovers and fishermen. The weekends were busy with lots of weekenders enjoying the state park.
The ghost town of Chloride is on the edge of the Gila National Forest. It has nine residents living there. They are slowly restoring the buildings. At this time, you may visit the Pioneer Store (now a museum), the Dance Hall Saloon (now a gift shop), and the Grafton Cabin.
The most interesting for me was the Pioneer Store. This large log building was built in 1880. It served the community through the silver boon years. You could buy any necessity you need for living on the frontier. It sold mining equipment, cattle and horse feed, clothing, stoves, and any other item you may need for your home, farm, or mining operation.
In 1881, it began service as the post office, and later in 1882 a local newspaper, the Black Range, operated out of the second floor. The store also served as the local bank and occasional pawn shop.
In 1896 the boom ended and in 1923 the owners locked the doors and left everything even the food there. In 1989 (after critters had a run of the place), it was purchased, and restoration began.
So, sometimes the life of an RVer is not so glamorous, but often there is a silver lining. I found this silver lining in the abandoned, a once booming silver mining town called Chloride.
Enjoy my photographs from the Caballo Mountains and Chloride.
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