Lordsburg, NM: Returning to the Scene of the Crime

We got off to a slow start yesterday morning. We spent last night at Cranberry's Chatterbox restaurant in Lordsburg. With it being a free night, we didn't want to arrive too early. One of the many advantages of staying in state parks is that check out time is usually a civilized 2:00 p.m., which allows us to be very slow in the morning. Heck, there's even time for a hike, if one is so inclined. We would have enjoyed our time at Elephant Butte State Park more had it not been so windy. It was nice there, however, and so no complaints.

Getting off to a slow start gave me plenty of time to work on my embroidery.

As for yesterday's drive, it took us through Hatch, New Mexico, which is the home of certain chile peppers. You can read about the development of New Mexico chile peppers right here. I'm a chile pepper lover, although I tend toward the medium level of hot, and so it seemed like a good place to stop off to have a look. When we drove into town, it was a virtual chile-lover's heaven with bundles of red chiles hanging in nearly every store front. They're so pretty!

They were bundled together in long strings of peppers, ornaments, wreaths, and you name it. They could be had any way you wanted.

We got a chuckle reading about Hatch, New Mexico, on Wikipedia. Did you know the official state question for the state of New Mexico is, "Red or Green?"

We'd read about this place on TripAdvisor as we traveled along, and so this is where we stopped.

Are you feeling brave? Those XXX jobs are as hot as they come.

We didn't end up buying any peppers, but I did pick up two cookbooks and a jar of fire-roasted green chile salsa.

Sounds yummy, no?

Just across the street was this restaurant, and so we went in there for lunch. Mike had a green chile chimichanga, and I had a green chile burrito. Both were delicious.

At the front door of the restaurant was this sign about the town of Hatch.

On the way back to the RV, we stopped in at yet another store to admire their Mexican pottery and other forms of yard art.

We still had about 100 miles to drive to our stop for the night. Along the way we crossed over the Continental Divide.

Okay, so we're here in Lordsburg, and I promised you a story about Lordsburg, so here goes:

When we were first married, we spent our first three years in Phoenix, Arizona, where Mike went to engineering school, and I worked as a legal secretary. One long weekend, we decided to drive to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. I'd visited there as a teenager, and found it so enchanting. Who knew if we'd ever be so close again, and so we decided to drive over and see it. At the time, we were poor as church mice, and so Motel 6's were our only option (they were $11 in those days for a double). We took off from Phoenix on a Friday afternoon after work and drove to Lordsburg, arriving around 2:00 a.m. and heading to our Motel 6 for the night.

As we exited the freeway, red lights came on behind us. Oy. What? As it turns out, there was a 25 mph speed on the freeway off ramp. Who knew? There were two police officers, who appeared to be about 12 years old...and they acted 12 years old as well. The more "important" of the two decided it was a good time to lecture us about the dangers of high speed driving (we were going 35, according to them). Mike said something like, "Officer, I'm very tired. I didn't see a sign indicating the speed limit. We're on our way to our motel. Please either write us a ticket, or let us get on our way."

The other officer seemed to want to argue the point insisting, "We've got radar! Wanna see?"

And really, showing us the radar seemed to be the real reason for the stop.

"No, thank you," Mike said politely. "I believe you...really, we'd just like to get to our motel."

Finally, thoroughly deflated at not being able to show off their radar, they let us go without a citation. It's our one and only experience with Lordsburg.

One of you recently told me that you refer to New Mexico (aka the "Land of Enchantment") as the "Land of Entrapment." No kidding.

So that's our one and only Lordsburg story. We thought about it when we decided to stay the night here. It's the first time we've been back since that night.

And now, our agreement with the restaurant that has allowed us to stay the night for free is that we'll purchase at least one meal. So...with that...we're off to breakfast. By day's end, we'll be in Arizona at Picacho Peak State Park...another new-to-us destination.

11 comments from clever and witty friends:

QuiltShopGal said...

I'm also a big chile pepper lover. Can't imagine who buys those mega large bags of chile peppers. Fun story about you guys visiting the Land of Entrapment.

Suzanne said...

Hatch, NM is on my Husbands Bucket list. He loves chilies...the hotter, the better. We had friends buy one of those large bags, which they shared with multiple neighbors and friends.

Paula said...

I enjoyed your post today. My husband and I are originally from South Dakota and have lived in Tucson, AZ for almost 38 years. We make at least one driving trip back home every year to visit parents and siblings and always go through Hatch. If no one mentioned it to you, the Hatch to Deming cut-off saves time over the interstate route. We have bought Hatch chili ristras (dried, tied bunches of chilis) and they last forever! Hatch is a cute town and I'd love to explore sometime. We'll definitely try the restaurant for lunch this summer. Have a safe trip and enjoy Picacho Peak.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

One of our NM relatives gave us a jar of Hatch green chili sauce for Christmas. Used it to make chicken enchilada’s with.

gpc said...

Scofflaws. I should have known it.

Quilter Kathy said...

Cabernet stitchery is coming along well. You probably made a lot of progress during the lengthy and unnecessary talking down from the entrapment officers!

Kate said...

Such a sad history you have with Lordsburg. Hopefully they weren't on the look out for you. You've been to some very interesting places this trip. Thanks for sharing some of your fun photos.

quiltzyx said...

Oh my, Mike must have really been tired on that trip, to not be interested in the radar gun!!
Well, I can understand why you didn't buy a whole, giant bag of chiles, being as you only have limited space in the RV. Looking at the photo of the cookbooks & jar of salsa - I thought the jar had a picture of a mouse on it, until I realized it's a reflection of the green chile from the book! lol

When I took my roadtrip in 2007, I crossed the Continental Divide twice (I think) - but didn't realize it the first crossing until I looked at my photos & saw the sign at the side of the road!

piecefulwendy said...

Well, just mind your P's and Q's while you head down those ramps around Hatch and you should be fine. Ha! Sounds like an interesting town, and now I've learned something I didn't know. The green chili chimi sounds yummy.

QuiltGranma said...

Lordsburg, as in the classic John Wayne Movie "Stagecoach"? Or were you still in NM? That one I think is just south of Tucson?

Brown Family said...

I am not a chili fan, but it is interesting to learn about where they come from!