Sunday, 29 November 2015

ON A NEW MEXICO TRAIL; Part 1 ... Then and Now - with A. Vanderhoorn

This post is dedicated to the memory of my grand-parents, Natividad and Virginia Aguilar.   Natividad was born on Christmas day; that's how he got his name.


The phrase 'land of enchantment' describes New Mexico's scenic beauty and it's rich history of a diverse Native American population. 
My grandfather was from southern New Mexico and was part Apache.  He and my grandmother, of Mexican Indian descent, retired to Las Cruces, New Mexico in 1973. 
I have been blessed to have spent my entire life traveling to and from Las Cruces - The City of Crosses. 

Both my grandparents are gone but I have a cousin with whom I grew up,, who still lives there.  My cousin and I were lucky because we traveled all through New Mexico with our grand-parents.

Angie with  her grand-parents, Natividad and Virginia, around 1995.

The desert to the southwest is rugged and barren, yet beautiful. Most days New Mexico is filled with abundant sunshine and clean, dry air. 

Las Cruces is in the southern part of the state and is the second most populated city in New Mexico, with approximately 101,000 people.  The Organ Mountains lie to the east of the city.  They are a great place to take a day trip.  There are many different hiking trails.   On the west side of the mountains is an area called Dripping Springs ... an area which has several natural springs. 

The Organ Mountains rise to 9,000 feet high and are enriched by several permanent springs.  Because of the water found here, the surroundings land and mountain range are home to 80 species of mammals, 185 species of birds, 60 species of reptiles and cacti that thrive in the dryness. 

A  Rattle Snake ... dangerous!

On the trail to Dripping Springs is a ruin of a resort called 
'Colonel Eugene Van Patten's Dripping Springs Resort', built in the 1870's.  Van Patten was married to a Piro Indian and together they ran the secluded resort.

Old hotel from the 1800s

Remains of structures (a fort?), from the 19th century.  Can you see the canon? 

Click and read about The Livery'; circa late 1800s

Angie's cousin, Robert, walking through the town of  La Cruces,
with the Organ Mountains in the distance.  

Native American history is tightly woven into the history of New Mexico.  They cannot be separated.  Much has changed and much remains the same. 



In the next post we take a few more glimpses of La Cruces as recently as about 2 months ago, together with some interesting highlights from the past of this town in New Mexico.


Angela Vanderhoorn shared this trail through Las Cruces and The Organ Mountains, with TrailSpots (T-Spots!).

Here she is basking in the foothills of the Organ Mountains of New Mexico.
Thank you, my friend, for sharing this priceless part of your youth and adult life.
The dedication of this post to your grand-parents is but small proof of your love and appreciation of their legacy.  

Coming up next: Part 2 - 'On A New Mexico Trail ... Then and Now.' 




Guys just wanna have fun ... right?   Last week-end, one of our trail-spotters, AG and some friends, went on a fun rally trail sponsor...