Saturday, April 10, 2010

Las Cruces

We're enjoying our room with a view here in Las Cruces. Bullwinkle is pointed right at the mountains to the East and the city down below. The sunrises and sunsets are breathtaking.

Yesterday we did a bit of geocaching in nearby La Llorona Park. This beautiful park features miles of hike/bike trails that run along the Rio Grande River. The last time we crossed this river we were coming in from Mexico. Here you'll find US soil on both sides.

This morning we headed downtown to the weekly Las Cruces Farmer's Market. Events like this provide a great opportunity to get a taste (literally and figuratively) of a locale. There's not much produce at this market, but the kettle corn booth was very popular. Many artists displayed their works. Never before have we seen so many beaders in one place!

Several musicians performed along the downtown mall. This Mariachi band was quite good.

In the City of Crosses we've seen a lot of crosses. These two sit atop the St. Genevieve's Church Monument, which pays tribute to a the cathedral built in 1859 and destroyed in 1967 as part of the city's "urban renewal" project. The monument was erected in 1998 to commemorate this historical loss. Today Las Cruces is working to restore the original character of its Main Street, which was lost to urban renewal.

Along Main Street we found Organ Mountains Quilt Shop, a place that proclaims it satisfies "your itch to stitch." Yes, I had to stop.

This lovely store was filled with delightful fabrics, including an assortment of New Mexico designs. I picked these four to include in our quilt.

We've been told by many that Old Town Mesilla is a "must see" when you're in this part of the world. So, we spent the afternoon wandering around this little piece of history. The town plaza is anchored by San Albino Basilica. The "new" church has stood here for more than 100 years and was built on the foundation of the original adobe church, which was completed in 1857.

Today the original adobe buildings on the plaza house little shops and restaurants. We did a lot of looking and captured some of our favorite finds with the camera. These little Mexican fiesta dresses were very sweet.

Del Sol has a wonderful display of rugs, blankets and other tapestries. You just have to reach out and touch them!

Once upon a time we would've bought some of this. But, these days we're just looking.

Now, why didn't I buy one of these little baskets? They weigh very little and take up hardly any space.

We saw lots and lots of pottery.

This was an interesting and eerie display.

Of course, because we're in Las Cruces every store had crosses!

Our favorite shopping stop of the day was nambe'. This New Mexico original makes beautiful things out of metal alloy, copper, granite, crystal and wood. The designs are simple and, in our opinion, gorgeous. The sales clerk gave us a bit of history about these wonderful creations. If you're looking for a unique gift for anything from a new baby to a retirement party, check out nambe'.

This is one of the small adobe homes in Mesilla. There's something beautiful about this very organic style.

On our way back to the KOA we made a quick stop to check out something we'd seen when we first arrived. If you're traveling East on I-10 just before Las Cruces you'll see a rest area. Believe us, it's worth a stop. First of all, this is an an award-winning rest stop! Here you'll find gobs of parking, plenty of private picnic shelters and a stunning view of the Mesilla Valley and Organ Mountains.

If the facilities and view aren't enough to make you stop, check out this giant roadrunner. We've seen several of the life-size versions of New Mexico's state bird. But, at 20-feet tall and nearly 40-feet long, this one definitely grabbed our attention.

As we got closer we discovered this roadrunner is recycled! This roadside attraction was created in 1992 by artist Olin S. Calk. The big bird has a belly made of old shoes and is adorned with everything from office fans to computer parts to kid's toys.

This unique and larger than life sculpture definitely has a bird's eye view of a beautiful part of the Southwest.


Linda said...

I have a beautiful Nambe dish that I got as a wedding present. I love it so much, I refused to take it out of the box. :) Seriously, it will be on display in our fulltiming rig.

squawmama said...

WOW we passed right by that rest area and I never saw the rosdrunner... I would have loved it!!! Have a great day & travel safe.

sue and doug said...

thanks for sharing your arts and crafts day with us!..loved the bowls, baskets, blankets.i would have bought at least one of each..!! and the views..oh..and the blue shirt!!!

Gordon and Juanita said...

I love the fabrics...that's one store I missed. I think we were in a hurry to get to Quartzite for some reason. juanita