Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pancho Villa State Park and Las Palomas, Mexico…


I would have loved to stay in the Chirichaua Mountains a bit longer but with the birding not as good as I had hoped we moved on down the road. I hadn’t noticed it was Friday the 13th (guess you can tell I am behind on the blog) but apparently Friday the 13th took notice of me. My plans were to leave Rusty’s RV Ranch and make the short drive over to Deming, NM but I wanted to drive part of the way on highway 9 east instead of driving the majority of the way on I-10..

Well… that was my plan but I apparently missed my turn and before I knew it I saw Pancho Villa State Park. I could have turned north to continue on to Deming but since I knew some bloggers were staying at the park and since we hadn’t made any reservations at Deming we pulled in to set up camp at Pancho Villa State Park just outside of Columbus, New Mexico trusting it was probably fate that brought us there.

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Pancho Villa State Park and the town of Columbus have several buildings remaining from the 1916 raid of the town by Pancho Villa. Although the raid was repelled and Pancho retreated into nearby Mexico the raid highlighted the need for Columbus to acquire the first tactical military airfield in the United States. A squadron of JN4 Curtis Jennie biplanes were housed there to provide aerial reconnaissance for troops trying to apprehend Pancho VIlla. Although they never caught up with him (mainly because  the troops were recalled due to World War I) Pancho did meet his end in 1923 from assassination by his own people in Mexico supposedly either as an act of family revenge or for political reasons.

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The park was a nice spot for us to sit and let the next batch of windy weather pass us by. We also finally had the chance to meet up with Steve and Karen of RVing: The USA is our BIG Backyard. I first met Karen via an old RV chat line at the RV Dreamers site and long before we purchased our RV she was one of many I sought out advice from as to what I should expect from the RV lifestyle. We almost met in person in Wisconsin but finally did at this park very near the Mexico border.  What a great couple they are… and exactly as I had imagined them to be. We shared a delightful afternoon of laughter and stories.

Another highlight during our stay was our visit to the border town of Las Palomas, Mexico. We really didn’t need anything in Mexico but had heard good things about the Pink Store. We walked around town for a while checking out everything and made a small purchase of freshly made flour tortillas at a bakery. Then for our last stop we entered the Pink Store and before we had spent 5 minutes in the store a young lady asked us if we would like a complimentary margarita… why, heck yes is surely the correct response to a question like that!

The Pink Store has a wide assortment of crafts made by local artisans with an abundance of bright colors on display. We were having a blast looking at all the wares and there were some very nice glassware and artistic pieces for sale. There were also some humorous and slightly x-rated pieces of “art” as well… The young lady soon noticed our glasses were empty and offered us another margarita… ummm, yes we accepted her kind generosity! Well after several very strong margaritas we had quite an assortment of colorful items we had purchased. We had so much fun at the Pink Store we stayed and had a late lunch/early dinner there with yes, you guessed it, another margarita…

The food was pretty good but the margaritas were better and after we got back to Pancho Villa State Park we had planned to visit a campfire that Karen and Steve said they were going to light up. The wind was blowing pretty good by then so Sharon was having some trouble with her contact lenses again. Sadly we missed the camp fire but I was thinking the margaritas may have had more to do with that than the blowing dust since soon after we arrived back home Sharon had a nice long nap…

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After the windy weather blew through we decided to move on down the road as we have to eventually be near San Antonio to visit our grandkids. We left out of Columbus and moved on down highway 9 east until we landed in El Paso, Texas. Well actually we are just across the border in New Mexico at the Sunland Park Casino and Racetrack where we plan to visit an old friend of mine…


  1. Since we went through El Paso, I've been waiting to post a recommendation for Avila's Mexican restaurant in Merikay's blog, but somehow the right post has not come along. If it's a drivable distance from where you are, try it and tell us if you agree with our feeling that it's one of the best we've visited. Enchiladas verdes are what I remember!

  2. Isn't that state park so nice. The people in Columbus are so friendly. We ate and drank at the Pink Store also. What a cool place. Safe travels.

  3. Haahah we had the same experience at The Pink Store and the drinks were pretty danged strong! (I think the more you drink, the more you buy????) The prices were right of course too. So glad to finally meet you guys face to face. Will see ya down the road sometime soon, I am sure!
    KarenInTheWoods and Steveio
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

  4. You just never know what to expect or who you'll meet when you head on down the road. What a great place you found and those margaritas!! I'd die for one right now!! Have two for me.

  5. New Mexico would be perfect - if not for that dang wind.

  6. Gotta watch those margaritas they do make them very strong there, but oh so tasty.

  7. I hope to spend some time in New Mexico next fall after the Balloonfest in Albuerqueque This park is on our list.