Las Cruces, New Mexico – 9 April, 2006
We spend three days in Las Cruces. It is at an altitude of 4,000 feet and is near the Mexican border. The Rio Grande River is just south of town and the rugged Organ Mountains are visible to the north. Las Cruces has a population of 75,000 and housing prices seem very reasonable. Rainfall averages eight inches a year. There are two city parks with municipal tennis courts
I take Mrs Phred to the Billy the Kid Hair Salon for maintenance. We also run the cycle and RV though a car wash to get rid of accumulated road dust, do laundry and check tyre pressures and fluids. The motorcycle front tyre is showing sidewall cracks from age. We both like the feel of this place and the people we meet here.
The Howling Coyote Open Mic provides a forum for poets and musicians to perform on Friday night. The Fine Art Museum has a fine display of amateur astronomy photography. We go to the town mall weekly craft bazaar and buy used paperbacks and a jar of mesquite honey.
The small town of Mesilla a few miles away has an historic movie theatre called The Fountain. The theatre walls are covered with large murals. The building has large cracks and you can see that straw was used to strengthen the mortar in the walls.
Billy the Kid was sentenced to death here in Mesilla. We see a very good but disturbing French movie with subtitles called 'Cache' (the hidden) and drink some local wine called 'Plum Loco'. There is a Catholic church in the Mesilla town square. It has a large memorial for fallen servicemen and those who also served. All the names on the monument are Hispanic. A policeman drives slowly past the church as we read the names and makes the sign of the cross in his cruiser.