From El Paso westbound, we stuck close to the border, in the tracks of Wandering Willy from about two weeks ago.
This is a fairly ‘bland’ area of southern New Mexico, but good driving on a straight road with no traffic, except me and the Border Patrol. For part of the route, you can easily see the endless vehicle barrier fence stretching for miles across the flats. It was early when we got to Columbus, the site of the famous raid into the US by Pancho Villa in 1916.
The state park of the same name was a pleasant surprise, and too inviting to pass up. The place was surprisingly busy, although I think there may have been a caravan in camp. But they had a range of campsites, including some random dry campsites away from the rest, which was just what I was looking for. The campground is right on the grounds of the 13th cavalry’s Camp Furlong, with numerous original buildings and structures still standing. There is a good museum in the park, and historical hiking trails throughout the area. The town of Columbus also has a number of historic buildings and interpretive plaques.
Compared to the facilities and staff at Garner SP in Texas, the staff and atmosphere here was refreshingly casual and laid-back.
Cootes Hill, right in the campground – where the troops were eventually able to repel the attack from the south.
I recommend a visit here, but you might be tempted to spend a few days!
When I told Hailey the story of the surprise raid a mere 95 years ago, she insisted in climbing a tree to be on the lookout for anyone coming across the border.
For more on the Pancho Villa story, check out these links:
Before you know it, we might be back in Arizona!