New Mexico, Part 3

New Mexico, Part 3

See also NM, Pt. 1 & NM, Pt. 2

The motto for Tee or Cee?

“Nothing to do —
and all day to do it.”

That works. Black Cat Books changed hands. Most of the town was on “Winter Hours.” Lots of shuttered storefronts. Bet it’s like a fireworks stand, make money during narrow windows of time, some kind of summer influx.

New Mexico, Part 3

Many years ago, at a formative stage of my life, I encountered a passage by sage Texas scion, Larry McMurtry — words about driving across Texas and having chicken fried steak.(1) In my native Texas, there’s a chain called What-a-Burger, local legendary favorite, started in Corpus Christi, TX, but is now headquartered in San Antonio, TX. But in New Mexico, there’s a local chain called Blake’s Lot-a-burger. Native Texans should stop reading now.

The Blake’s in T or C was amazing, and far outstripped any recent memories of What-a-burger. That comment will get me in deep trouble. But it was true. I got a burger that was fresh cooked. Fresh meat, fresh ingredients, and Hatch Green Chili from just down the road a piece. Not a fur piece, either. Just great fast food from a local chain. That burger can face off against any of the trendy gourmet burgers that abound.

In a larger sense, though, growing up in Texas, where a chain that is as excellent as What-a-burger, then time spent bouncing though New Mexico with its Blake’s Lotaburger? Years ago, a Blake’s opened down the street from Grace, but it didn’t quit make the translation.

Which brings up the weird part about the state line, Anthony, both in Texas and New Mexico. Cross the line and the atmosphere, people, prices, and food all change. Especially the food. New Mexico chilis are way better. Nuances, heat ranges, and relative Scoville scale? Just a better pepper. Perhaps it’s the seemingly unforgiving landscape, terrain, and geography.

Stopped for breakfast in Las Cruces, where the two interstates are conjoined, I-10, the East-West pipeline and 25, where is splits north to Albuquerque and Santa Fe. For a few short miles, it seems like 10 runs north-south, along the southwestern flank of the Franklin Mountains, themselves remnants of mountain much older than the Rockies, but then, I always thought of the Franklins as a spur from Colorado and beyond.

Breakfast in Las Cruces, just down the road from Hatch? Yes, the peppers were outstanding.

New Mexico, Part 3

Soak in the healing waters in TorC. Seemed there was a movement afoot to change the name, again, to “Hot tubs r us,” but it wasn’t getting much traction.

Yeah, great backwater town, never be a big deal, but a great place to rest, recuperate and get over what is going on.

New Mexico, Part 3

Trost and Trost.

El Capitan Neon

El Capitan Neon

Been, like almost 20 years, maybe more, that I first laid eyes on El Capitan hotel, in Van Horn, TX. It was, reading between the lines, 19 years. The few journal entries not yet read into the database. Took some digging. So that was before it had been revamped as the hotel it is now. The other side of that? It’s almost a twin to the Paesano Hotel in Marfa. Huh. Same owners, now, interesting histories.

It wasn’t ever a bucket list item, more along the lines of “Sounds like it would be nice, a throw back to a previous luxury” type of visit. Noodling around with maps and such, the Apple Maps way-finder suggested it was fours from TorC and fours to San Antonio. More like six hours, straight,boring interstate. Not sure what I was looking at, late at night. Just got excited I had an excuse to stay in Van Horn a second time. Once a decade, about enough.

Gage Hotel, Limpia Hotel, Antelope Lodge, Paesano, think I’ve stayed in all of them, now. Places I would definitely go back to?

I want to try the Rocket in T or C, but I prefer the luxurious accommodation at Sierra Grande. Best part might be a hot soak in mineral waters under the desert canopy of night.

  • (1) “Only a rank degenerate would drive 1,500 miles across Texas without eating a chicken fried steak.”

Larry McMurtry In a Narrow Grave

Pink Cake: The Quote Collection – Kramer Wetzel

Pink Cake

Pink Cake: A Commonplace Book

  • ISBN-10: 1434805751
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434805751


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