We wanted to stop at Shakespeare, a ghost town but discovered it was only open two days a week and not the day we would be passing through. The other “ghost town,” we were told, was not really a ghost town. So scratch that one. Gila Cliff dwelling would have been 86 miles one-way from Deming and while, I’m sure, they were worth seeing, we did visit Walnut Canyon which seems to have had very similar ruins. We nixed Rockhound State Park due to the heat. We knew we wouldn’t be able to stand digging for gems in the heat.
This morning we reviewed our travel plans from Deming to Carlsbad. One road from Deming/Las Cruses is desolate and the heat is expected to be excessive again. Also, while the road is a federal highway it is a blue line not a red line (red lines are better than blue lines), so we didn’t know the condition of the road. Our handy book, Mountain Directory West: For Truckers, RV and Motorhome Drivers,” states Hwy 62/180 is desert area and the eastbound climb can be difficult in the hot Texas Summer. I realize that Wednesday was the first day of fall but the word has not gotten down here yet.
The book also states that the second choice, Hwy 82 and Cloudcroft Pass, was a very treacherous mountain road. That westbound there is a 4315’ drop in elevation in 16 miles. Which means eastbound there is a rise of the same. Again it is a blue line on the map and the map also indicates a number of switchbacks.
Because of all of the above, we have scratched Carlsbad Caverns from our trip. We are disappointed but safety first.