Saturday, October 13, 2018

Rockhounding Trip to Deming New Mexico

Oh Deming, New Mexico.  One of Taylor and I’s most favorite places to adventure.  We never cease to find wonderful stuff every time we visit.  Deming is about an 11 hour drive from DFW so we decided to leave late Sunday night and do the trek.  That way we would arrive in Deming on Monday morning and have the entire day to rock hound.

I’ve read several accounts online that Deming has been picked over.  People say there just isn’t much left to find out there.  Well let me tell you, those people are knuckleheads.  Just think outside the box a little bit and a treasure trove of beautiful jaspers and obsidian awaits.  Maybe Rockhound State Park is picked over, but there is plenty of area around Deming to find wonderful stuff.  Like I said…. do your research and think a little outside the box.

I’ve researched the google maps and found a great place absolutely littered with jasper and obsidian. Literally every step you take brings a piece of jasper. Some of it quite awesome material.  Taylor and I spent about three hours at the “secret spot” collecting to our hearts desire.  Taylor found a particularly wonderful specimen that we both think is citrine on a base of rock and silica.

It was time for lunch so we decided to head into town.  Our plan was to grab a bite to eat and then head north to City of Rocks State Park.  The state park is about 20 miles north of Deming on the way to Silver City.  We had driven past the signs many times and finally decided to go check it out.  I mean it has a perfect name right?  We hoped there would be some good rock hounding there.

Well I must say it was a disappointment.  It was like they just picked an area out in the middle of nowhere. Put in a primitive path that goes about two miles in a loop and said “Here you go. City of Rocks State Park.”  It was apparent very quickly that the rock hounding would be poor.  There were rocks everywhere.  Just nothing but rocks. 

I did make one very cool discovery as I was walking along eyes glued to the ground.  I walked up on the cutest little baby horned lizard. It was not even as big as my thumb.  I called Taylor over to see the little fella and for her to take some pictures.  (She definitely takes better pictures than I lol).  The little guy was different to the horned lizards I am used to here in North Texas and even different than the ones I have seen in West Texas.  The ones I am used to are Texas Horned Lizards.  Turns out this little guy is a Roundtail Horned Lizard.

baby roundtail horned lizard, new mexico

At least the trip to City of Rocks State Park was not a total fail.  We headed back to the car and decided we had an hour left to hunt before sunset.  No better place than to head back to our “secret spot”.  I had not gotten enough obsidian, so I decided to concentrate the final hunt on getting a few pieces of very nice obsidian. 

Only a mile from our “secret spot” we were driving on a narrow paved road and I spotted something in the road as we zipped along at 40 miles an hour.  I said “That was a tarantula!”  Taylor was like “What?”  I was pretty sure of what I had seen so I immediately stopped and began backing up.  Sure enough there was  a big tarantula crossing the road! Taylor was out of the car so fast I had barely stopped.  She got some wonderful pictures of the fearless tarantula as it headed off on its own adventure.

tarantula, deming new mexico

After the quick stop we stumbled upon a little rock shop out in the middle of nowhere.  Of course we had to stop.  Turns out this was the rock shop of the Geode Kid.  We’d never heard of him but I gather he is locally famous and has been collecting/mining beautiful geodes for over 40 years!  We walked into the shop and class was in session.  He barely said hello before launching into the entire history of the collection inside the shop.  He took us to every section and gave us the history.  It was wonderful.  Talk about a passionate man.  Taylor and I could barely get a word in, but it was well worth it.  We ended up buying three sliced and polished geodes before heading out for one last rock hounding hunt.

It was another successful hunt and we headed back to town to our most wonderful motel.  The Butterfield Stage Motel.  If you are staying in Deming you must stay here.  The caretaker is the kindest, sweetest guy you will ever meet.  He will talk your ear off and you will love every minute of it!  It has been remodeled and the rooms are great.

So there is the recap of Day 1 from our New Mexico quick trip.  On Day 2 we drove up to Silver City did a little rock hounding north of town and had an amazing hike on Whitewater Creek and the Catwalk there.  Watch for the Day 2 trip report coming soon.

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