Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence
As I mentioned in my post the other day, THE Trip, Revisit to the Rest Stop, The Recycled Roadrunner, they grow lots of pecans here. They are pretty yummy, by the way, and large. I found it interesting that the acres and acres of pecans are void of ALL other vegetation, until you realize that any grass growing amongst the trees would compete with the trees for moisture. This is a desert area, and even though the soil is quite rich, it must be irrigated from the Rio Grande River, and believe me, they pay for every single drop of that water.
Between Las Cruces and El Paso there are acres and acres of milk cows. Lots of milk cows! I found references on the Internet that there are 11 farms with about 30,000 cows in that area. Lets see how I can say this, we all love our milk, but, cows give off more than yummy milk (from which we get soooo many goodies, including ICE CREAM!). AND, that other stuff they give off, has a distinct, mmmm, smell, err, aroma. All those cows in that concentrated area, well, use thy imagination!
The influence of the Catholic Church is very evident in the area, there are so many lovely churches, too many to photograph. This is the San Migel Catholic Church, south of Mesilla.
Gene and Daisy took us for a long jaunt north. North through Truth or Consequences! Ya, folks, there really is a town named Truth or Consequences, and Man and I have been there! Well, we were driven though it, and we did stop for coffee and treats. You can find out how it the town of Hot Springs came to be named Truth or Consequences on this Wikipedia page. Why Ralph, that was some challenge!
Our real destination was the Elephant Butte Dam. Along the way we stopped at Caballo Lake State Park, Percha Dam State Park and at last arrived at Elephant Butte Dam. Gene and Daisy were very disappointed, as there was no water coming over any of the dams, and the water level at Elephant Butte was very low as well. Man and I did not know the difference. The dam and Elephant Butte were amazing to us! The dam was built to provide power and irrigation, it was completed in 1916. The dam is 301 feet high, 1,674 feet long, is 18 feet wide at the top and 228 feet wide at the base. Wikipedia has a lot more facts on this page.
Elephant Butte is the eroded core of an ancient volcano. It is now an island in the reservoir, in the shape of an elephant.
It is overwhelming to realize that without the Elephant Butte Dam life downriver would not be the same as it is today. The Rio Grande River is controlled by this and several other dams, irrigation for farmers is controlled, power is generated. I don't pretend to have a true appreciation for this marvel, I'll bet it is really something to see with gallons and gallons of water rushing out at the bottom of the dam, heading for Las Cruces and beyond.
The Las Cruces area has all this and more, lots more. Hiking, history, desert, mountains, beautiful southwestern art, and of course HOT, HOT, HOT salsa. Man is in 7th heaven!