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On Walkabout On: Highway 9 to Columbus, New Mexico

The below pictures are from my drive to Columbus, New Mexico from El Paso, Texas.  Columbus would be nothing more than a long forgotten border town if it wasn’t for the fact that nearly 100 years ago it was attacked by Pancho Villa and his followers.  This was the reason my wife and I decided to make the drive out to Columbus and visit the Pancho Villa State Park that was established to commemorate of this unusual event in American history.  The fastest way to reach Columbus from where we live in El Paso is to take Highway 9 that runs nearly parallel to the US-Mexico border:

county road 3

The drive across the desert actually ended up being quite a nice road trip despite the fact that the road crosses some of the most inhospitable desert in the United States:

Picture On the Road to Columbus, New Mexico

The desert terrain out here though isn’t all flat and filled with yuccas and cactus though.  From the road the Franklin Mountains that run through the middle of El Paso to the east were easily visible:

Picture On the Road to Columbus, New Mexico

The mighty Organ Mountains that tower over the city of Las Cruces, New Mexico were also easily visible to the northeast:

Picture On the Road to Columbus, New Mexico

Then there was the East Potrillo Mountains that are located halfway between Columbus and El Paso that were visible in the distance to the west:

Picture On the Road to Columbus, New Mexico

The county road would eventually come to the base of the East Potrillo Mountains:

Picture On the Road to Columbus, New Mexico

The next mountains that made an appearance along the road was Cox Peak and Mt. Riley:

Picture On the Road to Columbus, New Mexico

The next mountains visible were not really mountains, but volcanoes.  The volcanoes here are known as the Potrillo Volcanic Field:

Picture On the Road to Columbus, New Mexico

I have seen this volcanic field before, but viewed from an airplane:

It was interesting to see this area now at ground level.  I would really like to spend a day or two exploring this area, but since it is located in what is essentially a no mans land of illegal immigrants and drug smugglers it is not worth the risk to hike in this area.  It is sad that in the United States we have large sections of our country that it is not safe to hike in because of criminal activity.

Here is the view towards Mexico with what I believe is Camel Mountain to the left which were the criminal activity that makes this area so dangerous originates from:

Picture On the Road to Columbus, New Mexico

Just before arriving in Columbus the Florida Mountains just outside of Deming, New Mexico were visible:

Picture On the Road to Columbus, New Mexico

These mountains look interesting and I am meaning to at some point take a drive over to Deming to check them out sometime.  Next up County Road A03 pulled into Columbus, where my wife and I would learn more about the last attack prior to 9/11 on the continental United States.

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