We met a fellow mountain biker this week who collects Geodes. Chris had been a jeweler for many years and now explores the desert for these rare finds which contain prisms of crystals. If you know just where to go, you can sift through the identical round brown nondescript rocks for the perfect candidates. Once you’ve found 10 likely choices, only one may be filled with purple and white crystals. Meanwhile the untrained eye would never see the possibility of such a discovery in the barren desert.
This is how Tim and I felt about Las Cruces. We picked the dusty New Mexico town for our first night, simply for convenience. We knew we didn’t want to stay in El Paso and this would put us a little closer to our destination of Arizona. A bit more research showed there were a few mountain bike trails so we thought we might stay a day or two. Five days later, we know we’re coming back.
Las Cruces had everything we needed: well tended bike trails, warm sunny days, and some of the friendliest people we’ve met to date. Everywhere we went, people stopped to chat and offer suggestions about their favorite things to do. From bike trails to Mexican restaurants we learned about the best the area had to offer. The mountain biking community is small but very welcoming. While we camped and worked by the bike trailhead, folks would pop by the van and chat. The thing that struck us the most is that everyone seemed genuinely happy to be doing what they were doing, where they were doing it. We feel like we’ve discovered a geode.
Our favorite spot was definitely the Dona Ana’s. While I recovered from bronchitus, Tim explored the 30 miles of rolling trails that wove through the hills. Our days started with bike rides and breakfast, moved to work and then topped with an evening biking excursion. When required for extra bandwidth, a Starbucks was about 10 minutes away. One night was spent in a particularly nice KOA inside of town, where we showered, laundered, and generally cleaned up our act. Tim spent our final morning exploring new trails with local riders, Chris and Tim G and came back even more psyched about the area. I wasn’t sure he’d leave.
It was the peaceful break that we’ve needed after our Austin adventure. Now we’re back in the desert swing, biking, warm and heading West. Next stop is Arizona!