Greetings From… City of Rocks, New Mexico

By Michael Boyink / mike@douglascountyherald.com

 

As a kid, it was dunes.

We lived in Michigan. We had a dune buggy. Every few weeks during the summer, we’d hitch it up behind our motorhome and head north.

I’d watch out the front window, anxious to see the golden sand expand to fill the horizon.

Up a hill. Around a corner. A parting in the trees. The dunes would come into view, across the blue waters of an inland lake. 

In New Mexico, it was rocks. 

The drive to the City of Rocks seems flat. The horizon  – a rippled ridgeline of mesas – stays in sight almost the entire time.

And yet, the land rolls. Enough to hide surprises.

A turn off the main highway. Up a small crest. Around a corner. 

And the rocks come into view.

The Boyink kids head into the maze of rocks and trails at the City of Rocks State Park in New Mexico.

Their color isn’t the unlikely thing. It’s their size – some of them dwarfing the RVs camped next to them. 

And it’s their shapes.  

The main field of rocks is a square-mile of columns, pinnacles and stacked boulders suitable for scrambling, hide-and-seek, and ‘Daddy take my picture’ poses. 

The City of Rocks State Park may just be the best natural laser tag arena in the country (bring your own gear).

Outside the main field are other outcroppings with their own shapes. One even resembles a giant rabbit nibbling at some greenery.

Scientists will explain the City of Rocks with talk of volcanic eruptions, erosion, and lots of time.

That may well be.

I prefer to imagine a bemused Creator tucking little unexpected delights into his work for us to stumble across.

City of Rocks State Park is about halfway between Silver City and Deming, New Mexico. The park features a visitor center  and 51 campsites. The park offers hiking, mountain biking, and pretty sunsets.

Learn more at emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/cityofrocksstatepark.html.

The car under the bunny’s nose gives a clue to just how big these rocks are.