Las Cruces: The End

As with all vacations the moment we felt truly settled in and adjusted to the slight change in time we were approaching our final days in Las Cruces. Sunday was our final full day there and we packed in quite a bit! We started off with a hike to Dripping Springs in the Organ Mountains. His parents warned us to be on the lookout for rattlesnakes and stay on the trails but that was all reinforced when we were greeted with this welcome sign!

I look a little to excited there given the warnings of increased chance of death. As with our first hike we arrived before the gates were open so we made the very wise decision to walk uphill 2 miles before we even started the trail. The entire hike was just under 8 miles and I was pretty beat by the time we got home! I enjoyed every second of it though and wish I had the energy to explore some of the smaller trails.

On our way up to the top we came across numerous smaller buildings. Our goal was to reach the actual springs (which was dried up since they have not had much rain this year) and Boyd's Sanatorium. Boyd's was used as a mountain resort in the late 1800's and purchased by Dr. Boyd in 1917 for his wife who was suffering from Tuberculosis. It is supposedly haunted and I can see why those stories exist as the place was tres creepy.

The hike was probably the best one Matt and I have taken since we started hiking together. The trail was very well maintained, clearly marked, and there were benches to rest on and a bathroom along the way! After the sanatorium we hiked a few minutes further to Dripping Springs.

Came across some more abandoned buildings...

After we got home and I took a *very* hot shower we headed into town to pick up a few things for the dinner that evening. His parents took us to Pros Ranch Market which is a giant Mexican grocery store. It was the size of a Sams Club and they had an amazing selection!

Being less than an hour away from the Mexican border means there is a huge Hispanic influence in Las Cruces. I have spent some time in southern California where I've seen the same type of influence but not to this extent. The food, clothing and general personality of their culture is totally fascinating to me. I really wish we lived closer as the only indigenous culture we have in our area is redneck!  After drooling over their massive selection of cheese and Mexican pastries we headed back up the mountain to get ready for dinner. Matt and I made our favorite stuffed portobellos which were a huge hit.  We also got to hang out with the cutest baby Lilly!

She was so funny and easy-going. She just sat around laughing the whole time and had a nose-crinkling smile that just melted your heart! Matt's parents invited a few of their friends over and everyone was so sweet we both had a blast. After dinner we took some obligatory family photos.

This was their backyard. Seriously. The views they had of the mountains and the valley were spectacular. We sat outside almost every night drinking wine or having coffee in the mornings! I already miss the city and Matt's parents. We've got a new countdown started for when they will come out and visit us for Christmas this year and we're talking about taking another trip there next Fall. I've come home totally reinvigorated to tackle the next term starting where I'll be teaching 6 classes (gulp!) and focusing more on writing and my personal training/health counseling. I can't believe Summer is almost over!