Two RV Gypsies: Full-Time RVers
in Las Cruces
New Mexico - Land of Enchantment

April 14 - 15, 2009

USA map showing location of NM

Below you will find photos of Sunny Acres RV Park, beautiful scenery of the Organ Mountains, New Mexico's state flag, state bird, state flower; plus the world's largest road runner; Veteran's Memorial, three crosses, houses, plants, and the historic Village of Mesilla. At the bottom of this page is a sub-menu to see photos of White Sands and the Space Mural - not to be missed.

history book clipartLas Cruces was previously inhabited by the Manso people, and the Mescalero Apache lived nearby. The area was colonized by Juan de Oñate in 1598, and he became its first governor. Las Cruces was founded in 1849 when the US Army laid out the new town after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo had ceded the land to the United States in 1848.

Doña Ana was on the US side of the Rio Grande, and the nearby village of Mesilla was founded in 1848 by settlers from Doña Ana who wished to stay in Mexican territory. The Mesilla region was incorporated into the United States with the Gadsden Purchase.

Las Cruces is a city in Doña Ana County, the Southwest portion of New Mexico, United States. The population was 89,722 as of the 2007 census estimate making it the second largest city in the state. Las Cruces is the center of an agricultural region irrigated by the Rio Grande, which flows just west of the city and provides much needed irrigation to support the state's prized chile crop. There are many mountains; the Organ Mountains that are to the east of the city, the Las Cruces area is also in close proximity to the Doña Ana mountains, the Robledo mountains, and Picacho peak.

Las Cruces is in the Mesilla Valley, which has thousands of acres of farmland irrigated by the Rio Grande River. Sixty miles east is White Sands National Monument, an area of surrealistic beauty. Photos of White Sands are included on this website.

Origin of state's name: Named by the Spanish for lands north of the Rio Grande River

Capital City: Santa Fe
Song: O, Fair New Mexico
Motto: Crescit eundo - It grows as it goes

Poem: "A Nuevo Mexico" by Luis Tafoya

Welcome to New Mexico sign

New Mexico State FlagNew Mexico State Flag

The yellow field and red symbol colors are the colors of Spain. First brought to New Mexico by Spanish explorers in 1540. On New Mexico's flag we see a red sun with rays stretching out from it. There are four groups of rays with four rays in each group. This is an ancient sun symbol of a Native American people called the Zia. The Zia believed that the giver of all good gave them gifts in groups of four. These gifts are:

* The four directions - north, east, south and west.
* The four seasons - spring, summer, fall and winter.
* The day - sunrise, noon, evening and night.
* Life itself - childhood, youth, middle years and old age. All of these are bound by a circle of life and love, without a beginning or end

New Mexico State Flower: The yucca was adopted as the State Flower on March 14, 1927. The yucca is a member of the lily family and a symbol of sturdiness as well as beauty. In the early summer, pale ivory flowers bloom at the tips of its long, fibrous stalks. At the base of the plant are broad, sharp edged leaves that look like stilettos. The yucca sometimes grows to the height of a small tree.

New Mexico State Flower
3 Crosses

The origin of the city's name is unknown. In Spanish "Las Cruces" means "the crosses". Crosses have a symbolic meaning for many people in the area. The three crosses has been a symbol of the Las Cruces area since before Mesilla's founding in 1848, and was recently challenged in court.

Veteran's Memorial Rock

Bataan Memorial Monument

Bataan Memorial Monument

The Veterans Wall, located in the Las Cruces Veterans Park at 2651 Roadrunner Parkway, was dedicated on
November 11, 2005 to all who served their country honorably, regardless of home of record or period of service. All veterans are represented by 7,065 names of veterans who entered the armed services of the United States from Doña Ana County and who served during a major conflict from the Civil War through the Persian Gulf War.

The Veterans Wall
Lee Duquette, Jerry & Carole

Lee Duquette and his friends, Jerry and Carole Gerig, who live in Las Cruces and were kind enough to act as travel guides for the two RV Gypsies.

Below: The Las Cruces Water Tank; The Conquistadors are represented as one of the First travelers up the Rio Grande from Spain, but the Native Americans were already here.

Las Cruces Water Tank
Las Cruces Water Tank
Las Cruces Water Tank
Lee Duquette & his motorhome (RV) named AWO

Lee Duquette and AWO -
the two RV Gypsies' new yard -

Sunny Acres RV Park in Las Cruces, New Mexico is a nice RV park with friendly workers. It is also within walking distance of a Mexican restaurant, dollar store and other stores.

Below: Beautifully painted bridges

Bridge painting
Bridge painting

Below: Beautiful scenery

scenery
mountain

Below: The beautiful Organ Mountains are located east of Las Cruces, New Mexico. They were named by Spanish explorers who felt that the jagged peaks looked like the pipes of a pipe organ.

Organ Mountains
Organ Mountains
Organ Mountains
scenery

Below: Plants and Cacti in Jerry Gerig's yard

cactus
cactus
flower
plant
plant
flower

Below: The style of many houses and yards in Las Cruces

house
screen door
house and yard
indoor fireplace

Below: The Las Cruces' giant roadrunner sculpture celebrated its fifth anniversary along I-10. But the only "Beep! Beep!" the two RV Gypsies heard was from an occasional passing car.

Las Cruces' giant roadrunner
Las Cruces' giant roadrunner  & Lee Duquette

Below: Lee Duquette and the giant road runner. This big bird is twenty (20) feet tall and forty (40) feet long, and is the World's Largest roadrunner at this time. There is a link to the world's second largest roadrunner at the bottom of this page.

Las Cruces' giant roadrunner  & Lee Duquette
Las Cruces' giant roadrunner  & Lee Duquette

Below: As shown below, the giant roadrunner is made with all kinds of stuff; tennis shoes, old computer keyboards, bicycle tires, broken hair dryers, plastic plates, paint brushes, and lots of trash. The body of the bird is composed of wire fencing and sturdy material found at the city's sanitary landfill, which was its original nesting area after its creation in 1992. Much like the plight of its flesh-and-feathers counterpart, however, the roadrunner's habitat, in fact its very life, was threatened by progress. The city closed the landfill area on the east mesa to allow housing to be developed. The big bird now sits off I-10 on the outskirts of Las Cruces.

guts of the road runner
guts of the road runner

ABOVE and BELOW: The stuff the big road runner is made of

guts of the road runner
guts of the road runner
guts of the road runner
head of the road runner

Note: In 2022, The two RV Gypsies went to see Paisano Pete in Fort Stockton, Texas - The second largest roadrunner in the world. It stands Eleven-feet tall and 22-feet long. You can see that bird by clicking here, but be sure to return to this page to continue the New Mexico travels. There is a link on that page that can bring you back here.

The two RV Gypsies also visited Las Cruces NM in 2012 and 2015. If your visit either of these pages, there will be a link back here. Each visit was different. All each of the three years, link to the other two years at the bottom of the page.

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White Sands
The Space Mural
Las Cruces, NM (this page)
Mesilla, NM
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