2000 Ghost Towns - Part 1
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At left is a map of southwestern New Mexico, with Las Cruces, our base of operations, at the lower right.  Places referred to on this and the other ghost town pages are shown as added annotations.

 

These three photos were taken at our first ghost town stop, Nutt, New Mexico.  There was not much in Nutt, except for the Middle of Nowhere Cafe and Bar, which couldn't have been more aptly named.

Pictured at left above are left to right, Trent Ottery, Jake King, Jenny Rockhold, Christina Cunningham, and Darin Ridgway.

Pictured at left center is Scott Connor holding up the bar's sign.  It's amazing that it decided to fall the exact moment we were visiting, and it's wonder it hadn't fallen earlier.

Pictured at left below are Darin Ridgway and Dan Gulino.

The fellow inside had a crusty air about him, but he was friendly enough to make change for me so that I could buy a Coke from his soft drink machine.

All we could find that had anything ghostly about it was a decaying railroad trestle. 

   
   

Our second ghost town stop was Lake Valley, New Mexico.  There were a number of decaying buildings here, but everything was behind a gate, and the site was being maintained by some government agency and cared for by onsite caretakers.  It seems that, in the old days, people would cannibalize abandoned buildings for the construction materials, since there was (and still is!) a dearth of trees in the area.  This is a photo of the entrance.  The gate was unlocked, and a sign invited us in.

   

Some of us exploring the old buildings.

   

The still hanging Conoco sign gives away what this building used to be.  I'm sure the sign is still there because of the presence of the caretakers.  It's the kind of thing that would otherwise quickly disappear in the hands of some souvenir hunter.
   

The very friendly couple who were the caretakers of the Lake Valley historical site.  They're standing on the steps of the schoolhouse, which had been recently restored and was being used by local community groups.  It turns out that these people are from Columbus, Ohio. 

I asked them how they came to be in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico, and they told me that they are retired and like to ride Harleys.  They were passing through the area, saw a sign advertising the position, and the rest is history.  They love the job and love the area.

   

No visit to a ghost town is complete without a stop at the local cemetery.  All sorts of history is written on the tombstones.  This view is from the cemetery looking back toward the town (the general direction is northeast).  That's the schoolhouse just to the right of center.  The cemetery is about about a half-mile from the town across the main highway passing through the area.

 

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