Snow on fish hook barrel cactus

Rock Hound State Park is in Deming, New Mexico. I was pretty excited to get there given my passion for hunting for rocks. Unfortunately, either the rocks were pretty well picked over or I do not have a good eye for this sort of rock. But, the landscape, sunsets, friendly people and nearby petroglyphs more than made up for limited rock hunting at the park. It was pretty cold while we were there for two weeks so we spent a fair amount of time in Shiny. When there were brief periods of warmth and sunshine, the walkways filled with fellow travelers, some of whom had been ‘full-timers’ for 25 years or more! They had a particularly youthful way about them that was inspiring to me.

We weren’t too sure if we were up to the challenge of hiking the Lover’s Leap trail which was listed as “Very Steep” but we figured we could always turn around. We were pretty proud of ourselves for completing the trail and thrilled when Larry spotted the Persian Ibex. The Ibex were a gift from Iran in the 1970’s. What started as a herd of 15 has grown at times to over 1,000. The population is controlled through hunting. While we were there it was muzzle loader season.

One thing that really fascinated me on that hike was the globes of pitch hanging from a dead tree. The tree was so dead that it had no needles, little bark and the wood was deeply grained. And yet, pitch was still dripping out of the tree. Amazing!

We headed out past Deming off of Route 26 to find the Pony Hill and Frying Pan Petroglyphs. It took some hunting and hiking but we found them alright! What a joy these are. They are between 300 and 2,500 years old. h

The land on either side of the hike to Frying Pan Petroglyphs was strewn with semi-precious stones. My pockets were so full of rocks by the end of the hike that I almost lost my pants!

We were at Rock Hound during Christmas. That was hard for me even though Larry tried his best to cheer me up. There were moments when I was pretty forlorn. But, it did warm my heart to think how lucky I am to have such great friends and family, even though we are far apart. Happy New Year everyone!


  1. We’ve been to Rockhound SP several times, but we’re always passing through for a night or two and just hike the trails in the park (and we’ve also hiked Lover’s Leap). After talking with you on the trail and seeing this post, I’m convinced we need to stay for at least a few days next time to explore the surrounding area. You found some gorgeous rocks! Love the petrolyphs, too.

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