Posts Tagged With: Pancho Villa

Geronimo Surrender Monument, Apache, Arizona

We arrived in Deming, New Mexico three days ago. Mary departed two days ago for home to tend to taxes and other business. I’m at Rockhound State Park in Deming, New Mexico waiting out a forecasted very windy coming Saturday through Tuesday. Prior to arriving in Deming there was so much to see and do I didn’t get to Blog about it. Here is one now…

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Two days ago, while traveling along Arizona State Highway 80 towards our destination of Pancho Villa State Park at Columbus,New Mexico, we went through a tiny settlement at Apache, Arizona. This Google Earth image shows the remoteness of the location. The G is the location of the monument. The actual surrender site was at Skeleton Canyon…11 miles to the east in the mountains…accessible only today by a 4-wheel drive road…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view...

Here’s a photo of the remoteness of the area…nothing but the road and the land…

Here’s a photo of the monument…

Here’s the plaque on the monument…

A couple of nights ago we watched the movie “Geronimo” starring Gene Hackman and Matt Dillon. It was relatively accurate in its historical correctness.

Once the Apaches were rounded up and being told the rules for their forced reservation life…one Apache states…”Before the white-eyes arrived the Apache owned the land and could roam wide and free…why no more?”

As an avid historian, I’ve come to know the sad truth about how the United States Government made all sorts of promises through “treaties” with the Indians…few of which were ever kept. It’s truly a sad legacy of our history.

In the movie, the young U.S. Army officer portrayed by Matt Dillon resigns his commission because of the U.S. Government’s betrayal of the Indians. The General replied…”God…how I hate an idealist!”

Visiting historical sites is of of my main pleasures of my full-time RVing lifestyle.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

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Rockhound State Park, Deming, New Mexico

Yesterday we drove the motorhome the about 30 miles from Pancho Villa State Park at Columbus to Rockhound State Park, about 10 miles from downtown Deming, New Mexico

From their brochure…

“On the western slope of the Little Florida Mountains, Rockhound State Park is popular among hikers looking for spectacular views, and among rock enthusiasts looking for unique rocks and minerals. Visitors can find a variety of rocks and minerals, ranging from silica, quartz crystals, chalcedony, agate, jasper to thunder eggs and geodes. Visitors are welcome to take 15 pounds of rock per person from the park.”

There are a total of 34 RV sites at this park.

After arrival we took a walk to look around…

Here are a few photos that I took…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view...

The entrance sign…

The visitors center…

The RV Park as seen from the visitors center…

The view looking southwest from the driver’s side of our motorhome…

The view looking northeast from the passenger’s side our motorhome…

A passing jet plane leaves a contrail high above the park…

Another look at the mountains…

We expect to be here three days.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

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TRADITIONAL CABALGATA

Again, braving the cold, we walked into Columbus to view the Cabalgata, a tradition where riders from both countries meet at the US/Mexican border. New Mexico dignitaries invite the Chihuahua dignitaries to accompany them, and both groups ride the three miles into Columbus to celebrate their common heritage where Hispanics and Anglos have long experienced a successful blend of cultures. We estimated about 300 horses rode in this unusual parade.

Leading the way was this Mexican dignitary outfitted as Pancho Villa.

There were shouts from bystanders as they recognized various riders from Mexico. Shouts of “bravo” and other Spanish words that I didn’t understand that brought friendly responses in turn.

Riders came in established groups, some with banners, or the same color scarves allowing us to think they have ridden in this Cabalgata year after year as a tradition.

They came as families.

A long ride on a small pony.  We shouted “bravo” to them for braving the cold.

They came as single riders.

Some with dancing horses. The number of riders blew us away.

On our walk to the park for the festivities, I saw these business-man bad guys, trying to look mean.

One week after Villa’s raid on Columbus, 10,000 troops led by General “Black Jack” Pershing led the Punitive Expedition into Mexico to capture Villa.  One skirmish with Mexican Federales near Parral, and President Wilson called off the search. The expedition was  the last true mounted cavalray action by the United States Army. A man outfitted as Pershing did some play acting for the cameras. He halts this group of riders at gun point.

We think  “Pershing” is speaking to the U.S. Sheriff of Luna County from some of the voices we heard in the crowd.

And, there was friendly sword and pistol play between the bad guys and “Pancho” who we think is a Sheriff in the state of Chihuahua. Villa’s forces were dispersed and Villa vanished into the back country never to raid again. In 1920 President Adolfo De La Huerto negotiated a peace with him and he was allowed to return to his ranch in Parral. Three years later he was assassinated by unknowns who were never arrested.

Whoever he was, we were fascinated with his showy saddle-horn and the friendly interplay.

 

Then we watched the horses ride out-of-town, or pack their animals into trailers and end their ride for the day.

It was like watching the parade all over again.

We watched as another dancing horse danced his way out-of-town.

We move today to Rockhound State Park. We enjoyed the festival and the food and I’ll blog it tomorrow.

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13th Annual Cabalgata Binacional, Columbus, New Mexico

We are still parked at the Pancho Villa State Park at Columbus, New Mexico.

Yesterday Mary and I attend the above named celebration of Mexican-American friendship held at Columbus, New Mexico.

Here’s a poster in Spanish about the Cabalgata…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view...

We left the motorhome at 9:30 AM when the temperature was a bone-chilling 35 degrees coupled with a 15 miles an hour wind which made for a wind-chill effect of 25 degrees. BRRR!!! Remember me? I’m the guy who likes it between 65-75 degrees!

Are we having fun yet?

Part of the festivities was a bi-national Calvary horse parade. The American riders met the Mexican riders at the border 3 miles away and arrived in Columbus, New Mexico at about 10:00 AM. The festivities were held at the central plaza in the Village of Columbus, New Mexico. I estimate there were about 300 horses in the parade followed by a lot of vehicles that carried the families of the Mexican riders.

Here are some photos that I took throughout the day…

To see the other 31 photos that I took, click this link…
https://picasaweb.google.com/110455945462646142273/13thAnnualCabalgataBinacionalColumbusNewMexico

Finally, here’s a special treat for you. Click this link…
http://youtu.be/CrHmKksDg_c

I have spent about two years…driving well in excess 10,000 miles in Mexico. The Mexicans are wonderful and friendly people. They love to party. Find the smallest reason and they will have a party! It’s truly a shame what the drug thing has done to their country…In excess of 45,000 people killed in the last five years. So much so that we now fear to take the motorhome back into Mexico. So, in this case, the Mexicans came to us.

Well, at least I have my photos which help preserve the memories of my travels in Mexico..

Despite the bone-chilling cold, we were both happy we attended this fun event for 2.5 hours. There was also lots of great food.

Spring is about 10 days away…I can hardly wait! The weather is supposedly going to warm back up where it’s supposed to be the week…in the mid-70’s. Hooray!

In other news…

This morning we will move the motorhome about 30 miles north to the Deming, New Mexico area. We hope to get into Rockhound State Park.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

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Pancho Villa State Park, Columbus, New Mexico

We are parked at Pancho Villa State Park at Columbus, New Mexico.

One might wonder how a New Mexico State Park gets to be named for someone who raided the Town of Columbus, New Mexico on March 9, 1916 and killed 18 Americans. I researched that topic on-line and found the answer in one word…TOURISM. It was meant to attract tourists. The U.S. Army Camp that was here was named Camp Furlong. Now…would you go out of your way to go to Camp Furlong State Park? Most likely not!

Nonetheless controversy over the naming of the park still remains. The following two links provide the information…

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-03-09-1Apanchovilla09_CV_N.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/letters/2011-03-14-letters14_ST_N.htm

Upon arrival four days ago we purchased a New Mexico Annual Camping Permit. It allows a full year’s use in all of New Mexico’s State Parks for a non-resident for only $225. You are allowed to stay as long as three weeks before being required to move along. If you desire an electrical hook-up it is available for only $4 a night. I have several friends who have purchased this Annual Camping Permit in the past and speak highly of it. We intend to spend the better part of 2012 exploring New Mexico…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view...

I must tell you Pancho Villa State Park is one of the nicest state parks I’ve been to. At 49 acres with only 62 campsites…that makes it very spacious. Lots of room between campsites also makes it very quiet and peaceful. It’s also nice and level which makes for very easy RV parking. The desert scenery is very beautiful in its own natural way.

Here’s a Google Earth image showing Columbus, New Mexico is only three miles from Palomus, Mexico. Our location is shown by an “X”…

Here’s one showing the state park boundaries. Our site is marked as an “X”…

Here’s a photo of our campsite…

Here’s a panorama shot of Columbus, New Mexico looking east from north to south…

Here’s another looking directly to the south, east to west,  over the state park and into Mexico. Our motorhome is somewhere in this photo…

This link provides a good description of the park…
http://columbusnewmexico.com/columbus_new_mexico_pancho_villa_state_rv_park.htm

Yesterday morning at 10:00 AM we were among the about 50 people who braved the cold temperature and a rather brisk wind to attend an hour-long memorial service for the eight soldiers and ten civilians killed in the raid. In addition 90 Villaistas were also killed. I was honored when asked to respond for Private Fred A. Griffin during the Honor Roll Call. When his name was called I answered loudly “Here, Sir” and a bell was rung in remembrance. The other 17 causalities also had representatives to answer for their name when called. Mary answered for a civilian.

Private Fred A. Griffin was the first soldier killed in the raid. His image and information is shown below…

Here are some other photos I took during the memorial service…

After the memorial service we went to the nearby Columbus Historical Society Museum in the refurbished old railroad depot. There are three rooms full of local historical information and one room is dedicated to the Villa Raid, Camp Furlong and the Punitive Expedition led by General John “Black Jack” Pershing who pursued Villa into Mexico.

Here are some photos from the museum…

From this nearby small rise of land known as Cootes Hill, the soldiers of Camp Furlong drove the Villaistas from Columbus back towards Mexico…

We expect to move on from Pancho Villa State Park tomorrow morning.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

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PANCHO VILLA STATE PARK

We are staying at Pancho Villa State Park. Its comfortable and quiet here. We hunkered down from a terrible wind storm that had Highway 10 closed, and wind gusts up to 75 miles per hour. We stayed in and felt like someone was banging on a tin can as the motor home did a bit of rock and roll, the wind blasting away.  Yesterday was clear and crisp and we walked the park. The park is very distinctive considering that it was the first airbase in the United States, Camp Furlong, and it is also the site of Pancho Villa’s attack on Columbus,New Mexico. Villa’s scouts counted 30 soldiers before his attack, but they were wrong and the attack met 350 American soldiers with a brand new  weapon, a machine gun.Villa was quickly dispatched.

We walked to the top of this hill where a placque displays the battle of how Villa’s men attacked the base. And, of course he attacked the town as well, intending to take over Columbus.

The Citizens fought Villa and their account is in a nearby Museum and the old Custom House visible from the top of the hill. We visited here in January of 2010 and the Museum is really well done as well as a private museum in town that has a replica of Villa’s death mask and many first hand accounts from the citizens who lived there.

In the intervening years, Columbus has made a big effort to honor the long years of friendship with its nearby Mexican neighbors, and Mexican officials from Chihuahua have cooperated with Columbus on the Museum and come here once a year to celebrate Camp Furlong Days, a parade and festivities that we will attend tomorrow.  The attack was 96 years ago.

Two adobe buildings from Camp Furlong’s headquarters are preserved on the site.

And the remains of a grease rack used to maintain vehicles here. It is humorous that the grease and petrol had to be packed in from the train station by mule teams.

When we visited in 2010, we crossed into Mexico and had delicious dinner in Las Palomas with fun friends and strolling musicians. With dismay, I noticed a sign at the park warning us that the most dangerous border crossings today are from Columbus, New Mexico, Fort Hix and Fabens, Texas. What a shame that the drug cartels have practically halted what was once a delightful place to visit. While it won’t stop the celebration being held here tomorrow, there has been, and still is, a lot of controversy about naming the park for Pancho Villa. You can click the two links below and read how people feel about it.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-03-09-1Apanchovilla09_CV_N.htm
http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/letters/2011-03-14-letters14_ST_N.htm

I prefer friendship to hostilities and agree with those who remember that America isn’t innocent of wrong doing and we should all move on.

Interestingly, the park water tank raises consciousness of the water crisis we will someday face and says:  You are drinking ice age water….

…what will you drink next year?

Hmmm!  Good question.

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