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City of Rocks State Park, Faywood NM

Camped at Site 12, City of Rocks State Park, Faywood NM, March 6, 2008
Camped at Site 12, City of Rocks State Park, Faywood NM, March 6, 2008

City of Rocks State Park is a uniquely interesting park in a weathered and sculpted pile of volcanic rocks about 30 miles northwest of Deming NM.

This is a park for those who don't mind roughing it a bit. There is a limited number of sites with water and electric hookups near the visitors center and the rest of the (and most interesting) sites offer dry camping amongst the astonishing rock formations. Come prepared - there is no dump station at the park either. I come with a full water tank and empty waste tanks and enough supplies on hand for a couple of weeks of dry camping.

The City of Rocks State Park website says:

Formed of volcanic ash welded together 30 million years ago, then sculpted by wind and water into rows of monolithic blocks, these incredible rock formations give City of Rocks its name. New hiking trails and a new public night sky observatory add to this unique destination.

Rock Residence

Rock formations like those at the park exist in only 6 other places in the world. Imaginative visitors may see the rock formations as a small city with houses, chimneys, courtyards and streets.

Ancient Paths

Until 1200 A.D., Mimbres Indians roamed this area, leaving arrowheads and pottery shards as evidence of their culture. Spanish conquistadors carved crosses into the rocks.

An article about this fascinating park and its geology

City of Rocks State Park, Faywood NM

Nights I've camped here

It was the Crickets

Now then: it isn't so much that one way of dying beats another, though that certainly is the case, but rather that when you KNOW the jig could be up any second or any decade -- it's the awareness that's important -- that just might make a difference. I'm like everybody else, I have these moments and then forget, lapsing back into "immortality." But there was a thing that happened in my back yard maybe 18 months before we split from Maryland that hit me as hard as seeing their president drop dead on stage must have hit those graduating seniors.

It was the crickets. I'd gone outside one warm fall evening to shut the garage door and suddenly realized I couldn't hear the crickets! No wait, I could, but only if I turned my head a certain way. Oh God, oh no: I had almost no high-frequency hearing in my right ear, or was it my left? That doesn't matter. The point is, a part of me had shut down permanently. No, it hadn't happened suddenly, but I had finally noticed, and that was hard to take. I'd never again hear crickets like I once had. Never! I walked back to the house in tears. All right, I'm sensitive. But I understood at once what all this meant.