It was about eleven at night when we reached Las Cruces and I had told Charlotte that we would check into a motel to have a shower and good night’s sleep before heading for Dallas in the morning. Poor planning on my part; it was registration time for the college there and there was not a room in town! I told her I had seen a KOA campground sign as we had approached the town and we would try that.
Las Cruces sits in a valley between mountains to the east and the west. We climbed the mountain to the west and found the KOA all dark. I found a note on the door: “Find a spot and come pay in the morning, $6.00 /night charge.” I drove around between rows of motorhomes, trailers and campers but could not find an empty space. Finally as we were about to give up we spotted one. It was in the front row right at the edge of the cliff. We pulled in and what a sight! Las Cruces was stretched out in front of us in the valley below filled with twinkling lights. Many homes were litup on the mountain to the east of town. We marveled at the beautiful scene before us. We could not just go to bed with this opportunity even though by this time it was a little after midnight.
I dug around in the cooler and found a box of white wine. Charlotte found a box of Ritz crackers and a slab of cheese. I put one of our favorite tapes, pianist Newell Oler, into the player. We then cranked our Captain’s Chairs back and enjoyed the view, the snack, the wine and each other. This campsite was costing us all of $6.00 for the night. I looked over at Charlotte with my plastic glass of wine in one hand and a cheese loaded Ritz in the other and asked her, “I wonder what the “poor” folk are doing about now”? We talked on into the night and finally hit the sack about 3:30 AM and slept well.
The next morning we went by and paid our $6.00 and left for home. It was a long day but we pulled into home at Camino Real about one o’clock the next morning.
Photo of Las Cruces sunset found here.
Photo of twinkling lights found here.