As we waited for this massive storm that has gripped the west to sweep past us, we remained hunkered down at this wonderful but simple state park. It is a typical southwestern desert park with lots of different types of cactuses sprinkled around the campsites mixed in with Soaptree Yucca plants and their beautiful long silver spikes, topped with globes of white, bell-shaped flowers flying high about the plant’s base.
The area is so pleasant that before the storm front arrived this afternoon, I just had to slip out of LeuC and hike around the park to take photos to share with you. I also wanted to capture some of the historic remains of Camp Furlough, the US Army camp which Pancho Villa raided back in March of 1916. The park is built on the former site of Camp Furlough. The battle that was fought here was only the second foreign army intrusion into the US; the first being during the War of 1812 when the English army marched on Washington DC and burned the capital.
An Overlay Of The Former Camp Furlough As It Was Expanded After The Villa Attack And The Current Pancho Villa State Park.
Coot’s Hill As I Approached It From The South
Views From Coot’s Hill
Remains Of Camp Furlough’s Headquarters and Judge Advocate’s Office.
During my hike I also stopped at the remarkably wonderful Visitor’s Center that this park maintains. It contains a museum that documents and memorializes Pancho Villa’s raid where 18 Americans were killed and resulted in General “Blackjack” Pershing leading an army of 10,000 into Mexico, where he chased after Pancho Villa and his army. I have documented my exploration with lots of photos, which I will post to this blog.
Route Of Villa’s Attack. Note Location Of Coot’s Hill. Note The Original Location Of Camp Furlough. Also Note How Villa Used Coot’s Hill To Hide Their Approach.
Pancho Villa And His Troops and The Results Of His Raid On Columbus, NM
Pershing And His Troops Arriving In Columbus After Villa’s Raid And The Build Up Of Camp Furlong Where The State Park Is Now Located.
As I returned to LeuC, the leading edge of the storm’s front reached us here in the park. Strong winds blew up out of nowhere, reaching speeds of 30 mph. I spent the rest of the day with Mary Margaret as the winds buffeted us inside LeuC.
It looks like the worst of the storm is going to pass north of us, dumping lots of snow in Northern Mexico and Colorado. However, the route we will be taking to get to the Carlsbad Caverns, winds through some mountains, with a passed well above 5,000 feet. It too is supposed to get some snow so I am happy we are sitting this storm out here in Columbus, New Mexico.