Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Welcome to Rusty's RV Ranch! Has it only been two days since we arrived here at Rusty’s RV Ranch (click here to read our review and see more photos) in tiny Rodeo, New Mexico??  Though we haven’t been able to do any hiking,  we’ve been mighty busy (a couple more days here in the old west and I’ll be adding “pardner”).

We’ve driven through Rodeo a couple times on our travels east from Bisbee.  Located in a beautiful desert setting at the south end of the Chiricahua mountains, this little burg seemed like an excellent place to kick back, be anonymous, and focus on chores we needed to accomplish before moving on to the east.  We’d eyeballed Rusty’s RV Ranch in passing on earlier trips; the recommendation from The Bayfield Bunch cinched the plan.

We were settled in our site by 2 pm, so decided to take a short tour of the neighborhood.  Our first stop was the Chiricahua Desert Museum, where the road to Portal turns off of Highway 80.  This new museum hasn’t been open long, but is an interesting stop.  About a third of the building is a gift shop, stocked with extremely appealing t-shirts (see Odel’s purchase in the lower right photo), beautiful beaded jewelry, interesting books about the region, hiking sticks, bags, backpacks… I’ll have to return later without Odel for sufficient browsing time!

Chiricahua Desert Museum, Rodeo, New Mexico Reptile and amphibian labels
Noisy, Scary Rattlesnake Odel and the Javelina t-Shirt he bought at the museum gift shop.

The other half of the building is split into two rooms. The first displays art, books, correspondence, and other interesting/funny artifacts concerning reptiles and amphibians: the label of every bottle in the the huge display case (above, right) names or displays one or the other.  The second room?  SNAKES!  Not all of the display cases are occupied yet, but most held a snake (or two).  The rattler climbing the wall in the lower left photo gave me chills – we could hear his rattle through the glass.  An even larger rattler across the room… well, I just wanted to stand far, far back from the window.  That rattle definitely says “Stay Away” to me!

View of Chiricahuas from our site. Though I had specific plans for our stay in Rodeo (hike, put together the required year-end reports for the Boomers, try out a couple new recipes), Monday had plans of its own.  My back, bothering me for a few days, was not improving and was a major distraction.  Something needed to be done.  I Googled “chiropractor Rodeo NM” – and found a chiropractor in Lordsburg, New Mexico, the nearest “big city” (population 3,000).  No appointment necessary, but the office was only open on Monday and Thursday. 

Off we flew.  When we arrived, I filled out a clipboard of information, including the answer to this question: Who referred you to us?  My answer: the internet.  Oh, my gosh, was that exciting for them.  The internet?  The internet?  How did I find them on the internet?  When I told them, they were amazed!  They don’t have a website, and didn’t realize that Google would find a directory entry; it really was pretty funny.  The adjustment took at least 30 minutes of hands-on work, and relieved a lot kinks and knots, all for just $35.  And then, 40 miles back home!

Red Lentil Soup with Spicy Sizzle Monday night I felt sufficiently improved to try out a new recipe: Red Lentil Soup with a Spicy Sizzle (which refers to the hot olive oil, cayenne, paprika mixture drizzled across the soup).  Wow, spicy sizzle is right.  This very simple vegan soup was a big hit with us, for both flavor and looks.  We had it with warm, buttered, whole wheat tortillas – outstanding.  Since none of the ingredients are unusual (easy to find red lentils and bulgur wheat in the bulk bins), I suspect we will be having this several more times this winter.  I’ve added a permanent link to the recipe on the left side of the blog.

Once it was dark, we took a peek at the night sky.  This remote area is known for its “dark skies”, boasting a small neighborhood nearby dedicated to astronomy, Arizona Sky Village.  Rusty’s RV Ranch has NO outdoor lights (not quite true, there is one on the back of the office); light pollution doesn’t exist here.  I haven’t seen stars like this since I backpacked in the Rockies of Colorado many, many years ago.  Nothing like stargazing to add some perspective to life!

Luna wallows in the dust at Rusty's.Today was a better day for my back – a little less hobbling, a little less distraction, a little more smiling.  We tackled the Boomer paperwork early, and we managed to get it wrapped up and ready to mail.  The propane delivery truck arrived around 1:30 – yay, as we were running low – and filled our tank at $2.60/gallon, shockingly reasonable considering our remote location.  With those chores completed, we went outside to bask in the afternoon sunshine – dressed warmly, but no coat required.

Luna is now fully recovered, and LOVES Rusty’s – plenty of room and, more importantly, plenty of dust!  She divides her time between wallowing in the dust (several times a day) and relaxing in a sunny nook we created for her on the bedroom vanity, in sunshine most of the day.  Oh, that we should all enjoy such simple pleasures!


  1. That soup sure looks good! I think I have red lentils on hand, so I may give it a try.

    One of these days I'm going to have to spend some time in the southwest. Normally I like green in the landscape, but I could promise myself a reward with a trip to Maine, couldn't I? Al's and your blog make Arizona and New Mexico look so inviting.

  2. What a great post today... I feel like I was travelling right along with you when reading your blog. LOVED the part about telling the chiropractor how you found them-- LOL

  3. Great blog, Laurie. It looks like we may have to checkout this Rusty's RV Park when we head that way later this spring. With you, and Al, recommending it, the park must be ok. That soup sure looked good too!

  4. We've stayed at Rusty's and enjoyed the pond and ducks. Don't know if it's still there, but across the road was the home of the "Sky Gypsies", where John MacAfee's group flew ultralights. If you get the chance, take the Price Canyon road up into Rucker Canyon; it's remote and beautiful.

  5. Keith and Brenda, McAfee sold everything at auction in 2009. The cafe and the natural foods store are currently empty. It's an interesting story!