Some of you may know that I claim two home states: Oklahoma and New Mexico. Oklahoma is where my grandparents lived, my parents were born, some of my siblings were born, and where I went to college and have lived since 1991. It’s the first place that I think of as home when I’m far away.
On the other hand, I’m the only member of my family to be born in New Mexico. I was born in the oilfield town of Hobbs, right on the western border of Texas. We didn’t live there long, but moved back when I was in 9th grade for a few years. I attended high school in Hobbs and spent my undergraduate summers working as a roustabout for an oil company. Note: roustabouts and roughnecks are completely different jobs! In our parlance, a roughneck is someone working on an oil drilling rig. Pretty dangerous work. A roustabout is a worker on oilfield production equipment – pump jacks, tanks, heater/treaters, separators – much less dangerous work.
This all to say, that I love my chances to visit my natal state. What can I say? I love the open plains and grand vistas, be it in Oklahoma or New Mexico. This I got to do last November when I was visiting New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.
The photos above give evidence of my love for true New Mexican food, completed by the wonderful Hatch chiles grown near Las Cruces, and my hike around the Dripping Springs area of the Organ Mountains – Desert Peaks National Monument, just east of Las Cruces.
If you’re in Las Cruces, I recommend stopping at La Posta de Mesilla restaurant. A bit touristy, but good food and a fun experience!