An old adobe homestead sits in Lake Valley, just southwest of Truth or Consequences. Photograph by Andrew Kornylak.
A CENTURY'S WORTH OF PRAYERS bolster the restored adobe chapel at the Lake Valley Historic Town Site. Other ruins and rescues from its silver-mining heyday abound in this Bureau of Land Management–owned acreage 48 miles southwest of Truth or Consequences. The town welcomes visitors year-round, Thursdays through Mondays (hours can vary), but, says Kendra Madrid, chief of cultural and recreation programs for the BLM’s Las Cruces office, you can walk around the gate on other days. Go on official days to get inside the restored schoolhouse museum. “To see the way students used to sit, the markings they made on their desks, you get a feeling of nostalgia,” she says.
The road to Mogollon, 75 miles northwest of Silver City, is rough enough that high-clearance vehicles are recommended, and the town opens only on Saturdays and Sundays (plus Monday holidays) between May and October. The Silver Creek Inn is taking the summer off, but day-trippers can still hit the Old Kelly Store, Purple Onion Cafe, and Mogollon Museum. (Cresta Terrell, volunteer manager of the store, highly recommends the café’s green chile cheeseburger.)
Hispanic farmers founded Cuchillo, 15 miles northwest of Truth or Consequences, which was a stage stop and trading center for nearby miners. People still live there—“35 on a good day,” says artist Josh Bond, a local renovator who also operates the Breaking Bed and Breakfast RV and appeared on an episode of the History Channel’s American Pickers. “We call it a living ghost town—it’s private property, but there are photo ops.”