Before leaving Arizon we had new tires and rear axle brakes installed on our Jeep. The tires had over 50,000 miles on and we didn’t want to take the chance of any tire problems especially in some of the more remote areas we traveled. We headed for New Mexico March 14th, stayed the first night at a Walmart in Deming, New Mexico. We spent the next 2 nights at a campground in Vado, New Mexico just south of Las Cruses.
Close to our campground was Mesilla, NM. The old downtown district with many original adobe and frame or brick buildings present, was a delightful treasure to explore. Complete with a center plaza, old church, and opportunities to shop or get a meal, Old Mesilla is a place where you can step back in time. It looks much like it did back in the 1800s.
Mesilla was famous for being the place where Billy the Kid was sentenced to hang-he escaped from jail while there-but many other outlaws and rustlers called this town home. We toured many of the old buildings, including the old courthouse which is now a store called Billy the Kid. We had lunch at El Patio Cantina, in a very old building, which originally housed the Butterfield Overland Mail. We felt like time stood still in Old Mesilla, and we could almost see the gunslingers who used to frequent the saloons there.
Old Mesilla has a central plaza and an old Catholic Church across the street. This entire area is on the National Historic Registry and for good reason as so many of the original buildings have survived.