bugsy running on lone rock beach with the airstream and f-150 in the background

One night in Mesilla, NM–Winter Warmth trip

We were in Mesilla in February 2021 when on our Winter Warmth Trip.

The day started so wonderfully: we drove from Bisbee to Chiricahua National Monument for a gorgeous hike through the hoodoo wonderland. It was a cold day, and we laughed at the snow flurries because we were in the Desert Southwest! Ha! Snow on our winter warmth trip, how cute!

I wrote about Chiricahua in the Bisbee post, but to sum up: it’s amazing and you should go there. We especially loved Heart of Rocks. Here are some photos:

hoodoos in Heart of Rocks, Chiricahua National Monument
hoodoos in Heart of Rocks, Chiricahua National Monument
hoodoos in Heart of Rocks, Chiricahua National Monument

From Chiricahua, it’s normally about a three-hour drive to Mesilla, and we were looking forward to strolling through the quaint downtown and eating dinner at an Uncle Jim recommendation, La Posta de Mesilla. Then, in the morning, we were going to drive up to White Sands National Park on our way east.

frozen I-10 in New Mexico

But remember those cute snowflakes? They turned into real snow and ice and freezing temperatures. Driving conditions deteriorated quickly and we had to turn the heat on in the Airstream so the pipes wouldn’t freeze while we were traveling. By the time we made it to Mesilla it was dark and frigid so our exploring of town was limited to a couple of loops through in the car–downtown Mesilla looks charming!

the view of frozen Las Cruces, NM from the KOA

We stayed at the Las Cruces KOA, about a ten-minute drive to the Mesilla plaza, with a nice view of the valley from our campsite. But: the water at our site was frozen. Fortunately we had some–but not much–water in our tank. And they didn’t refill propane. We thought all KOAs had propane, and we needed some pretty badly! Note that the Airstream uses propane to run the refrigerator when not connected to power, for the furnace (the electricity-powered heat pump is useless if it’s really cold; we carry a space heater to cut furnace propane usage), and of course for the stove and oven. The KOA people referred us to a gas place in town, which was closed when we went in the morning. Yikes.

the patio at La Posta de Mesilla

After our quickie driving tour of the old town, we got carryout from La Posta and ate in the cozy Airstream. J went inside the restaurant to grab the food and said the interior is really neat, and they have a big pandemic-friendly patio.

fajitas from La Posta de Mesilla

The food was tasty and cheesy but honestly I think we were a little too stressed out about the weather to really enjoy it. Lucky for you, the intrepid travelers at No Home Just Roam visited La Posta after seeing Uncle Jim’s recommendation and wrote a fantastic review!

So, without really experiencing Mesilla, or playing at White Sands, we got the heck out of bleak New Mexico in the morning. Smart people would have paid more attention to the weather forecast and the reports coming out of Texas, and high-tailed it back to sunshine and warmth in Arizona. We are not smart people! We wanted to get to Austin ASAP! [Insert suspenseful music here…]


5 responses to “One night in Mesilla, NM–Winter Warmth trip”

  1. Stephen Avatar

    Aw, that sucks about the weather – sorry it didn’t work out for you. Hope you get a chance to get back to White Sands too as Bugsy will love it there.

  2. […] left frozen Mesilla, foolishly thinking conditions would improve as we headed east. Wrong! The roads were total crap! […]

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