Artesia, New Mexico: If Only It Had a Cuddly, Beer-Swilling Bear

The day I went to Carlsbad Caverns, I missed two towns on my list. One was White’s City, which I’d heard good things about – something about a restaurant. And I thought, Hey, I’m white, so why not? But I ran out of time, what with all the lateness and scary cave exploring.Artesia, New Mexico: If Only It Had a Cuddly, Beer-Swilling Bear  Then there was Artesia. I knew it was an oil town, but I was fine with that, especially since Scampabouts Need Oil For Them to Happen. (My guilt about that will have to wait for another post.)

But more interesting were the fabled hot springs. What was it about those magical Artesian waters, made famous by that cuddly Hamm’s bear?

(Ed. note: Wrong. Hamm’s was “born in the land of sky blue waters.” Turns out Lone Star beer is made from Artesian water, and since I’m going to Texas next month, I wasn’t that far off.)

But driving through Artesia I decided not to stop, because this is the nicest thing I saw:

Artesia, New Mexico: If Only It Had a Cuddly, Beer-Swilling Bear

A Shell station with a statue and a big-ass truck. Pretty!

But on the day I was driving through, there was also this:

Artesia, New Mexico: If Only It Had a Cuddly, Beer-Swilling Bear

Tanks and phallic symbols are alive and well in Artesia.

And this:

Artesia, New Mexico: If Only It Had a Cuddly, Beer-Swilling Bear

No, they’re not giant hot tubs. I checked.

That, and the pervasive smell of rotting eggs. Only if there had been intestine-eating monsters clamoring after my car would it have been less appealing. I kept driving.

On Monday – Silver City, NM.

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