On Sunday, we decided to go for a drive over the Mimbres Mountains. Highway 152 stretches 89 miles between the two towns, but we were told to allow at least 2 hours driving time, due to the many curves and steep grades. Stopping often for photos and to look around, we took that long just to drive the 60 miles or so to Kingston.
At the town of San Lorenzo in the Mimbres River Valley, the highway becomes part of the Geronimo Trail National Scenic Byway.
At the crest of the mountain range is Emory Pass, at an elevation of 8,828 feet. The pass was named in honor of Lt. W. H. Emory who passed by here with the Army of the West in 1842. His report is the earliest scientific account of the region, then a part of Mexico. A narrow road leads up to a viewpoint, affording a panoramic view of the valley below, including Caballo Lake, more than 50 miles away.
Dropping nearly 3000 feet during the next 9 miles, the road leads to Kingston, another town of the 1880s, with a reputation for wild and wooly ways. A booming silver mining town of more than 7,000, Kingston died as suddenly as it had been born, when the depression of 1893 sent silver prices plummeting. Not much is left of Kingston today.
We decided to turn around at Kingston, and head back for Silver City.
We had our “tailgate lunch” at a pull-off, then discovered we were at the entrance to a cemetery, almost hidden in the trees and grass. Unlike any cemetery we’ve ever seen, this one is laid out in a most haphazard manner, with little fenced in plots dotting the hillside.
From the very old…
….and the modern…. ,
this cemetery has to be the most unusual we’ve visited.
The return trip over the mountains was equally scenic.