Despite what I said about there being a huge drought in New Mexico (which there is) there are some lakes, the most notable being Elephant Butte (famous for boat parties and other chaos) and the lesser known, equally beautiful, Lake Conchas, part of Conchas Lake State National Park , famous for gentle jaunts around in a boat before throwing yourself in the water and taking a doughnut ride!
Driving out to Conchas with the roof down was the perfect way to admire the desert. We took the route via Santa Fe for more scenic surroundings and even passed signs for a small town called Las Vegas, somewhat confusing as I am sure we are in New Mexico and definitely going the wrong direction for Nevada!
Turns out Las Vegas, New Mexico was actually settled as a town 70 years BEFORE Las Vegas Nevada! The New Mexico town was settled in 1835 after a group of settlers received a land grant from the Mexican government (New Mexico was still part of Mexico at this point). They had a rail road built in 1880 which helped the town prosper and brought in lots of business and resulting in Las Vegas (NM) booming and becoming one of the largest cities in the South West! This wasn’t all good though as this boom brought both honest business men and trouble makers, to the point where famous historian Ralph Emerson Twitchell once stated: ‘Without exception there was no town which harboured a more disreputable gang of desperadoes and outlaws than did Las Vegas (NM).’
Getting to Conchas a little later than expected meant it was straight on with getting the bonfire started…this was the first time I discovered S’MORES!!!!!! This is a whole new level of amazing and I am addicted! We spent the rest of the weekend in the sun, on the boat, playing on doughnut rings and wake boards and just generally relaxing. I also discovered what a swamp cooler is, basically a fancy air con for very deserty environments, they are quite noisy too!
It’s worth noting that all this fun was to honour one particular day- Labour Day, celebrated on the first Monday in September and is basically a holiday off work to celebrate the American Labor Movement, dedicated to the achievements of workers!