Deming is the county seat of Luna county, in the southwest of New Mexico. Named after Mary Deming Crocker, wife of a railroad magnate of the Southern Pacific Railway system. It has a population of slighly more than 14,000 (14116 as of the census in 2000, to be exact), of mixed nationalities, mostly white and hispanic. On the town sign, they claim to the "the home of clear water and fast ducks" (thanks graymalkn), even though the Mimbres River is underground in that part of New Mexico. When the town was much smaller and did not have to use fluoride in thier water, they used to bottle the water from the underground river and sell it. The town is 33 miles from the mexican border, and is surrounded by state parks which some would consider paradise, but others may think of as nothing more than dust and rocks.

Things to Do
Although it may sound like it, Deming is no booming metropolis. In fact, it is quite a sleepy little town. The street names are pretty typical for a small town; north-south streets are named after precious metals (nickel, silver, gold, ect.) and east-west streets are tree names (elm, maple, pine, ect.). It's pretty easy to get around. The tour magazines and web site claim several fabulous atrractions to their town, but be prepared to drive several hours for any of these. Keep in mind that New Mexico is a big state, so attractions are spread out. However, the town of Deming itself does have a few interesting bits. For example, there is the Deming-Luna County Mimbres Museum. Here there are exhibits on the Old West, artifacts of the Native Americans of the area, a doll room, military artifacts, and over 1200 historic liquor decanters. But wait, there's more! There is also an exhibit with over 2500 bells! Try not to get your panties in a knot. Smithsonian it ain't, but if you like things like historic farm equipment, this place is for you.

One little tidbit I enjoyed was the Gila cliff dwellings, which the website claims as "an attraction near Deming", a mere 140 miles away. I know, it is a bit of a haul, but keep in mind the average highway speed limit in New Mexico is 70 miles per hour. Anyway, the Gila dwellings are big ol' rooms made of ancient mud. Hey, I liked it.

Other than educational experiences and outdoorsy things, Deming is a virtual entertainment wasteland. There is no movie theater, no mall, no bowling alley, no miniature golf (although there is a 18 hole *real* golf course, if thats your thing). The only large store is a Wal-Mart. Blockbuster just moved into town, so you can get your rent on. Oh! There is the most fabulous place in the world: the Sonic Burger. Now, we don't have these on the west coast, and thats a damn shame. It's a drive in burger joint where the waitresses are on roller skates and everything, and they have tasty things like green chili cheeseburgers and banana milkshakes. Yay.

Weird Crap You Can't Miss
Every year, during the fourth weekend in August, is the Great American Duck Races. Yes, duck races. Kids and inebriated s encourage, threaten, and scare ducks down a chickenwire tunnel. They used to let you use your own ducks, but then some old coots started training their ducks and shut out all the kiddies, so now they use the ducks from the golf course (which are loved by all, and old ladies will scold you and give you The Look if you chase them). But wait, there's more! There is also the outhouse races, where one schmuck pushes a wheelbarrow with an outhouse occupied with another schmuck around, and the fastest schmucks win. And, my personal favorite, the cowpie toss. This is pretty self explanatory, but I will add that the "pies" have been dried first, to aid the tossing. All in all it's a super fabulous event that shouldn't be missed.

Deming, New Mexico. Paradise for the old and asthmatic, playground for the mexican dealers in tricked out Monte Carlos, vacation spot for me and my family. Visit the Land of Enchantment!

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