A small town on the eastern border of New Mexico. It is the county seat of Roosevelt County. Portales was incorporated in 1910, and its name is Spanish for "porches" -- a nearby series of small caves resembled the porches of a Spanish-style home to some of the residents. The population is approximately 12,000 people (about 15,000 during the regular semesters at the college). The weather is, generally, comfortable and mild; the annual average temperature is 58 degrees (seasonally, the averages are 37 degrees in the winter and 77 degrees in the summer), and the city gets about 18 inches of rain and 14 inches of snow every year.

Portales is the home of Eastern New Mexico University, as well as four different museums: the Roosevelt County Historical Museum (located on the ENMU campus), the Miles Mineral Museum (a small room in the college's Science Building), the Natural History Museum (a somewhat larger room in the Science Building), and the Blackwater Draw Archaeological Site and Museum (owned by the college, but located a few miles north of the city limits). One of the local characters keeps a very large collection of old windmills at his house on Kilgore Street; last I heard, he doesn't mind people stopping by to take a tour of the collection.

The town often smells like ethanol, and some of the townspeople get seriously angry if you disparage peanuts, the local cash crop. There is very little entertainment available, and the cops are bored and generally dishonest. The best local festivals are the college's homecoming and the annual Peanut Valley Festival, which attracts a large number of entertainers, artisans, and peanut enthusiasts.

The area is prone to some truly stunning sunrises and sunsets, and thanks to the university, there's a bit more art, music, culture, and good beer than is usual for rural New Mexico. In addition, the somewhat larger and more interesting town of Clovis is only 20 minutes north, and Lubbock and Amarillo are just two-hour drives away.

Source: Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce, as well as far too many years living there. That town broke my heart far too often, considering all the devotion I slathered upon it.

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