Organ Mountains near Baylor Canyon Road,
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Over the past weekend, a storm moved in and delivered two days of rain—not a deluge, but steady. Our Chihuahua Desert climate typically sees scattered rain, if any at all, between July and September, so our most recent storm was a surprise. As a transplanted New Englander, I listened with excitement as the El Paso weatherman predicted that the clouds would deliver one to three inches of snow in the region before disappearing.
I'm happy to write that the snow fell in the relative lowlands of Las Cruces, lasted long enough to titillate us, then promptly melted. Even the Robledos and Doña Ana Mountains were bare. But the Organ Mountains dominate our city's skyline, and they looked as though they wore a coating of confectioners' sugar. It might not happen again for years.
So Nancy and I set out for an afternoon drive up Route 70 to the San Augustin Pass (elevation 5719 feet), which leads to the White Sands Missile Range. From there we doubled back to the city side of the mountains and followed Baylor Canyon Road.
It probably won't last on the mountains but another couple of days. Snowmelt is already trickling in rivulets and will soon rush in sheets, watering the cactus, the creosote, and the grama grass. It will find its way into the arroyos and into the Rio Grande, and whatever people don't take out will either evaporate or flow to the Gulf.
Baylor Canyon Road parallels the Organ Mountains.
The White Sands Missile Range is on the other side.