Look What I Found in Columbus, NM.
Southwestern New Mexico is not only the “Land of Enchantment”, it’s also the “Land of Mostly Undiscovered.” Seven miles north of Columbus, NM, and ten miles from the Mexican border, there’s a unique bed and breakfast, retreat and art gallery all wrapped up into one.
Windwalker Guest Ranch also includes Art on the Western Edge and Endless Trails Retreat. The entire package can be found at the awe website http://www.awe88029.com.
I make it a regular stopping place when trekking and climbing the Tres Hermanas Mountains, which are just a couple of miles north and west. The B&B/retreat would make an excellent base for hikers and trekkers who like to explore old mines and hike or climb. The hikes range from easy to fairly difficult. The facility is not only close to the Tres Hermanas but also the Florida Mountains just a few miles farther north. See my articles on both the Tres Hermanas and Floridas for more information. Bring your camera, the views from both sets of mountains are spectacular and you’re left to wonder how the giant rocks could possibly have gotten where they are. Enormous boulders are balanced on rocks no bigger than the end of your thumb.
Like the awe website says, “It’s so quiet you can hear your heart beat.” Besides the quiet, there are no night lights to interfere with the dark night skies of New Mexico. Night and day, the view is distant, sweeping and unparalleled, especially on a full moon. Quail, road runners, Curved-Billed Thrashers, Cactus wrens and other local birds make their nests in the nearby desert cholla and prickly pear cactus. Many species of migratory birds, including Sandhill cranes, pass through on their journeys. Cottontail rabbits know no one will bother them and are almost tame enough to be patted.
Breakfast is in a central part of the main building where the day begins. The accommodations are presently all in the central building but construction was underway when I was there last and the accommodations are slated to be enlarged.
The art gallery has shown works of local, regional and internationally famous artists. The gallery also doubles as a class room. The classes cover many areas, from painting and photography to book binding and writing, to poetry and how to get published and get paid for your efforts.
The owners, Jeri Sue Heath and Eldon Dwyer are airplane enthusiasts, and the decor reflects their passion. The facility has a private 2500’ long airstrip with room on the west end, you land uphill and to the west, for tying down visitor’s aircraft. Both Jeri Sue and Eldon are accomplished pilots and I was fortunate one day to be there when Eldon was going flying and I got some excellent video of our flight. Windwalker Guest Ranch has been selected by Film Locations of New Mexico as a prime movie location site. Bring your video and still camera, you’ll find it worth your time.
On March 1st, the first FLY/FUN DAY is on the agenda. The events will include kites, radio control aircraft, ultralights and conventional aircraft. All aircraft are welcome and it should be a fun time. If you love airplanes and things that fly, do yourself a favor and check out the website for more information and come join the fun.
Eldon has been involved with radio control airplanes, as has his brother who lives in California, for many years and has a collection hanging from the ceiling in the main hangar. Looking at the detail that goes into one of the models gives you some idea about the time, patience and passion one has to have to be able to build models of that caliber. I s Eldon a “Model Man?” Jeri Sue thinks so.