Tired of Watching TV? Look What I found.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to fly, other than in your dreams? Rodeo, New Mexico may be your answer.
The best time for traveling southwestern New Mexico is the late fall, winter and early spring. Lots of the small towns offer adventures to the traveler that are apparent from just looking at a map. Rodeo, NM is one of those places.
One day not long ago we decided to take a drive and see what was new in Rodeo, NM. We'd heard there was a lot of new building going on. Rodeo is about 100 miles west of Columbus on Highway 9 and a few miles north of Douglas, AZ.
When we got there, we drove to the south end of town, which didn't take long, and worked our way back north. The Rodeo Grocery and Cafe was one of the first places and it was time for lunch: how convenient. The food was good, the service friendly and after lunch we walked a half block north to an old church that is now The Chiricahua Gallery.
The gallery is an artist's cooperative, with books to metalsmithing and pottery to perfumes. The lady volunteer told us about another gallery and when we got there we found we'd met the owner, Roger McKasson, at a meeting a few years prior. Roger's work includes paintings, sculpture and other art.
Next, we drove back north to check out the brand new Rodeo Natural Market that we'd passed on our way into town. The market is well stocked and we were amazed to find a natural food market, that would rival one found in a major city, in Rodeo, NM a town of maybe one hundred people.
The friend who'd first told us about the changes in Rodeo had also told us that John McAfee, of McAfee computer antivirus systems, was the person behind the building boom, old cars and sport flying. Maria, the market manager told us to be sure to check out the Sky Gypsy Cafe and airport where the light-sport aircraft, similar to but larger and faster than ultralights, and pilot's school are located. You can check out the differences between light-sport aircraft and ultralights Wikipedia.
The Sky Gypsy Cafe turn off is easy to find, as their sign is painted on a restored 1940ish Ford panel truck. A half mile or so later we parked and walked into a building one wouldn't expect in the boot heel of New Mexico.
More than just a cafe in the middle of the desert, The Sky Gypsy Cafe has a cinemax theater where classics and educational movies are shown, outside and inside dining areas, Internet connected computers, small sun-filled rooms with jigsaw puzzles on the tables and more. I suspect the entire building is set up for wireless Internet, since one man was sitting in the lounge with a booted up computer in his lap.
We talked with a writer, toured the hangars where the light sport aircraft (LSA) are kept, took pictures and got the low down on LSA's from one of the LSA certification instructors.
Outside were restored Airstream trailers and vintage cars of the same year. We walked and talked and left for home before the incoming weather caught up with us. The day had been filled with new adventures and things to see and do. By the time we got home the sun was gone, the house was dark and our cat was waiting outside our front door.