It just so happens that the closest vet to Cold Creek Ranch is located in Silver City and so when Smoky the Arabian and Butter the Mustang needed a check up, we loaded them up in the trailer and set off from Arizona across the border to The Land of Enchantment, as New Mexico is known. The approach to Silver City is nothing special, a sprawl of big new buildings and warehouses amid a tangle of roads, motels and fast food chains. At first I felt a little disappointed, I never expected it to be made of silver, but the name gives you hope of something a little more glittering than your average town.
Don’t lose hope. If you battle through the outskirts, and find the little wooden bridge that crosses the river you’ll find yourself stepping back in time into the Wild West silver mining boom town that it once was (minus the outlaws and gun fights!) Silver City is like a geode – a plain old rock on the outside filled with the most breathtakingly beautiful crystals inside.
* Walk across the river and wander down the historic centre taking in the beautifully painted houses, fascinating street art and old architecture
The old historic houses in downtown Silver City are really pretty and haven’t forgotten their past with old carts of copper rocks sitting outside. I haven never been in a town that is so brightly colourful, there are pretty coloured towns in other countries but none of the colours feel as intense as here in New Mexico. I think the hot sun and desert landscape make the colours feel even more enchanting, we are in the land of enchantment after all!
* Check out the beautiful street murals
All the streets of Silver City historic centre seem to be painted and coloured but there is one in particular that is truly unique. It covers a huge wall and is made up of tiny little scenes like a wedding at a church or kids jumping rope with a chicken! I’ve tried to include some close up shots below but they’re just a few of the many funny and beautifully coloured stories in this mural.
* Make a trip to the Silver City Antique Mall
Probably my favourite part of Silver City was the Antique Mall – known as Cave Saloon in the 1870s, it now houses room after room of precious and fascinating oddities which range from a buffalo hide to Hopi fetish necklaces and everything in between. We were pretty taken with this old music book from the 1900s where every piece of music was about a specific type of bird. I loved that they had a piece of music for the Palomitas, the mourning doves that are devoted to their mates, for I sorely miss my Palomito.
In another room we stumbled across a pair of the most beautiful hand carved wooden crossbows, it was hard to believe that someone had actually made them with their very own hands! If I had more money I certainly would have picked one up, but I’ll save my skills for shooting guns for the moment.
* Spoil your tastebuds at Jalisco’s
Check out Jalisco Cafe for a taste of New Mexican food. Definitely different to the Mexican counterpart but equally as delicious, the chile verde and chile rojo sauces are bursting with flavour and spice. If you cant decide which to go for you can ask your waitress for samples first to try (and then maybe drink up with a straw, they’re that good!)
* Walk past the famous Buffalo Bar
Sadly now closed, the Buffalo Bar was once one of the best Silver City dives and still worth walking past just to see the atmospheric sigh. Having never been there, I’ll leave the words to this guys wonderful account of his memories of the Buffalo Bar.