If you wanna see rocks in all states from direct-from-the-mine to cut and polished, then the Basin Range Volcanics Geolapidary Museum in Deming, New Mexico is the place to be. Do not expect to see a two-story building nor a map guide nor an information desk when you reach the museum. The small dilapidated-looking house is located in the middle of a desert and isolated, close to the entrance of the Rockhound State Park.
I missed it the first time I was there as my GPS could not find its exact location. I only realized that I was hundreds of meters past my destination when I saw a sign that said I am would be entering the Rockhound State Park. A quick u-turn and a few minutes of slow driving led me to a sign “Rock Shop.”
At first, I was hesitant to enter. There was a note posted on the door to knock hard and shout as the custodian has a hearing problem. I knocked hard, shouted ‘Hello’, and then shouted another ‘Hello’ even louder. A guy from the inside, shouted back and told me to come in.
His name is Christopher.
It is a little house, indeed! But full of beautifully-colored, shining rocks. Geodes, they are called, rocks of sedimentary origin that are formed by chemical precipitation.
Christopher was shy at first. He never asked me what I would want to see and know. He just let me wander inside the tight spaces and check the rocks, big and small, displayed on steel mesh table tops.
It was when I started inquiring about the rocks that Christopher began to open up. I was surprised how friendly and fascinating he is. Aside from the fact that he is very knowledgeable about the geodes, he is also an incredibly good story-teller. He told me about his geologist partner who died, sexy girls, retiring and living alone, and driving fast cars.
He told me stories of the rock collections. He said that most of the geodes were mined locally and that most of the geode collection are being displayed at the Deming Luna Mimbres Museum in downtown Deming.
When I said my goodbye, he hoped that I could visit the place again.
So if you have time, stop in on your drive and you will not be disappointed.
Basin Range Volcanics Geolapidary Museum
It is located two miles before Rockhound State Park on Rockhound Road (Highway 143)
6235 Stirrup Rd SE
Deming, New Mexico 88030
Hours: 9 am – 5 pm; Closed Wednesdays
Admission is FREE.
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See also: My other travel adventures.