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Comment by Khan on October 31, 2008 at 9:25am
$5 on some El Malpais action there!
We were there this past summer, about noon, enervating heat, and stranger than anything else: there was a bat flying around. One of my favorite places in NM, the drive from The Owl Bar to the Flow!
Comment by Masshole in Fringecrest on October 31, 2008 at 9:42am
Are you talking about The Valley of Fires? Although technically adjacent to Malpais, I think most think of the area just S. of Grants as "The Malpais"...

Totally unrelated- two years ago on her way to a Softball Tourney in Ruidoso, my wife's team stopped off there for a quick look, and she was dared to eat an iridescent orange accented grasshopper for $20. She did it then texted me about it. I am married to a 37 year old teenager.
Comment by Khan on October 31, 2008 at 9:58am
I dunno, I grew up calling both of the big lava flows "El Malpais," usually discerning them with "by Grants" or "down South." I think that "Valley of Fires" is indeed the actual name of the state (natl?) park there, while the Grants flow park is designated "El Malpais." But I have a feeling that both were called Badlands by the Spanish. But whatever I call them, its the fault of my father, who was the one who took us there when we were kids. Stories from the mountain aside, I think that musing on the Malpais down South as a kid made me realize that I lived in a place that could kill me. I've always liked that about NM.
Comment by Masshole in Fringecrest on October 31, 2008 at 10:05am
I totally agree. I find either flow to be a sobering reminder of the raw power of the Earth. I spent many a drive returning from Hobbs, etc. for business back to Albuquerque, and no matter how fast I wanted to get home, I always had to stop there (VOF) for a peek. It's similar to the need to look down from a high bridge or a skyscraper....
Comment by Zoe on November 1, 2008 at 12:00pm
I grew up in Hobbs and Eunice. And, my parents met and married in Portales. Please take special note of a fact from a true native. SE NEW MEXICO IS ON THIS SIDE OF THE STATE LINE. It has never been and will never be a part of Texas. I sang "Oh Fair New Mexico" in school and the Zia flag flew above my school. I attended NM All State Music here in Albuquerque.

SE New Mexico is stinky with oil and cattle. But the people there are proud to be a part of THIS state.

Comment by Pat O. on November 1, 2008 at 10:38pm
The lava flows by Carrizozo were called the Valley of Fires State Park when I first moved here. BLM now manages the area, and calls it the "Valley of Fires Recreation Area." Friends of mine who were born and grew up here still call it the Carrizozo Malpais.

The lava flows south of Grants were called the Grants Malpais by the same friends, until it was renamed as El Malpais National Monument by the National Park Service.

Now there's the subject of how to pronounce "Malpais." I've heard "Malpie" as well as "Malpiees," which is probably closer to the Spanish.
Comment by Khan on November 2, 2008 at 8:41am
I don't know how those Spanish speaking elites would say it in Seville, but round these parts in our good ol' Spanish Outpost, you say it "eese," with an emphasis on the last syllable. (And EESE, not esé!)

(A friend of mine that had been in Cuba a couple of years ago said people were pleasantly amused to find that she came to them from what they called "The Spanish Outpost," NM. Apparently, Cubans, people we've been instrumental in keeping slightly hungry for the past 45 years, can find NM on a map with more facility than citizens of this federal agglutination. And not only can find us, but know some bit of our history off the tops of their heads.)
Comment by Shady Lady on November 2, 2008 at 11:21am
Thank you Zoe. I'm another SE New Mexico NATIVE who gets a miffed when called a Texan.
Comment by Pat O. on November 2, 2008 at 11:42am
Yes, "Little Texas" is part of NM.

However, I've heard friends of mine that live in the SE area (Carlsbad anyway) call it Little Texas. They've said the Texas culture has an influence on the New Mexico side of the border. Is it tourists, people moving out of Texas, or a long term cultural infusion? I don't really know.

Last year I lived in Carlsbad for 5 months, and there are some subtle differences between that area and the rest of the state. The most significant one I can point to is that the chile you get at most restaurants in Carlsbad isn't near as hot as it is in Albuquerque, Santa Fe or Las Cruces.


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