Roadtrip to “Zozo” (Part 1)

One of my favorite towns in New Mexico is Carrizozo.  It is about 90 west of Roswell along the old SP mainline, now Union Pacific RR. “Zozo” (as it is nick-named by some locals) is the county seat of Lincoln County (one of my favorite counties in NM) and has a population of about 1,000.  The name of the town is derived from a Spanish word for reed grass Carrizo, which grew significantly in the area and provided excellent feed for ranch cattle. (Carrizo also refers to a groups of extinct languages. sometimes called  Comecrudan that were spoken in parts of Texas and New Mexico along the Rio Grande River.  A number of early ethnographers and researchers, including John Wesley Powell, documented this language.)

In the early 1990s and mid-2000s I visited.  The next couple of posts or so, will share some images and thoughts about the town and my road trips.

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Another image of my favorite defunct bar on a main street in Zozo–The Yucca Bar and Grill.

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Inside the Yucca Bar. How I would have liked to see this place on a busy Saturday night!

There’s a novel (or at least a short story) waiting to be written about this place.  Maybe I’ll write it.

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Another great structure down from the Yucca bar and Grill is the Cold Storage. The old SP main is right behind it. I took this photo in the early 1990s.

Another great building to weave into the story!  What beautiful architecture for such a utilitarian business.  I love the way style used to count.  It would be a metal, nondescript building now.

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One beautiful evening in the early 1990s, I found this beast idling behind the Yucca Bar. In reality, it was an SP tunnel motor in between assignments.  Note snow capped mountain in the distance.
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On the same evening, perhaps reflecting the 1988 SP-Rio Grande merger, empty Rio Grande gondolas and a hopper await their next duties just down from the idling locomotive.

More to come–fantastic food, railfanning out towards Oscura, petroglyphs and more.  Oscura–that needs to be in the short story too!

2 thoughts on “Roadtrip to “Zozo” (Part 1)

  1. In the photo of the tunnel motor, above the power pole, is a white splotch. Did you capture one of those Roswell UFO’s on final approach?


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