The village of Columbus is a sleepy small town at the intersection of Highway 9 and 11. The Florida Mountains at Deming can be seen in the north. The small downtown has a post office, a hotel, a bank, a café, a grocery store, and several other businesses. Houses in town are surrounded by iron fences or chain link fences. I could feel the concern of security in the border land. Mild winter, history, and easy access to Mexico are the draw of the border land.
Pancho Villa State Park Campground became our home for the next five days. The cool thing about this campground is that we are camping on the historical camp Furlong. A major attack of the Continental United States by a foreign country occurred here on March 9, 1916. General Pancho Villa’s army crossed the border and raided the small village of Columbus. They burned buildings and killed civilians. The US government sent out troops to Mexico but failed to capture Pancho Villa. The museum in the park displayed artifacts of the attack. A 1915 Dodge touring car with bullet holes from Pancho Villa Raid was the iron evidence of the infamous raid. Cootes Hill by the entrance of the park was a low mound that served as an important lookout for soldiers at Camp Furlong. Standing on top of the hill under the national flag and the state flag, I saw Mexico just a few miles away.
We drove south on Highway 11 towards the border and checked out another grocery store. The customs area was under construction and detours were lined by red fence. We parked on the parking lot in front of the duty free store. Mexico was just 100 yards away on the other side of the tall black fence. A pedestrian lane leads to Mexico. Our adventure at Columbus will be going to Palomas, Mexico.