New Mexico Roads - NM 185/old US 85

Former US 85

SB into Las Cruces; the last photo is actually on NM 188, which continues old US 85 from the end of NM 185 at US 70. While the third photo is clearly in the wrong format and the second is clearly old, the first isn't just here for the scenery. Those in the know will pick out the misspelling of "Selden." It's subtle.

NB and turning EB at the same Fort Selden intersection.

Turn onto NM 157 and make an immediate left, and you get to follow the original US 85 alignment. For a little while, anyway. The road isn't just subject to closure, it's committed. Just after the last photo, there's a parking lot and a fence/gate combination set up to let you know that your car is not welcome beyond that point. I'm not even sure that people are welcome beyond that point, but no one said anything about cameras.

Continuing north, after a little bridge there's a stretch of gravel, and then the old US 85 pavement picks up, mostly overgrown and in some places removed for no apparent reason. At its best, a faint double yellow centerline is still visible. After crossing one gate, coming to the second, and with still a third visible, my camera judged from context that this was becoming someone's ranch land, and decided to walk no farther. (Assuming cameras can walk.)

In the background is Bailey's Bathhouse, the historic centerpiece of the former Radium Springs resort that still lends its name to the nearby town. Apparently it's now frowned upon to stick your body in radioactive water. In the foreground is a healthy white-winged dove, unaffected by drinking or bathing in radium. I always thought doves were just white pigeons, but apparently tan is allowed as well.

Walking back south to the car. I wouldn't even dream of passing here, not the least because there's nothing to pass. The fence, gate, and little bridge I mentioned in previous captions come into view here. Though a car could still come this way if it belongs to the right people, the "Slow / Danger" sign seems rather unnecessary at this point because the right people would already know how to drive the old road. The greatest danger is forgetting to unlatch the gate.

NM 26 EB at the northern beginning of NM 185.

Continue north on old US 85 to NM 187
I-25 and modern US 85

Turn into Fort Selden
NM 185 scenery
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