2022 Hatch Chile Run

Stepmurr

Lookin' fer the end of that old white line
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Time for my annual Hatch Chile run. I took an entire week off this year so I could take a slow ride to Hatch with lotz of detours.

First detour was to Phoenix where I replaced my daughter's headlights on her 2013 Subaru Forester. I have tried almost every brand of polishing tool & majik compound on several vehicles and have determined that the only fix to sun damaged headlights is new headlights. Every time I have polished up a set of headlights they started to look glazed over within months - even using 3M;s majik UV covering. I bought new headlights for the Taco last year and couldn't be happier. I did the same for my daughter and they look great on her Subi!

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Next stop was just east of Payson in a blinding rainstorm.
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Frisky horses the next morning
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I could tell that my new cat box was trapping a lot of heat and so I drilled nine vent holes in it while parked along side the highway.
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I lived in Springerville in the early 80's and remember going into this store in Pinetop McNary. I don't remember it having grass growing out of its awning 40 years ago.
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Next camp was near Antelope Peak by Springerille.
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Stepmurr

Lookin' fer the end of that old white line
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Pine tree outside Springerville growing new pine cones.
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Night time fun photos
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Luna Lake outside Alpine Arizona - not too big but rite purty!
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Forest just East of Alpine
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This is the crick that drains Luna Lake
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I think I see fishies
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Stepmurr

Lookin' fer the end of that old white line
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piks

I have no idea what kind of flower this is, but it looks interesting.
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Camped at the BLM campground at Aguirre Spring. I hate camping in developed campgrounds but I was really tired from driving and this was convenient (purty too!) $7.00 per night so kinda a bargain.
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Alamogordo, New Mexico at night
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Looking back over the Organ Mountains at the sky reflection of Las Cruces, New Mexico.
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Back to Alamogordo, White Sands Missile Range, & Holloman Air Force Base.
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Organ Mountains looking towards Las Cruces in the morning.
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Devil plant?
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Sunrise over Alamogordo, White Sands Missile Range, & Holloman Air Force Base.
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Organ Mountains in the morning light.
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Stepmurr

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Sun finally popped over the cloud bank.
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Fun stop at White Sands National Monument.
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Selfie
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I wonder how long this little guy has been out here on the dunes?
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Bare toes make quite an "impression" in the loose sand.
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Stepmurr

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Go Army!
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Forest???
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Looking westward from Cloudcroft, New Mexico over the White Sands towards the mountains.
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Old railroad trestle heading up towards Cloudcroft.
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Camped outside of Cloudcroft.
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Wonderful trip and pics. Thanks for sharing.
 
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How many cats fit in the catbox? Great pictures, safe travel,
 
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very cool trip Steve!
 

brices123

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When do we get our chilis?
Loved all the photos.
 

Stepmurr

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There were an incredible number of stumps near my Thursday's campsite outside of Cloudcroft. Most of them were from fallen trees - I think because the ground is so rocky the roots didn't penetrate very deep and a mighty wind blew a lot of them down.

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Stepmurr

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Few mo stumpies
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View down over White Sands
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Friday's campsite
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Heading down off the mountain Saturday morning
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Hatch, New Mexico
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Got to Hatch in time to see the parade for the annual Chile Festival
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The destination - I have been coming to the "Chile Fanatic" store for over a quarter century
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Stepmurr

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Chile Fanatic

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The roasted chile is put into a large plastic bag. I keep the chile sealed hot in the large bag and drive to a few miles before Deming and then break it down into smaller bags. This completes the roasting process and I buy ice in Deming for the ride home. If I don't ice the chile down it will continue roasting until it turns to mush. If I ice it down too soon it makes it harder to peel. Drive Hatch to Deming is just the right amount of after-roasting time - I guess that's why they put Deming where they did. ;)

Looks like a bunch of green & red trout in a fish hatchery.
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One 35 pound sack of chiles winds up in 9 half-gallon ziplocks. I also save all the chile juice and freeze it to use in soups & beans throughout the year.
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Eight nights camping and almost 1300 miles this year's Chile Run!
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We peel the chile and toss as many of the seeds out as we can, and then place them in ice cube trays for the initial freeze.
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35 pounds of chile -> 9 half-gallon bags -> 18 ice cube trays -> 12 quart size seal-a-meal bags along with 3 1/2 trays of chile juice.
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We leave the trays to freeze up over night and then put the cubes into seal-a-meal bags for the deep freezer. The cubes are usually one complete chile, and sometimes two of the smaller ones. The cubes make it really easy to handle the chile and I break out one of the seal-a-meal bags into smaller bags as we eat the chile throughout the next year.
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Wait this isn't a thread to take orders?! 😅
 

splitshot

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Great idea! We always froze 5 or 6 chilis in a bag. I like your's better.
 

Stepmurr

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Great idea! We always froze 5 or 6 chilis in a bag. I like your's better.
What I used to do was fill a quart bag with chile, freeze it, and then later defrost it just enough to cut the quart sized lump into smaller cubes and then refreeze them.

One year I thought about using ice cube trays instead. It is a lot faster and the end result is a whole chile instead of chopped chile when I use defrost and use them.
 
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brices123

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I would like to place my order for next year please.
By your calculations, I would like 8 pounds of chilis. Should fit into 2 half-gallon bags.
Please tell me where to send my money.
If you offer processing and deliver final, frozen product, I will gladly pay Muchow extra!!
I love the fact you have been doing this for over 25 years.
 

Stepmurr

Lookin' fer the end of that old white line
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I would like to place my order for next year please.
By your calculations, I would like 8 pounds of chilis. Should fit into 2 half-gallon bags.
Please tell me where to send my money.
If you offer processing and deliver final, frozen product, I will gladly pay Muchow extra!!
I love the fact you have been doing this for over 25 years.
I've been eating Hatch chile for 57 years ever since my parents move to New Mexico in 1965. It was only after I got out of the Navy and moved to Arizona that I started annual trips to Hatch. It is definitely the highest cost way of getting your chile supply in, so I usually make it part of some other trip. I tried many different stores in Hatch with various levels of success, and after I hit the Chile Fanatic store I've bought there ever since.

In Tucson there are dozens of places you can buy fresh or roasted Hatch chile, and Mammoth & Hayden always have someone selling fresh every year. No doubt there are places in Phoenix roasting Hatch chile as well.

When my parents were alive and living in Albuquerque, I'd grab three or four sacks on the way to visit them to get their supply in and then grab three or four sacks on the way back home for us and my wife's sisters. Peeling three sacks of chile takes all night, and if I made it back home by three in the afternoon, I'd be finished around six the next morning.

Maybe should organize a club 🌶️ run to Hatch one of these years. I camped in the desert one night and the forest for seven nights, so there are definitely enough nice camping spots along the way there.
 

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