Tuesday, March 30, 2004
HATCH, NM, CHILI CAPITAL OF THE WORLD
30 March, 2004. Hatch is a cool little town with only one motel ($50 per night). We picked up some chili peppers ($13.95 for an 18-inch bunch) to send to our families in Illinois. Apparently, there hasn't been a new crop of chilis in 2 years and they don't expect a crop next year either. We were told by a disgruntled chili store owner that several of the shops are actually getting their chilis from Mexico and that nearly all of the family-owned chili farms there were in peril due to immigrant Mexican workers replacing the traditional family workers. She also told us that Hatch chilis are the best because of the unique, rich soil in the area. We met some bicyclists from England who were put up at the motel by a local church. They were heading east to California and then flying to Hawaii. They averaged 50 miles per day and said that riding through El Paso was the most dangerous part of their journey because they had no choice but to ride along the interstate (I-10). We also got some more postcards to wallpaper the microbus.