[Cdt-l] Doc Campbell's Post

Brett blisterfree at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 25 13:22:24 CDT 2011

>>>(I believe that guy there is not really "doc" campbell) 

The proprietor's name is Paul Luecke. He's originally from Germany (former combat fighter pilot). Doc Campbell, who founded the whole Gila Hot Springs Ranch franchise, died years ago. Paul is married to one of the Campbell's. The entire Gila Hot Springs business (store, sheep ranch, b&b, hot springs, RV park, and hunting outfit) is a family enterprise. 

Paul is great once you get to know him, and especially vice-versa. You just need to adjust your attitude and expectations a bit. He's a character (everyone in Gila Hot Springs is a character!) With something like 7 visits to DCP over the years, I may well have the "FWIW Distinction" of the most face-time with Paul. He's even been known to throw an arm over my shoulder and to crack an occasional joke (sometimes at my lighthearted expense).

The store does not receive a great deal of patronage, especially since they were forced to stop selling gas in 2005. In combination with the other offerings of the family business, they get by. I don't know whether Paul really knew how popular the CDT would become since he first started accepting packages. The food selection hasn't really changed or expanded much over the years, surely despite the input of thru-hikers. For a hiker who's bound for the grocery stores of Silver City, the selection at DCP is probably adequate. Otherwise, a resupply package is a good idea. Perhaps the best, unspoken solution to keep the situation tenable with Paul would be to mail only what you really need and then plan to make some purchases of modest value at the store. It's in our best interest to support Doc Campbell's Post; quirky as it is, it's a beacon in the night in this remote corner of New Mexico.

- blisterfree

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