Built in the Borderland: A look back at 2017

Built in the Borderland.

The year started out with a visit to Ode Brewing as they orchestrated a "Body by Beer Challenge," while collaborating with their colleagues at Santa Fe Brewing.

Later we stopped by one of the most famous roadhouses in Southern New Mexico, as Chope's celebrated a new look while maintaining the bar's unique charm.

We spent Valentine's Day in the West Texas town of Valentine, where the residents were preparing for the biggest party of the year sponsored by Big Bend Brewing.

In March, we got to know the artists who known as Los Visionaries. The home-grown art collective staged a three-day event at a local art space known as Power at the Pass.

In April, we traveled to Northern New Mexico to visit a museum like no other. Meow Wolf in Santa Fe attracts tens of thousands of visitors to what can best be described as a technicolor fun house.

Later last spring, we went on a moonlight hike at Hueco Tanks State Park in far east El Paso County. The full-moon hikes are one of the park's most popular events, providing a unique perspective on the remarkable landscape and ancient rock paintings.

By summer, we went south of the border to experience the sights and sounds of ValorArte, a program that exposes hundreds of children from Ciudad Juarez to the redeeming power of dance, courtesy of the nonprofit organization known as FEMAP.

In August, we got to know Frank Ray, the former Las Cruces police officer who walked away from his career in law enforcement to chase his dreams of country-music stardom.

In September, we dipped our toes in the crystal clear waters of Balmorhea, Texas. The state park is undergoing a major face lift that will help accommodate a record number of visitors.

In November, we were introduced to actress Jessica Meraz, the El Paso native who has gone on to a starring role on the TNT show "Major Crimes."

And as the year came to a close, we took one more trip up north to the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, one of the most successful museums in the state of New Mexico.

It's been a year of amazing food, music and people. And there's more to come in 2018.

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