Just came on your post (almost 2 yrs later); just a thought here but my family and friends have lived in Deming since the 30s - I've never heard Deming called Big D (I'd remember, being from Dallas) but you're right about 2 things; Cookes Peak is beautiful and more peaks from the Gila should be on SP. I've climbed all over unnamed peaks near the Skates valley drainage for 25 years; it's on the Divide near Roberts Lake. Gorgeous country with many unmarked Anasazi ruins. You've inspired me; now I have to decide which mountain to post to SP!
In a recent trip back to Cookes to hike the ridge north of the peak (Fall 2006), apparently the BLM has gone ahead with old plans to bypass the corral with a new and improved road. We parked where the improvements ended. I did not call the BLM to inquire of further plans to grade the road, but it seemed as though more work was in store for that area. No idea why - in my numerous trips, I've hardly seen another soul.
This is very interesting. The BLM may have had some requests by the Hyatt family to make the improvements. This could completely change the road approach character of the hike. I'll make the note on the page. Thx