Friday, May 31, 2013

Fort Sumner, The Bosque Redondo and The Blue Hole

I am way behind on blog posts. We've had a slow internet connection lately and I get frustrated trying to download photos. It's windy here today so we're hunkered down with nothing better to do so I thought I'd post some photos we took two weeks ago while we were staying at Sumner Lake State Park near Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

Fort Sumner has two Billy the Kid museums and we visited both. The first one is where Billy the Kid was buried but they didn't have a very big collection of Billy the Kid stuff. There was a lot of cowboy and outlaw stuff, in general. I liked this cowboy code...
The photo above is a reproduction of the only known photograph of Billy the Kid and the photo below is his grave. It was behind a big cage because it has been stolen several times...
The second Billy the Kid museum was bigger and had some actual belongings from the Kid. It's a shame they don't combine the two. This next one was right in town and probably gets more visitors. They also had a strange mix of stuff in addition to the Billy the Kid memorabilia.

Outside the museum.
An old Barbie Doll display.
Dr Pepper!
Billy the Kid's Rifle

An old hearse.
If you ever find yourself in Fort Sumner, I would recommend visiting the first museum in town and then driving to the site of the old Fort outside of town to see Billy's grave and skip that museum unless you just really have a hankering to see two Billy the Kid museums. There was one thing in that museum that I thought was really cool. They had some old letters from Louis L'Amour about the time he spent in Fort Sumner before he was a writer. My Dad is a big Louis L'Amour fan so I thought he would really like those.

When we were outside of town at the site of the old fort we saw an unusual building and signs for the Bosque Redondo Memorial. It was closed that day so when we went back to the state park I looked it up on the internet to see what it was about. After reading about it, I knew we needed to get back there and see the place, so we drove back later when it was open.
The Bosque Redondo Memorial

The Bosque Redondo is a memorial to one of the saddest chapters in American history. It turns out that Fort Sumner was basically established to be an internment camp for the Navajo and Apache indians. They were forced to march hundreds of miles to Fort Sumner and were kept there for years enduring brutal conditions. They tried to establish a reservation there called the Bosque Redondo but it was a miserable failure and many Apache and Navajo died there. The Army finally realized it was a failure and let them go. 

Here are some pictures I took of the murals inside the museum. The last picture was an actual photograph taken at the Bosque Redondo. It was enlarged and covered the whole wall of the room where a film about these events was shown. It was a very moving experience and I was shocked that I had never heard of this.

We left Sumner Lake State Park and traveled to Santa Rosa. We stayed in a private park there and got caught up on laundry and grocery shopping and used their pool.  Santa Rosa is a Route 66 town and has some neat old Route 66 attractions. We didn't do much sightseeing while there but we did go out to see their biggest attraction: The Blue Hole. This is what Wikipedia says about the Blue Hole:

"The Blue Hole of Santa Rosa is a circular, bell shaped pool east of Santa Rosa, New Mexico that is one of the most popular dive destinations in the US for SCUBA diving and training. It is a clear blue body of water with a constant 64 °F (18 °C) temperature and constant inflow of 3000 gallons per minute. While the surface is only 80 feet (24 m) in diameter, it expands to a diameter of 130 feet (40 m) at the bottom."

We left Santa Rosa Tuesday and drove to Las Vegas, New Mexico. We're staying at Storrie Lake State Park. The drive here was beautiful. We're finally getting out of the high desert/plains and into the parts of New Mexico with mountains and mesas and buttes. It has been very, very windy so we haven't been out exploring much but the winds are supposed to die down today. Actually, as I was writing that I realized I couldn't hear the wind for the first time in days so I think I'm going to sign off now and take a walk down to the lake.

I hope everyone is doing well. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Hiking, Rockhounding and Hummingbirds

We left Bottomless Lakes State Park last week and headed to another great New Mexico state park: Sumner Lake. It was very hot during most of our stay at Bottomless Lakes but we had a few cooler days while there and we were able to do a couple of good hikes around the lakes and surrounding cliffs.

New Mexico is a great state for finding rocks. So far, we have found pink feldspar, quartz, petrified wood and a lot that we can't identify yet. It's not a very good hobby for people living in a motorhome so we usually leave them behind. It's fun though, and we're thinking about getting a rock tumbler for some of the smaller, better rocks we find. Here's a picture of a pile of rocks we found at Bottomless Lakes. It was funny because Larry sat there with a toothbrush and scrubbed them all and then we threw them back into the desert.
We've been seeing a lot of little lizards, first at Bottomless Lakes and now at Sumner Lake. They're fast and hard to photograph but I got a picture of this one in our picnic shelter...
The drive to Sumner Lake was interesting. There was a 45 mile stretch of road that looked completely flat but was the bumpiest road I've ever been on. It was strange. We took it slowly though and it wasn't too bad. There was no traffic and it was very isolated. I keep saying we're out in the middle of nowhere and this picture, that I took from a stretch of that road, should give you an idea of what I'm talking about...
We have a great campsite here at Sumner Lake. We put up the hummingbird feeders and have had a pretty steady stream of visitors to the feeders. I love setting here watching the ones that come to our window feeder. I keep trying to get good pictures but they fly so fast they're all kind of blurry. Here are a few of the better shots...

The closest town to us is Fort Sumner. That is where Billy the Kid was killed by Pat Garrett. We plan to head to town soon to check out some of the Billy the Kid sites but, for now, we're just really enjoying this beautiful park. This is the view we have from our motorhome...

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there, especially to my wonderful Mom. I'm so glad my cell signal held out long enough to talk to you today. I love you and miss you.

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Balloon Festival!

I mentioned in my last blog that we were going to be doing something cool this weekend if the weather permitted. We woke up around 5 A.M to a beautiful day and headed to Roswell to the Oldtimers Balloon Festival. It was wonderful! I have so many pictures to post so I'm just going to get right to it.


This was such a great festival. I loved being able to be right there on the field as the balloons were being inflated and watching them take off. It was a perfect day. I hope you enjoyed the pictures. Thanks for stopping by!