Sunday, July 13, 2014

Smokey Bear and Valley of Fires

In my last post I promised to show some pictures from our trip to the Smokey Bear Museum in Capitan and our stay at Valley of Fires Recreation Area. When I checked my pictures from those adventures I didn't think they turned out all that well. I have other, newer pictures from our time in Rociada and Las Vegas, NM but I'm going to go ahead and do the Smokey Bear/Valley of Fires post, even though it has been over a month since our visit. I hope I can remember all the pertinent details.

We really enjoyed our stay at Valley of Fires. We arrived on a Wednesday and had the whole place pretty much to ourselves until the weekend. We chose a campsite in the main area overlooking the lava field and took a hike down into the lava field one evening just before sunset.

Nice paved path through the lava field


Looking back at our campsite

I loved this twisty Juniper tree

More lava


End of our hike

Valley of Fires is in Carrizozo, a small town in the Southeast portion of New Mexico. We took a trip into town and had ice cream at a really charming old-fashioned ice cream shop. Then we walked around  and took a few pictures of some of the painted burros that were scattered throughout the town.

Larry's banana split. I wasn't fast enough to snap the picture before it was partially eaten.

When the weekend crowds descended on Valley of Fires, we headed up to Capitan New Mexico to visit the Smokey Bear Museum. It was a pretty drive  into higher elevations through the Lincoln National Forest.

Our first stop was the gift shop for smashed pennies. I'm so glad we went in there because it wasn't your typical touristy gift shop. It was the original Smokey Bear museum and had lots of old Smokey Bear memorabilia. I thought I recognized some of the toys and posters from my childhood. They had a really nice collection.

Smokey's baby bottle

Old pictures of Smokey when he was a cub
In 1950 there was a devastating fire in the Lincoln National Forest. Firefighters found a small cub, badly burned and clinging to a tree. They initially called him "Hotfoot" but then renamed him Smokey Bear. The Smokey the Bear fire prevention campaign had been around for awhile but this little cub came to personify the character from the ads. After he healed, he was moved to the National Zoo and was then returned to Capitan upon his death in 1976.  The following pictures were taken around the grounds and in the museum at the Smokey Bear Historical Park.

Picture of Smokey when he was a cub

Smokey's gravesite

Just some of the many pictures of old ad campaigns in the museum
We really enjoyed the museum. Both Larry and I have fond memories of Smokey from childhood so it was fun to see where the "real" Smokey came from.

 I hope you enjoyed today's pictures. Thanks for visiting!

No comments:

Post a Comment