Leaving Bottomless Lakes SP we noticed THE Tent.image.png

Yes it is the same huge tent that was back at Lake Brantley in Carlsbad.  The man of the family works in construction.  The wife home schools their three kids.  They follow him as he works and sometimes she is a camp host.  With the Annual NM park pass they can camp for $4.oo per night with FHU.  Interesting folks for sure.

Again we roll mostly on US 285 (divided 4 lane) but the last 40 miles or so is on State 20 and it is a little more rough and two lane.  Not terrible but not the preferred.  Scenery is great and ever changing, huge ranches along the way, I believe we passed three in the last forty miles.  You can tell the ranches as every gate had the name or brand logo displayed.

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Our spot at Bosque Redondo Lake

An easy 103 miles from our camp back at Roswell and yep it looks like a great spot.  We will hang here for three days +/-.

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The place is amazing, the AG business is king here.  Lots of cattle as well as crops.  There are a bunch of Pecan Groves all around south eastern NM.  It looks much like anyplace in the Midwest, MO, IL, KY etc.  We are in the high desert but in an area close to and along the Pecos River, it is very green.  There are none of the big mountains to be seen in any direction.

The Bosque Redondo Lake is a nice quiet place with covered picnic tables & BBQ grills at each campsite and many of the campsites are right on the bank of the lake (pond).  There are no hook ups but it is free, nice trade off.  We are Dry Camped, I resist using the BOONDOCK term as there are residences and farms across the road and within sight of the camp.

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There are lots of birds here , many we are now familiar with from our time at Patagonia Lake.  The lake is stocked with trout and from the looks of things can be quite productive, we see fisherman showing up late in the day.  Most of them appear to leave with fish.  I’ll still wait for Colorado.

Thursday AM, we’re off to check out the local history

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And a big part of that history is Billy the Kid.  This is the location of his demise and his gravesite.  There are two museums with Billy the Kid history and artifacts, both are very worthwhile.  The fee is more than reasonable like most things here in New Mexico, not expensive at all.1-IMG_3562.jpg 2-IMG_3561.jpg3-IMG_3625.jpg 4-IMG_3624.jpg

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As I said earlier, there are two museums, one in town and the old Fort Sumner Museum and the gravesite of Billy the Kid.  I was surprised at not being able to find an actual web site for the old fort.  In my search, I did find the Bosque Redondo Memorial which is right there at the site of the old fort.  The tragic story of the Navajo and Apache during the mid 1800s on the Bosque Redondo Indian Reservation is told in this very nice new facility.  It too is a must see if you are in the area.  I’m not sure how things could have been different, still it sure is disturbing to think about how things unfolded for the native people of this country and how heavy handed our government was toward them.  I guess in some ways many of them are getting the last laugh though, they sure have some nice casinos…

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Fort Sumner had long been closed and sold to Lucien Maxwell, the Navajo and Apache were no longer here at the time of Billy the Kid’s demise at the hands of Pat Garrett.  The story is very interesting and involved, and the characters, too many to recount here.  It is however, a final stop in the quest for a more complete understanding of what happened and you leave with a much greater sense of what life would have been like here in those rough days of the old west.  While Fort Sumner is a small sleepy little town, if you are interested in old west history and the settling of this part of the country, it is a must see place and you will not be disappointed.  In addition to the specific items relating to Billy, the museums have a vast array of artifacts covering the life and times of the old west and early 20th century.

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On the edge of town stands what is left of something that was once much more… and soon will be completely gone.

Remember, TurnWhenTheRoadDoes