Monday, May 19, 2014

Day 14, May 19, 2014: Raton to Pratt

Left Raton about 7:30 MDT and headed out on NM-72 for a trip across the rugged volcanic landscape of Johnson Mesa.  The area is a vast, thick lava flow with a few cones sticking up here and there.  Eventually, it drops into a valley near Folsom (where the paleoindian points were discovered, moving the timeline for settlement back a few thousand years).  We departed on NM-456, which took us to the Dry Cimarron Scenic Byway.  We generally followed the very dry Dry Cimarron for quite some time, stopping to take some pictures off a bridge.  I had this vague Hitchcockian sense as I was surrounded by swallows (cliff or barn), roosting below the bridge.  This picture shows over 60 of them!

Count the swallows!

We said "goodbye" to mountains and "hello" to prairie, including the Santa Fe Trail and returned to civilization at Boise City, OK.  Then on to Guymon and US-54 for the rest of the day.  Lunch at Cattleman's Cafe in Liberal, and a stop to visit folk artist Mr. Liggitt at Mullinville.  He makes all kinds of art out of old metal pieces, especially old farm equipment.

Folk art!

We drove slowly thru Greensburg, which seems to be making progress in fully recovering from the EF-5 tornado some years ago, and on to the HIE in Pratt.  Ate a light supper at El Dos de Oro (could that be a Tarot reference?).  375 miles on the day, and the strong tail wind gave us over 23 mpg on the day.  Home tomorrow!

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