Monday, June 22, 2015

Sunday, June 21st - Albuquerque to Cimarron

That's via the scenic route.  We left at 6:05 AM and headed east on I-40.  We stopped at Moriarty for a quick McD breakfast, then headed north toward Lamy.   Lamy is the Amtrak stop for Santa Fe, with a small railroad museum, not open at that hour.  Then it was up I-25 to Las Vegas for a comfort break, and off on the back roads to Mosquero.  All I can say about the drive is "Wow!"   Never thought such scenery of 1000 foot escarpments would exist in that mostly-flat prairie country.

 The road to Mosquero

Mosquero murals

We had a nice visit in Mosquero, then across more country to Wagon Mound to I-25.  Had lunch at our favorite posole stop in Springer, then the scenic route to Cimarron.  Had our $1 hard ice cream cone at a local store, visited the interesting and eclectic Old Mill museum, then checked into the Cimarron Inn.  All I can say is that I slept a bit better than expected in the deep valley bed, in a room without effective cooling after a 90 degree day.

Mill museum in Cimarron

At 6:30 we met "The Cimarron Kid", aka Kirk Davis, and his wife Priscilla at the St. James Hotel for dinner.  Kirk was the 12-year-old protagonist of a 1973 book about life on the CS Ranch, with photos.  The St. James is famous for its saloon's role in sending 26 men to their graves with "lead poisoning" during the 1870s-80s.  Now it's fine dining and nostalgic lodging - but the .44 inch holes in the ceiling testify to its past.  Sandra had saved a copy of the book from 'recycling' and wanted to present it to the family.

Bill & Sandra w/ Kirk Davis, the "Cimarron Kid"

After dinner we got a short twilight tour of a small, but important, part of the 125,000 acre CS Ranch. The ranch has several  units, but this was the home/headquarters.  As we bumped down the ranch road we saw white-tail and mule deer, elk, antelope & jack rabbits, all making sure that not all the forage would be eaten by the ranch's red angus and black baldy cattle.

Sunset on the CS Ranch

Back to the St. James, pictures in the lobby and we bid each other adieu.  Got back to the motel, couldn't find Sandra's camera.  Turned out it was still sitting on the roulette table at the St. James, ready for pick-up in the AM.

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