New Mexico

I’m at my third New Mexico state park, trying them on for size in anticipation of retirement. I can stay at each park for fourteen days.

The first stop was at Sumner Lake SP, as shown in a previous entry. For the first twelve days, I was the only one there besides the camp host couple. Then another trailer showed up. The good: the scenery was very nice with a couple of trails to hike. The nearest town is Fort Sumner, which is a nice small tourist town. Much of it seems closed up for the winter though, leaving a grocery store and the two museums touting the town’s claim to fame: the place where Billy the Kid was shot. More on that later. The bad: the shower water, and sometimes the drinking water, did have a sulfur smell and, while there was Verizon 4G LTE, it was only 2 bars. But enough to get work done. At 4500 feet elevation, I would come back here in the spring or fall, mostly to check out the town in more detail.

There are two Billy the Kid museums in Fort Sumner. One is in the town center and was my first stop. As I was walking to the entrance, an RV couple passed me and said it was closed from 1/1-15. I asked them if they had been to the other museum but they weren’t aware of it. I gave them directions and headed over myself. It’s a one story building with a large gravel lot and a walled cemetery off to the far side. You pass the large Gift Shop sign and go directly into the cemetery. The cemetery was flooded decades ago and many of the tombstones were lost, but there are a few left. The Billy the Kid grave is only an estimate because of the flood. The tombstone itself is a replica because it was stolen a few times. Even as a replica, it is behind bars. Here’s a phone photo:

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To get to the museum, you need to go through the gift shop (of course). The gift shop was what you would expect: Billy the Kid refrigerator magnets, key chains, bumper stickers, etc. The fee for the museum was $2.50, although I think I got the senior rate, which, on reflection, was probably an insult! Inside, there is a good amount of exhibits. The Indian displays were actually better then the Billy the Kid items, since there really is not much authentic stuff of his. A lot of period items and newspaper articles from the time (mostly reprints) to the current time. There were two typewriters on display, although I’m not really sure why, since they were from the 1930s. Of course, most people probably think typewriters were around during the Civil War, so there you go.

My next stop was Oasis State Park, about a 90 minute drive. Again, there were few campers around. A couple in a tent and the camp host couple were pretty much it as neighbors, so there was plenty of privacy. The good: the building for the showers looked brand new. There is a smallish pond stocked with catfish and bass where fishing is allowed. Two towns are nearby: Clovis and Portales, so easy shopping. There is a nice donut shop in Portales. Also, Cannon AFB is nearby, so you get to hear and see some aircraft, although only C-130s. And the cat really liked the area. He spent a lot of time hunting rabbits, although he’s too slow to catch any. We had a full moon, too, so went out late at night hunting. The bad: dairy farms within a couple of miles means some smells and flies, but not much in the winter. I won’t come here in the warmer weather, though. Also, a weak internet signal, sometimes 2-3 bars of 4G LTE, sometime just 1-2 bars of 3G.

Here are some photos from Oasis SP (the first is my trailer view on a cold, overcast day):

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Now I’m at Bottomless Lakes SP, near Roswell, about two hours from Oasis SP. This park is the best one so far. Pictures soon.

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