Wednesday, May 22, 2019

A trip down a small piece of The Santa Fe Trail

We decided to take a day trip from Raton NM to Cimarron NM, which is a small part of the Santa Fe Trail.  They are not far apart, but for about 40 minutes, all you see between them is wide open land, with a few herd of cattle here and there, interspersed with some deer grazing.  Unlike the desert, it was all green though, so not bad to look at, I guess.  A few houses from time to time (always amazes me how people live “out in the middle of nowhere”?).  Anyway…our first stop, was Philmont Scout Ranch!

The National Scouting Museum at Philmont Scout Ranch is 140,177 acres (or 219 square miles).  It is the Boy Scouts of America’s largest national High Adventure Base.  Since 1939 more than one million Scouts and leaders have explored the rugged trails, high peaks and incredible landscape.  All of the land has been donated to the Scouts, starting with Mr & Mrs Philmont, in 1938.  The museum was quite impressive, as was all the beautiful buildings surrounding it.  We have family that have been in scouting for many years, and hold it in high regard, as well as Jack was a scout in his youth!

On our way into the town of Cimarron, we saw an old cemetery, so of course I had to stop!  Mountain View Cemetery had gravestones dating back to the 1870’s, maybe even earlier, as many were wearing off.

Time for lunch, so we headed into to town, and having done my homework, knew to go to the St. James Hotel!  It didn’t disappoint!  You wouldn’t know it from the outside, but inside, this sweet 1800’s hotel was “done up right”!  The Lambert Restaurant was fully decked out in all it’s “cowboy finery” with steerheads above the large fireplaces and photographs of Wild Bill Cody and Annie Oakley, along with a beautiful old safe that had been used at the “Unofficial Bank” - since Cimarron didn’t have one in the 1800’s!

After our delicious lunch, we strolled through the lobby and the lower floor of the hotel to see the rooms set aside that Jesse James, Bat Masterson and Pancho Griego used when they were frequent guests.  Quite nice, even for today, let alone back in 1872!

Afterward, we went to check out the Aztec Mill down the road, but it was closed.  Cool looking Mill, to bad…

As we drove out of town, we made one last stop at the  NRA Whittington Center.  Boy, did they have an entrance!  One very long drive, with every state flag, blowing in the wind (and was the wind blowing that day too!).  Super nice folks there, and quite a nice little museum and gift shop.  They had quite a collection of antique guns and rifles, including one of Annie Oakley’s.

All in all, it was a fun day, and I’m glad we went!  Tomorrow we are off to Colorado!

...On the road to Colorado,  Marie

If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at:

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