Thursday, February 27, 2014

US50 Phase 1: Viva Las Vegas! (New Mexico that is. . .)

Oct 23 Leaving Cimarron

I squandered the morning with more hiking and messing around along the river and up the flanks of the canyon and it was with some reluctance that I left Cimarron Canyon behind.
I drove back out to Cimarron (the town.) then turned south on SR21 which roughly follows the route of the mountain branch of the old Santa Fe trail. Along the way I went past the Boy Scout’s massive Philmont Ranch complex. We had a very active scout troop that I belonged to as a boy (Man that was a long time ago!) but we never did make it out here to one of the massive rallies. I guess it was too far and expensive.
After passing Kit Carson Mesa I made a sharp turn to the east on SR199 and worked my way across to I25. It's still very windy around here and now I'm out on the open plains where the wind has nothing to stop it! It’s a bit of a shock to drive a few miles from the steep canyons and thick forests and find yourself on treeless plains where you can see forever from the mesa tops.
At the intersection of SR199 and I25 sits the town of Springer. Though small, my map showed that this town hosts the Santa Fe Interpretive Center and Museum. Unfortunately it appeared to be closed so I never got in to see what it's about.

Did some freeway driving on i25; the first since leaving Michigan and running down I75 to Cincinnati unless you count the hop over Raton Pass; to get south to Las Vegas NM. Found the tourist info office near the tracks and the Amtrak station. Amtrak is about the only rail traffic the Raton Pass line sees now days since consolidation of the railroads has given them the option of using much flatter and cheaper routes to the east for freight. Good for business, not so good for rail-fanning.

At the tourist office I picked up a bunch of stuff before going on a few more miles to land at the Las Vegas 
 KOA where I could get a shower and do some laundry.

Heard that a wildfire started this afternoon up near Questa and campers in Cimarron Canyon have been warned they may need to evacuate if it gets worse.

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