Want to go camping in the middle of nowhere? The Santa Rosa Dam State Park off Route I-40, 122 miles east of the Duke City, 171 miles west of Amarillo, is probably a great place to take a break. We did not camp there, however. Yes it has the usual clean and nicely maintained facilities expected from the Army Corps of Engineers. Also, exceptional rates, electricity, dump station, boat ramp, did I mention it’s in the middle of nowhere? The lake was big and brown yesterday so I’m guessing not so deep. The surrounding landscape is dry, cruel, --hostile?
Santa Rosa town is the local oasis. We ate at the Silver Moon, (“since 1956”) featuring fine local Mexican food, and the classic Route 66 burger. A mile down Route 66 the much bigger Johnnie’s Comet Restaurant looked like it would soon be back in business but, --mm-maybe not.
Went south from Santa Rosa to Fort Sumner. Much intrigued. Yes, Fort Sumner can be confused with Fort Sumter. Fort Sumner however, is no Fort Sumter in fact, there’s no fort there. It is a dusty farming community perhaps forgotten but no doubt loved. Fort Sumner does have a museum, (did not go in) directly behind the final burial plot of one Billy the Kid. Yes that one. I peeked over the adobe wall. If any place can possibly be more nowhere than this area, this place may be that.
Ten minutes later towing from Fort Sumner we cut across through Yeso on our way back home, then through Vaughn. Maybe should call it ex-Yeso; a teeny-tiny speed bump on the vast forbidding open plain -- crumbled ex-adobe buildings. That was it. Seeing as how the area is so devoid of prospects I simply could not figure what purpose Yeso ever had. Was happy to stop in Vaughn for gas. Winds across that wide, vast, barren moon space failed to hamper driving home on an undulating road. Total 313 miles traveled.
Our day trip was not for to camp but to test-tow the Escape 19. Need to be certain all the screws are tight before we’re gone to a long weekend quilt show in Pueblo, Co. Was a fine opportunity to check out a remote and curious part of NM. Now we can feel good we’ll never, ever, have a need to go back there. Of course I should mention through that area is the best way getting to Roswell, and to Carlsbad Caverns.
"A billion here, a billion there...add it all up and before you know it you're talking real money." Everett Dirkson