I had planned on staying in Roswell for another night so I could at least visit the UFO Museum in town, but things didn't work out.
I went to the RV park that I had planned on staying at and found out they were full. That's kind of strange because every other place I've been New Mexico has been kind of deserted. I tried out another place and found them way too expensive. It really bothers me to have to pay almost motel rates just to sleep in my own trailer.
So looking at the situation I determined that the UFO Museum can wait and I drove the 60 miles or so down to the Escapees RV Park called "The Ranch" just south of Artesia New Mexico.
As is usually the case at an Escapees RV Park I was greeted as if I was an old friend. As I was checking in 3 or 4 people came into the office just to welcome me to the park. I was telling everyone I was only going to be at The Ranch for a couple of weeks and one lady chimed in, "that's what I said 20 years ago".
I'm staying in the Boondocking area for my 1st week, and it cost $5 a day plus your 1st day is free if you pay for a week, so it only cost me $30 plus a couple dollars in tax.
My next week I will stay at a full hookup site because they have a discount if you've never been here before which is $50 for a week with full hookups. And that's only a little bit more than the Roswell RV Park was going to charge me for one night. Like I said before, I only carry two club cards, a Good Sam and an Escapees card. And so far the Escapees card has been the most useful.
Even though I'm in Roswell New Mexico at the moment I had a few pictures left over from Fort Sumner that I hadn't posted that I thought some folks might like to see.
I'm in a Roswell Walmart parking lot at the moment so I haven't done anything or seen anything yet. Tomorrow I plan on going to an RV Park here in town for maybe one night so I can unhook the Arctic Fox and go driving around town to see what's here.
These pictures I had left over were taken at the old Fort Sumner Cemetery which is where Billy the Kid is buried. As you can see there's not many headstones in the cemetery, but there's a lot more people there than there are headstones. The fort was built right next to the Pecos River and In 1902 the Pecos River flooded and wiped out the remains of old Fort Sumner and the nearby Fort Sumner Cemetery.
A lot of the headstones were washed away and others were misplaced. So the fact is nobody is really sure if Billy the Kid and his friends are under his present-day tombstone or not, but he is somewhere in that general area. His original marker was a wooden one and it washed away in the flood. So I guess you can consider that the Billy the Kid marker that's there now is more of a memorial to Billy the Kid than an actual grave marker, and standing in that cemetery is as close to the Kid as you will ever be able to get.
Old Fort Sumner Cemetery where Billy the Kid is buried.
I went back to Fort Sumner this morning and visited the Bosque Redondo Memorial which was closed yesterday when I tried to visit.
It's a memorial that's dedicated to the Navajo and Mescalero Apache tribes that were moved here in the eighteen sixties to a reservation designed to try and integrate the Indians into the white man's culture by teaching them to stay in one place and farm. And Fort Sumner was built to guard and watch over the 8 or 9000 Indians that were here on the reservation.
Well as usual we found out that it's almost impossible to force a society to change into something you want them to be, when they don't want to change. And amazingly enough were still making the same mistakes today.
Almost everything went wrong that could go wrong starting with the Mescalero Apache and the Navajo hated each other and always had.
The Civil War started so the United States government diverted its money and resources to fighting the South which meant it didn't have enough of either to support Fort Sumner and the Indian reservation.
Both tribes were mountain people and didn't deal well with the flat plains of Eastern New Mexico. The Mescalero Apache were hunter gatherers and had never planted anything in their life and had no desire to learn how. The Navajo were very religious people who literally worshiped the ground they walked on and the mountains all around them, and they found themselves in a place where all that had no meaning.
New diseases ravaged the Indian population, and insects and drought made it hard to grow much of anything on the arid ground.
So after a few years the Mescalero Apache decided that if they were going to die, they might as well do it fighting than slowly starve to death. So one night they packed up all of their stuff and left. They split up into small groups knowing there wasn't enough soldiers at Fort Sumner to track them all down, and figured at least some of them would live to make it home.
The Navajo hung on to the bitter end which was another couple of years and by then it had gotten to the point where the United States couldn't support the Fort and sent some generals to Fort Stockton to figure out what to do with all the Indians.
a peace treaty was worked out between the United States Government and the Navajo people recognizing Navajo land as a sovereign nation and requiring the Navajo to not raid and kill the settlers and to set up gift shops all along interstate 40 through out Eastern Arizona.
The treaty held up and now the Navajo are probably one of the most successful and prosperous tribes in America. They had always been a people who had kind of stayed in one place and farmed which is probably the reason they have done better than a lot of the hunter gatherer tribes who had to move constantly to find better hunting areas.
I didn't take many pictures of the Bosque Redondo I took mostly video which I hope to make a movie of one day soon.
Ceremonial rocks at the spot the peace treaty was signed
Ceremonial rocks brought to the place where the peace treaty was signed between the United States and the Navajo nation