To the hills

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Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Friday, November 23, 2007

We left the aliens behind and went up into the hills to "cowboy country" surely you've heard of "Billy the Kid". The triangle of towns; Ruidoso, Capitan and Hondo were his "war zone" when he joined the ranks of the Regulators, fighting L.G.Murphy and Company commanded by James Dolan. This fight was called the Lincoln County War in the year 1878. Yes I'd heard of Billy the Kid but I didn't know all that - just thought he was an outlaw! We watch the cowboy films and have this sort of "knowledge" of the Wild West, being here and exploring the actual area brings it all to life and you get to imagining riding along on horseback keeping a lookout for the "baddies" and hiding out in the hills.
We were camped just east of Ruidoso Downs, a town growing up around the race track and casino, unfortunately no horse races whilst we are here. Ruidoso itself is now very much a ski resort using the many cabins as country retreats during the summer. On to Capitan, the northern most town on this route - this is the birthplace of "Smokey Bear". In 1950 a 17,000 acre forest fire led to a badly singed bear cub being rescued by fire-fighters. Naming him "Smokey Bear" he became the living symbol of fire prevention.

Continuing south east we get to Lincoln, this is the town where the "war" started, John Tunstall was murdered in a canyon about 15 miles away. Then his partner, Alexander McSween was gunned down fleeing his burning home. Billy the Kid escaped and so began his ride into history and legend. He escaped jail at least three times and by the age of 21 he was linked to the deaths of at least 12 men. Finally, on July 14th 1881 he was killed in a gun battle with Sheriff Pat Garrett.

 
We returned to our campsite via Hondo, not really going into the town as we were keen to get ready for our Thanksgiving Feast. Just west of Ruidoso is a huge casino, hotel and golf resort (on the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation) http://www.innofthemountaingods.com/ we had checked this out, it's a lovely place but no room for RV's to park :( Anyway we had our Thanksgiving dinner there (at seniors rate :) In case you're interested the menu seemed too good to miss:

Treat Yourself to a Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Featuring:
                                 Santa Fe Roasted Turkey, Giblet Gravy
                                            Chorizo-Cornbread Stuffing
                                                Glazed Sweet Potatoes
                                           Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes
                                                Cranberry Orange Relish
                                            Southern-Style Green Beans
                                                       Succotash
                                        Creamed Peas and Onions with Dill
PLUS these Delicious extras ...
                            Smoked Prime Rib of Beef with Roasted Garlic Jus
                         Slow-Roasted Leg of Lamb with Rosemary Lemon Glaze
                                      Spice-Glazed Ham with Brandied Fruit
                                                      Mile-High Lasagna
                                                          Chicken Molé
                                                              Menudo
                                                      Paella a la Majorca
                                                       Red Beef Tamales
                        Ice Bar featuring Clams, Oysters, Shrimp, Mussels, and Crab Legs
                                                    Whole Smoked Salmon
                                    A Selection of Ceviches from the Middle Americas
                                                      International Cheeses
                                 A Selection of Salads, Dressings, and Accompaniments
                                                         Fresh Fruit Display
                                           Chef's Selection of Soup du Soir
And our incomparable ...
                                        European and American Dessert Table

Yes, it was as good as it sounds - the turkey wasn't the only thing stuffed...
Slideshow Report as Spam
Where I stayed
Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation

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