Sunday, July 16, 2006

By The Way, Billy

Noted outlaw Billy The Kid was a famous figure from the rugged American Old West. His involvement in the Lincoln County, New Mexico Wars as one of John Tunstall's "Regulators" is part of a fascinating legend that took place throughout southern New Mexico. Folks come from all over the world to explore the area for themselves. Original buildings from the era still stand complemented by museums packed with interesting lore and artifacts about Billy and the period in which he lived.
The best way to enjoy the Billy The Kid experience is by following the route of the Billy The Kid Scenic Byway. I bet the last thing that Billy ever would have imagined is that a motor route through southern New Mexico bearing his name and likeness. Thoroughfares all over the world carry the name of statesmen, entertainers, sports figures, astronauts and other heros. In this case the Billy The Kid Scenic Byway is named...well, for an outlaw.
You'll start off in Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico at the Billy The Kid Scenic Byway Visitor's Center. The facility will give you the background on the history of the area. Naturally, you'll have the opportunity to pick up an ample supply of souvenirs for the dashboard and the refrigerator door. While in Ruidoso Downs you'll want to see the Hubbard Museum of the American West, the Ruidoso Downs Racetrack and the Billy The Kid Casino.
The resort community of Ruidoso is next. Enjoy the many shops and galleries and be sure to stop by the historic Dowlin's Mill, one of the favorite haunts of Billy The Kid.
You'll proceed north through Alto, on the way to Capitan. On the way, save some time to see historic Ft. Stanton. This fort helped tame the wild west. Due to several battles at the fort itself, Ft. Stanton served as both a Union and Confederate stronghold. Each year in August the "Ft. Stanton Live" celebration recreates life as it was in the era when the fort was a major factor in the defense of New Mexico.
Capitan is next and is perhaps best known as the home of the only American figure with his own zip code...Smokey Bear. See the final resting spot of old Smokey at the Smokey Bear Park and well as interesting exhibits on fire prevention and the local flora. By the way, to remain politically correct it's just Smokey Bear. Just happen to let go with a "Smokey The Bear" and you'll quickly be corrected. It's kind of like saying "Santa The Claus" or "Easter The Bunny".
From Capitan we move over to the hot bed of the Lincoln County Wars, Lincoln, New Mexico. Here many buildings from the Billy The Kid era still stand. Several now serve as museums for a fascinating look at life in the American Old West. You might want to stop for a cold beverage at the Wortley Hotel or stay the night at the Ellis Store Bed and Breakfast.
Next on the scenic byway is Hondo, San Patricio and Glencoe. The Coe Ranch still stands and was where Billy The Kid worked as a ranch hand during his formative years.
The byway has made a large loop through the area and as we continue, we find ourselves back at the visitor's center in Ruidoso Downs. You'll find the Billy The Kid Scenic Byway trip well worth while and enjoyable for families and children of all ages. Don't pass up the chance to see how history has played an important part in New Mexico and where the legend of Billy The Kid was born. You can even watch this video on Billy...

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Nice video to watch...

Thank you..

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