I clearly know where I landed at the end of the day but I thought for a change I would leave you in suspense until the end…:-)
Leaving Taos I had to pull over twice because I saw two amazing murals…the colors were stunning.
I was traveling today without a set destination or list of things I wanted to see…I just made sure I was heading in a somewhat easterly direction and I stopped whenever I saw something that interested me.
One of my stops was Palisades Sill in Cimarron Canyon State Park in Eagle Nest, NM. These cliffs were cut by the Cimarron River some 40 million years ago during the era of uplifting in the southern Rocky Mountains. The rock is igneous known as sill. The pictures do not do this area justice…you really have to see it to appreciate it. I got out of the car and had to lean against it as I looked up. Amazing! I should stood in a pull out within the park…I did not hike any of the trails. If you are in the area and have the stamina get out and enjoy the beauty and fresh air.
Driving on I saw a sign for a Vietnam Veteran’s War Memorial. I wasn’t sure when I pulled in where I was so I checked my compass (on my phone) and determined I was in Angel Fire, NM. I wanted to know so I could read the story because as I started walking down the path toward the memorial it seemed to be dedicated to someone. There was a bronze sculpture of a young man on the left and a helicopter on the right. This memorial is dedicated to all veterans of the war but in particular 1st Lt. David Westphall, leader of the 1st Platoon and initially 17 members of his platoon in an ambush on May 22, 1968, 36 injured and later 2 more died from their injuries. I know I can’t do this story justice and will post a link but it was his father and mother, Victor & Jeanne Westphall who made this memorial, not just to their son and troops but to all veterans, possible. There is a documentary which I discovered is going to be aired on NM PBS on May 24 & 25 which tells the story of this location, originally known as Vietnam Veterans Peace and Brotherhood Chapel. The title of the documentary is: “ON THIS HALLOWED GROUND: Vietnam Memorial Born From Tragedy.” It can also be viewed on Amazon Prime for a rental fee of $3.99. If you want to check out the full story:
After I visited here I posted the images on my Facebook page and got over 5,000 views and over 1,100 shares. The Vietnam War may not have been popular 40+ years when the soldiers came home but I think the majority now acknowledge our behavior at the time. These soldiers deserve to be acknowledged and appreciated as any other soldier does. To all of our veterans and those currently serving as well as all of their families…THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!
When I moved on there was one area where there was a large herd of deer. In another area I had to stop for some time in the middle of the road because there was a very panicked deer that found itself on the wrong side of the fence and could not figure out how to get back to its mom…who was standing still down the road on the other side of the fence waiting for her baby to come back. As I moved on…the baby still panicking…I saw an area where two workers were trying to patch an opening in the fence. I am guessing this is where the baby got through. I stopped to tell them about the baby but they either did not speak English or did not care…they kept on working on the repair. The very last deer below is the mom.
One more stop where horses were wandering freely with the deer…interesting!
And shockingly…not too far down the road in Mora, NM was an alpaca farm!
We are nearing the end of the journey for the day so I will say I ended up in Hugoton, KS. I tell you now because I want to post a series of images from Taos to Hugoton. Enjoy!
My stop for the night is the Best Western Plus Stevens County Inn in Hugoton, KS. No restaurant at the hotel but the receptionist highly recommended a new place down the road assuring me I would be very happy with the food. She said the building was nondescript and they did not yet have a sign near the street but she gave me a rough idea of how far down the road it was, told me it would be on the left and it was right after John Deere. I initially drove past it but there isn’t a lot on that stretch of road so it was easy enough to turn around. Good inexpensive food! I am a big fan of writing primarily positive reviews on TripAdvisor and they were not listed…so I sent a suggestion to TripAdvisor to include it and before I left town it was listed and I wrote their first review. Oh…the name is Stumpy’s & Co!
Tomorrow my primary destination is Dodge City, KS and I will be staying in Salinas, KS for the night before moving on the next morning. If you have never been to Dodge City before be sure to come back for the journey!
You know the routine by now….come visit me at my page on Facebook, on Instagram and at my website. If you find something you like on my blog and you don’t find it for sale, please contact me. I will give you a quote.
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See you on the road!
Travel not to escape life, but so life doesn’t escape you. – Unknown