Cheyenne Back Rest
The October calendar is packed after a September calendar that looked the same. We will turn around, (ah, it is already the middle of October this week!) and face November too soon. This last week was the only week we had left of the late summer and mid-autumn to work in a trip to Southwest. We made reservations for Biscuit at the kennel, loaded up the Ruby Slipper, and headed to our favorite places. The trips are becoming a little harder to do and soon we will have to choose other entertainments. But while we still can, we eked out some good road time.
We had to make some difficult choices this time in order to accommodate hitting couple of new sites. This meant we had to drive the interstate which is longer but faster…and more tedious. We drove to Elk City, Oklahoma on Hwy. 40. We got there early enough in the day to visit the Washita Massacre Site before checking in at the motel. I knew this would be a sad place, but after seeing Sand Creek last year I wanted to see this one too.
Chief Black Kettle and his wife lived through Sand Creek. (She was wounded in nine places!) The chief moved what was left of his people way down into Oklahoma trying to get away from the white man. But in the middle of winter no less, that valiant egomaniac Custer chased them down and killed Black Kettle and more of his people. Then he burned all they had; he killed their horses. When I think of the horses, screaming while being shot and the remaining Cheyenne listening to their beloved horses die, I cried.
Look at the area the army had to cover in snow and cold to get to these people. The land was bare and useless. Just an amazingly sad story in our history.
Palo Duro Canyon
The next morning we drove in to Amarillo and went out to Palo Duro Canyon. This is supposed to be second biggest canyon after the Grand Canyon. It was interesting and pretty. However, we found the Chaco Canyon and the Rio Grande Canyon more startling and more beautiful. West Texas is very monotonous country. But when we crossed the border into New Mexico, it wasn’t long before we watched the landscape change. By afternoon we had reached the road known as the Turquoise Trail leading up to Santa Fe. The vistas and landscapes were gorgeous!
We checked out two towns, Madrid and Cerillos. This area was heavily mined for turquoise. Madrid is a small, strung out village of artists and crafts people. We checked out some of the stores, but were anxious to get to Santa Fe. Cerrillos is barely a village. I loved the buildings, old adobe. It was here that some of the Spanish families fled after the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.
Then we went to our room at the Sage Inn in Santa Fe. We have stayed there several times. We ate Ramen noodles and hot mint tea and collapsed by 8:00! The next day would be the Santa Fe plaza and we were going to try the Sage Inn shuttle for the first time!
I loved this row of mailboxes in Madrid, New Mexico!