4/9/10, Encino, NM - Tonight, Iím halfway down the road from Fort Sumner to Santa Fe. Back when I was planning this trip, I knew that while I was traveling in this part of New Mexico, there would be little chance for me to resupply with hay and oats. The countryside is beautiful, but Iíll be glad to pull into Santa Fe. So far on the road from Ft. Sumner, Iíve passed through three towns. The first one, Yeso, was almost a ghost town. The second town, Vaughn, would be a ghost town if it wasnít at the crossroads of three US highways. Today I passed through Encino, which is well on itís way to becoming a ghost town.
The landscape is dry and getting more arid as I travel. Many of the ranches in the area are 100 sections or larger. Range conditions are poor and it looks like they are still suffering from a lack of rain from last year. Itís strange to look out over several square miles of range land, and not see a single cow.
Itís interesting to note, but on this whole trip, the only time I have seen anyone else mounted on a horse is at the barrel racing contest in Athens, TX. But, I have seen a lot of horses being hauled down the road in $50,000 horse trailers. It does my heart good to see folks out driving with their horses and going for a ride with their horses (even if ití in some expensive horse trailers). Itís not exactly how the west was won; but, itís what folks won, once they got the west!