Parsons, Kansas: A Rich History Shaped by the Railroads…

Welcome back. There are several big events coming up and one of them is held at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. I have been covering The Western Heritage Awards for the past eight years and it has become one of my favorite weekends of the year as I always meet an interesting group of people there. This year the awards will be held on April 13th and 14th and it’s not too late to get tickets. How would you like to hang out with your favorite western film and T.V. stars and be entertained by the cowboy singers and poets who will be on hand? Friday, which is the more casual of the two nights, is really cool as all the celebrities are there and everyone comes decked out in their finest western duds and jewelry. Saturday night is strictly black tie and usually sells out quickly. It’s all great fun and you have the choice of attending both nights and just one.

Coming up a little closer to home is Elder Care’s big fundraiser, The Good, The Bad & The Barbeque which will held out at the Mullendore Cross Bell Ranch on Saturday May 12th. I understand that tickets will go on sale April 6th and reserved tables of eight are also available which is what I recommend. This year is the 20th anniversary for the Barbeque and Elder Care is bringing in a great band of renowned musicians including the band leader who I know personally and who is known around the world for his musical talent. It should be a night to remember and I hope to see you there as well.

As for me, I’m currently traveling up north for a few days working on a story that again relates to death. However that’s only one side of the story, there’s also fame, money, love, adventure and of course, history. What would Coffeyville and Cherryvale, Kansas along with Nowata, Oklahoma have to do with it? Well, what I can tell you is that at one time long ago these communities were all connected by an electric railroad based in Parsons, Kansas.
The Missouri, Kansas and Texas railroads along with the Kansas City and Pacific railroads and the Memphis, Kansas and Colorado railroads also had major hubs in Parsons. Yes, Parsons which was founded in 1870 was a booming railroad town that even had its own railroad hospital. The railroad was king until 1980 when ownership of the lines changed. Thanks to the citizens the railroad hospital got turned into the Parsons State Hospital and Training Center encompassing 43 buildings and hundreds of employees which helped with jobs. During World War II the large Kansas Ammunitions plant was built to support the war effort and that also helped with unemployment but the railroad system that once took people and supplies around the country is no more. Through it all Parsons has done well and a museum in town tells the story of Parsons and the railroad magnates who built the community which is a must see for sure.

In addition to its rich history Parsons also offers a lot of outdoor activities with three lakes in the area. Big Hill Lake to the west, Lake Parsons to the northwest and the Neosho State fishing lake all attract visitors for fishing and even more just to enjoy the countryside in southeast Kansas.
I found Parsons also has its share of notable residents including Walter Davidson, the co-founder of Harley Davidson Motor Company, George Pepperdine, the founder of Western Auto and Pepperdine University and many others.

For now I have to leave you but if you can’t make the trip I’ll be bringing you more on Parsons and what I’m doing in the area soon.

Till next time I’ll see ya down the road………….

The National Gun Debate: One Man’s Thoughts

Welcome back. While I was in Tulsa this past weekend for one of his big gun and knife shows I caught up with Rex Kehrli, the owner of R&K Gun Shows. From what I could find out Rex has one of the largest gun and knife sales companies in the country with shows going on in cities from coast to coast and often overlapping. He is a veteran in the industry with over thirty years of experience organizing and promoting these shows. Given the ongoing debate in the country I was interested to hear his thoughts about gun control and here is what he told me, in his own words. Please note that these are Rex’s ideas and opinions, not necessarily mine or those of the Bartlesville Examiner Enterprise.

“In regards to the recent shootings and terror in our country, we must get together and ditch the emotion in favor of rational thinking. As a society we must eliminate gun free zones- a gun free zone sign says to the bad guy come here, it’s easy to kill us. These attacks happen in these areas for a reason: no deterrent.We should have a dedicated entrance at every school, one entrance. IDs should be checked along with a police officer presence. In addition a limited amount of teachers should have training as armed responders. I can’t understand why the teachers’ union is against this. We do this in our courthouses protecting far less numbers of people.

Metal detectors should be installed at the dedicated entrance. These practices will eliminate the mass casualties. We should also look at doing this at any large assemblies of people. Evil seeks easy opportunity and when it finds it, it will act. America has the best police and military in the world. We can hire these quality people to protect our children for $25-$40 per hour, not to mention that some retirees may do this on a volunteer basis. This is a minimal price to pay to protect our society’s most precious resource.

In closing, every tragedy (of this type) has one thing in common-mental health. This must be aggressively addressed. These people aren’t getting the help they need and they are slipping through the cracks. In the case of the Florida tragedy people saw things and reported them but the FBI and law enforcement failed to follow through. This is a passionate issue but a slow, methodical discussion addressing these issues will be the most productive. Unfortunately in our society after every tragedy we are bombarded with politicians trying to advance their own addenda. We must move beyond this.
In regards to changing the age for purchasing a firearm to 21, I am firmly opposed. In my opinion, we cannot ask our heroes in the military to take up arms to defend us without granting them their second amendment rights.”

Sincerely,
Rex Kehrli

Till next time, I’ll see ya down the road…

#

The Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City

Welcome back. The Oklahoma City fairgrounds otherwise known as State Fair Park, was packed this weekend with a youth livestock show that was underway. Hundreds and hundreds of stock trailers filled the parking lots around the livestock barns and that’s not all that was going on. There was a huge car show in the new Bennett Event Center and as I walked through the parking lot outside of that building-which was also full- I saw car tags from around the country. As you can imagine there were people everywhere and there were even more events. The state high school basketball playoffs along with a large antique show were up and running and in yet another facility there was a big gun show which was where I was. Friends, people were parking on the grass, across the street and down the block as a steady stream of visitors came to the fairgrounds and I’m happy to report that with all the thousands of folk attending the various events there were no problems.

If you’ve never been to State Fair Park here is a little history about the place. I found that the original fairgrounds were established in 1907 primarily as the site of the annual Oklahoma State Fair. Today’s fair park sits on a 4440 acre property in the western part of Oklahoma City. Many new facilities have been added over the years to attract horse shows, rodeos, concerts and athletic events and now the fairgrounds hosts a wide variety of other events.

I had been hoping to get an interview with the national promotor who was putting on the gun show but he had five other shows going on around the country and he missed the one in OKC. However he confirmed that he plans to attend his big gun show at the Tulsa fairgrounds this weekend and said that we could talk then about his thoughts on firearms.

All in all things went well this weekend and as always when visiting OKC, I made a point of going to the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. I usually find something new and exciting every time I’m there and I wasn’t disappointed this time. A new large exhibit of paintings caught my eye along with a special area where seldom seen items from the museum’s storage were displayed. From there I moved on to the John Wayne exhibit which is a particular favorite of mine and then more paintings. I finished up my tour in a long hallway filled with bronze busts. These sculptures depict the people whose leadership and contributions were instrumental in getting the museum started. Among the thirty or so people included in the exhibit is one who most of you have probably heard of. His name was Kenneth S. Adams but he was better known as “Boots” Adams. In just seventeen years he worked his way up from a position as a warehouse clerk to the presidency of a major oil company, Phillips Petroleum. His story is still well known in Bartlesville and hopefully as time goes by it won’t fade away. Check out The Boots Adams Story at the local library and I guarantee you won’t put it down.
Till next time I’ll see ya down the road………….

Coffeyville,KS and the Dalton Gang

A little history of the old west….

Welcome back. Coffeyville, Kansas where back in 1892 the Dalton gang tried to rob two banks at the same time and if you haven’t heard it didn’t go well. There is a museum dedicated to the bank robbers in downtown Coffeyville right where it all happened and I learned that every October the town holds Dalton Defender Days, a big festival commemorating the event. The museum and the festival are well worth a visit but there is a lot more to this town. The Brown Mansion alone is worth a trip to see this elaborate 1900s era home and its gardens. Then there’s the Coffeyville fairgrounds, a beautiful piece of property where many different events are held throughout the year including the big Interstate Fair and Rodeo. Coffeyville Community College is also in the center of town and that’s where I was this past Friday and Saturday attending the 2nd Annual Interstate Farm and Home Show.

Going to these types of events always gives me the chance to visit with folks and look around in whatever town I happen to be in. In this case my walk through downtown Coffeyville and around the campus of the community college turned up more than one piece of interesting history about the town. Founded in 1869, Coffeyville was the first trading post you came to after leaving Indian Territory which later became Oklahoma. Today that small trading post has been turned into quite the industrial center. Coffeyville Resource produces 100,000 barrels of refined oil a day and also has a large nitrogen fertilizer plant making them one of the town’s largest employers but John Deere, Acme Foundry, Cessna Aircraft and a handful of other companies all play a big role in the community.

Many may remember the flood of 2007 here in Coffeyville when a third of the town was underwater after the nearby Verdigris River went 10 feet over its banks. This natural disaster was covered by all the national networks but friends from what I could see this past weekend there is little sign of flood damage now. From its historic downtown area to its many beautiful period home this community in the southeast corner of the State of Kansas has a lot to offer. I will be looking forward to the Third Annual Farm and Home show next year and you might just put it on your calendar as well. Want to know more/ Check with their Chamber of Commerce– that’s what I do when visiting a new town.

This coming weekend I’ll be back in Oklahoma City where I’m putting together a story about gun shows. R&K Shows out of Iowa is one of the largest in the country and they are having a show at the Oklahoma City fairgrounds. With all the conversations currently going on about guns, I’m hoping to get an interview with the owner of the show.

Till next time, I’ll see ya down the road…………….
#

The Choctaw People in Durant, Oklahoma

Discovering a great Las Vegas style resort in Durant….

Welcome back. I’ve just come back from a beautiful place that offers great food fromaround the world along with big name live entertainment the likes of which a person seldom gets to see. Shows with performers like Rod Stewart, Kid Rock and Willie Nelson all take place in what they call the Grand Theater and friends they don’t call it grand for nothing. On this trip I stayed not in my tent or RV but in a 700 room hotel where Mickey Gilley has a saloon and live county music hall. The complex also includes a top of the line spa, mineral baths, a big conference center and several other restaurants.You might think I’ve been in Branson, Missouri or maybe Pigeon Forge, Tennessee where Dollywood is. I’ve been to both places and written about them as you regular readers know, but this story is not about them.

On U.S. Highway 75, four miles south of Durant, Oklahoma not far from the Texas border sits the Choctaw Casino and Resort and when I say resort I mean resort. In my travels I usually don’t get this sort of pampering but I have to admit I could get used to staying at a place like this. However I’d come down to Durant not to be treated like a king but to learn more about the Choctaw tribe itself and their story is quite interesting to say the least.

The first tribe to walk the Trail of Tears to their new lands in Indian Territory (later Oklahoma) on September 27, 1830 the Choctaws signed the Treaty of Rabbit Creek. This was the biggest transfer of land to a Native American tribe by the United States government in history and judging from what I saw last week, the tribe has done well over the last 188 years. I found out that fourteen of the famous World War II Indian code talkers were Choctaw and today there are over 223,279 members of the tribe living in Oklahoma. The tribe is headquartered in Durant and led by Chief Gary Batton. They have ten thousand eight hundred and sixty-four square miles in the southeast corner of the state which encompasses ten and a half counties. The tribe supports local municipal projects such as the construction of new roads and bridges and they also operate their own hospital in the area. Like many other tribes in the state, the Choctaw have casinos,eight of them to be exact, and although I only stayed at the Durant location I understand all the properties are worth bragging about.

If you’re like me and you don’t gamble, the Durant casino offers many family friendly activities including several indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a bowling alley and a kid’s play area as well as a multi-plex movie theater. All in all it was a very amazing place and definitely one that I would recommend for a visit when you’re in the area or just need a get-a-way.

This week keeps me close to home as I head up to Coffeyville, Kansas for the big Interstate Farm and Home Show. The weather looks good so I hope to see ya there. If not,

Till next time, I’ll see ya down the road……………..
#

Philbrook and Philmont(e)

Welcome back. In 1927 Waite Phillips built two beautiful homes, Villa Philbrook and Villa Philmonte both of which were designed by architect Edmond Buehler Delk. In Tulsa Philbrook is located at 2727 South Rockford Road and looks similar to the home Waite and his wife Genevieve built in New Mexico. The exterior of Villa Philbrook is distinguished by fancy wrought iron fencing and the grounds feature stone fountains and reflecting pools set in lush gardens that were laid out by Waite himself. The interior has floors of marble, teak, walnut and oak with elaborate European silk curtains hanging above giant windows. There are stucco ceilings in the library, the study and the music room and on the walls are hand painted murals of dancing maidens.

With Genevieve’s direction the main part of Villa Philbrook is European in style but Waite had his man cave on the lower level or basement if you could call it that. A big American Indian art collector, Waite filled the rooms with tribal rugs and mounts of buffalo, elk and mountain lions he had shot. He didn’t have to worry about space for his collections because architect Delk had completed his other house, Villa Philmonte in New Mexico soon after.
Designed in a style that was similar to his Tulsa home but without as much square footage, Villa Philmonte had a massive yard. With close to three hundred thousand acres at an elevation of around six thousand five hundred feet above sea level, sitting on his porch looking out at the mountains Waite could see as far up as ten thousand feet to peaks that were covered in snow, some all year around. He told his friends and business associates that there was no place on earth like it and many of them came to visit. Villa Philmonte also reflected Genevieve’s interest in European style as well as Waite’s love of Native American and western art.

Reading up more on Waite in the Boy Scout library located just a few blocks from the villa I learned that he had been fascinated by the history of this area that had once been part of an enormous land grant from Mexico. He loved to tell houseguests about an old cabin that had been right where the villa was now located and that Kit Carson, Buffalo Bill, Jesse James and a slew of other well-known western characters had actually slept in the area. Will Rogers and Wiley Post were bound to have heard these stories when they stopped over for a visit on their way to Alaska in 1935. Waite took one of the last photos of the two in the gardens at the villa before their tragic deaths a few days later.

Charles Dawes who was Vice President in Calvin Coolidge’s administration came to Philmonte regularly as did well known Tulsan Bill Skelly, oil man E.W. Marland and big brother Frank. When he was interviewed by author Michael Wallis for the book Beyond the Hills, the Journey of Waite Phillips, Waite’s son Chope recalled that many of the major figures of the time came to visit the family at Villa Philmonte during the seventeen years they lived there.
Unfortunately for all of us Chope, Waite and Genevieve are gone now but friends Villa Philmonte is not and that’s where I’ve been staying on and off for the last few months. Not in a cabin or tent but right in the same room Will stayed in. Right where the famous actress Yvonne DeCarlo unpacked her suitcase. The same room where Frank and Jane would have dressed for diner. With the old swimming pool right out my window I can almost hear Waite and Frank talking oil while Jane and Genevieve discuss the latest Paris fashions. Yes I’m in historic room #7 at the Philmonte mansion in Cimarron, New Mexico and I might just stay for a while.

Here’s the local snow report. Central New Mexico continues to be dry and the lack of precipitation is making it rough on the ski areas. As for wildlife sighting, I can see elk, deer and turkey right outside my window. No bear but lots of buffalo on Ted Turner’s big ranch which is just five or six miles away.
Till next time I’ll see ya down the road……

More About Lawton, OK and Fort Sill

Welcome back. Although Lawton, Oklahoma has come and gone for me way too quickly, I’m for sure coming back to see more of this town. From last week’s column you learned that Geronimo is buried here and I discovered that he is not the only Indian chief in the cemetery in Lawton. The Comanche Chief Quanah Parker, Kiowa Chief Santana and several others are also buried here, some under the Henry Post Army Airfield but that my friends is for another story.

If you’re not a regular reader you may wonder where I get my information and in Lawton I found that there are three museums which are a great resource for local history. The Museum of the Great Plains is all about the early days of the town and its settlements. The Fort Sill Museum is a must see as well and sits right where the original fort was. The old guardhouse and barracks along with many of the other old buildings are all listed as National Historic Landmarks. The Comanche National Museum is of course all about the Comanche tribe, past and present. In addition to their own collections, the museum frequently hosts traveling exhibits from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Trust me, all three museums are well worth your time.

When I had a little time to tour the town I found that Lawton’s park system is quite a deal and from what I saw a real thing of beauty. They have eighty-yes eighty- parks and recreational areas within the city limits. There are also three big lakes close by all of which offer boating, swimming, fishing and camping. Over 94,000 people live in the Lawton area and they support three newspapers, a half dozen radio stations, three major TV stations and a monthly magazine.

Numerous prominent people have come from Lawton including a fellow I was lucky enough to meet a few years ago, the late Comanche code talker Charlie Chibity. The famous actress Joan Crawford and NBA basketball great Stacy King are also from here. Want to learn more about the Plains Indian wars or maybe see the graves of Geronimo and Quanah Parker or take a tour of old Fort Sill? It’s all in Lawton and if you can’t tell, I definitely recommend a visit.

AS for me, this week and next I’ll be deep in the Sangre de Christo Mountains where now that hunting season is mostly over I hope to get a chance to spot more wildlife. Bear, mountain lion, elk and deer all live here and so will I. Not to hunt but to write another true story which I hope you will find as interesting as my last book. With no TV or internet and just limited radio reception, this place in February isn’t for everyone but for my purposes its perfect and the people I do see love it here in the clean high altitude mountain air. Next week, more on my location, a weather report, local skiing conditions and wildlife sightings.

Till then, I’ll see ya down the road……

Discovering Lawton, OK and Fort Sill

So many places to go and so much to learn….

Welcome back. A big trade show at the Tulsa Fairgrounds brought me home for the weekend and I’m here to tell you that on Saturday the parking lot there which is massive was full. Shows of every kind filled the buildings and with the big boat and travel going on this week I expect they’ll have another huge crowd. As for me, I’m headed down to southwest Oklahoma to check out some history in the town of Lawton.

I’m sure many of you know that Lawton is home to Fort Sill but it is really the other way around. This old fort was first established back in 1869 when all the land was still known as Indian Territory and it was built by General Phillip Sheridan for protection from hostile Indian tribes who were resisting the westward expansion of settlements. After it was completed the fort became an important base for military operations. Six cavalry regiments and a bunch of early frontier scouts with names that everyone recognizes led the way. Buffalo Bill, Wild Bill Hickok and the 10th Cavalry, who were also called buffalo soldiers, all stayed at Fort Sill and played a major role in settling the west. The 10th Cavalry was led by Henry O. Flipper who was the first black man to graduate from West Point.

In 1894 the famous Apache warrior Geronimo was captured and housed outside of the fort along with three hundred and forty members of his tribe. A few years later Geronimo would go on tour with Pawnee Bill’s Wild West Show traveling coast to coast. Geronimo died at Fort Sill in 1909 and is buried in the cemetery there. I hope to bring you more on Geronimo, the day he met President Theodore Roosevelt, the bloody Ghost Dance uprising and more after my stay.

The history that I’ve read so far tells me that the town of Lawton was founded on August 6, 1901 many years after the fort was completed. By this time the Indian tribes had been settled on reservations and the fort, which at one time was close to being abandoned, had become a field artillery base. Through the years the fort has served as an officer training school, an air service training school and nowadays is also an aviation center.
Fort Sill’s important role in aviation began in 1917 when an airfield was built housing the first Balloon Squadron that was stationed there. During World War I balloon squadrons were sent to Europe where they were used to observe enemy activities. From what I’ve found out, the balloons were tethered to trucks and towed with the men inside them. It is worth noting that the commander of the unit from Fort Sill was General Banksdale Hawlett, Jr. who would later play a key role during the Cuban Missile Crisis as a part of President Kennedy’s advisory team. As an aviation base the fort continues to play a role in the protection of our country today.

This time next week I’ll also be taking you on the road to another historical place in the southwest corner of Oklahoma where I seldom travel and then I’ll be going up to I-40 west into New Mexico. Through the motel town of Tucumcari to Santa Rosa, followed by Cline’s Corner and then north. Its remote out there with plenty of antelope and you know the early travelers to the area had it rough. I love reading about those early day travelers and plan to bring you some of their history as well next week.

Till then, I’ll see ya down the road……

Travels in the Enchanted Circle of New Mexico…

Welcome back. It’s called New Mexico Highway 38 and it runs through the small community of Eagle Nest which sits outside of Angel Fire and then 38 goes on to the village of Red River. Named after the stream that runs through town, Red River was a mining town back in the 1870s when gold strikes were plentiful in this region. There was also money to be made mining silver and copper but by 1905 most of the minerals were all gone.

Today the area depends on tourism. Instead of miners looking to strike it rich, locals depend on visitors looking to ski in the winter and hunt and fish in the spring and fall. Summer brings lots of hikers and campers to the mountains as well. At 8,750 feet, a person can enjoy the scenery at any time of the year and many people come just for the views. The 484 people who live in Red River full time know what pays their bills and friends when you visit their town it’s all about you. They offer skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling in the winter and hiking, fishing and horseback riding in the summer. Good food is plentiful of course and watching deer and elk walking right down the middle of Main Street is a favorite pastime of mine and I’ve seen lots of them.

It’s well known that the Plains and Pueblo Indians were the first to cross this land looking for buffalo. Reading up on local history, I found that there were many Indian trails and passes through this part of the Sangre de Christo mountain range. According to local history, the old Kiowa and Taos trails were intended for horse and foot travel. Wagons, usually full of supplies, took the Cimarron Trail which ran along what is now US Route 68. I know it may be hard to comprehend reading all this but when you see the rough terrain people had to cross just to get here you know they had to be both tough and skilled at handling teams of horses. You can’t go to Angel Fire and Red River without visiting the town where the cult film Easy Rider was shot.

As you may have already guessed, I’m now hanging my hat in a town the natives call “the place of red willows” which nowadays is better known as Taos, New Mexico. Home of the famous Taos Pueblo which has been inhabited since somewhere between 1000 and 1450 AD, today it’s said there are around 150 people living in the Pueblo. The Pueblo is a very special place for sure but there are also three art museums and over 80 art galleries in Taos. The town also hosts community arts events, numerous musical performances and even shamanic rituals. Yes, Taos is an artistic town but there is more. The golf, fishing, rafting and hiking here is rated as some of the best in the country. And if they can get some snow don’t forget the top-notch skiing. If you go to Taos, Angel Fire, Red River or any of the small towns along the Enchanted Circle plan on a long stay because there is just so much to see here.

Here’s a personal snow report as of Sunday January 21st. There’s still no snow in most of the ski areas throughout northern New Mexico and if the weather trend continues this year will mark the least snowfall in modern day history with millions of dollars in lost revenue .It’s still as beautiful place, snow or no snow.

Till next time I’ll see ya down the road…
#

Fire of the Gods

My first visit in 2018 to one of my favorite places in the world….

Welcome back. According to the dictionary altitude sickness is caused by a lack of oxygen at high altitudes and it takes three forms, the most severe of which can cause death. Altitude sickness also causes confusion and I must have had a dose of that last week when I said I was writing from Cimarron, New Mexico at 65,000 feet. As I’m sure many of you know Cimarron sits at about 6,500 feet.

That was last week and I’ve moved on. Now I’m close to Aqua Fria Peak which has an altitude of 11,078 feet. Agua Fria Peak sits next to the ski area at Angel Fire Resort and my friends I can tell you from my own experience this is a real family oriented place. In my younger days I taught my daughter Loretta to ski here and there were always kids of all ages on the slopes. There are no motels in the area but plenty of condos offering short terms rentals as well as a fantastic lodge for nightly stays. Most of these accommodations are pretty much ski in, ski out and I have to mention that the rates are very reasonable. The resort is in a beautiful valley in the Sangre Christo Mountains in Colfax County which sits in northern New Mexico.

The Moache Ute Indians get most of the credit for naming the area Angel Fire in the early seventeen hundreds. Legend has it that in the 1780s the Utes used the valley for a gathering place and while they were there a strange series of lights appeared. It lasted a long time with splashes of red and orange dancing across the sky all coming from what we now call Aqua Fria Peak. Back then the Utes named the mountain “Fire of the Gods’ and it was later called “Fire of the Angels” by Franciscan monks who settled in the valley. Just a legend you readers may say but the well-known frontiersman Kit Carson documented that he too had seen all the flashing colors of the “fire of the gods.”

Moving forward 238 years, today people familiar with the mountain say the colors are caused by sunlight reflecting off the icy frost on the branches of trees on the mountain. I’ve also been told by locals that this is the time of year when cattle mutilations occur. Whether it is a natural phenomenon or a spaceship from another world, I’ll hear and keep you up to date.

With the beautiful mountain range at its doorstep, Angel Fire is also a popular summer destination for tourists and two years ago the resort added a fancy RV park to attract more summer travelers. Their gondola takes you to the top of the mountain all year around and sitting in the mountaintop restaurant with its million dollar view you can’t beat it, snow or not.

That brings me to the snow report from here and I’m sad to say that so far there is minimal natural snow. Angel Fire does have the best snow making machinery available and it’s been running 24 hours a day. There are several runs open but officials tell me its turning out to be one of the driest years on record which also means millions of dollars in lost revenue. If you like to ski don’t give up hope, I’m predicting a big snow before winter’s over. Follow the Angel Fire website for all the skinny on both winter and summer activities.
Next week I’m going mining for gold in the Moreno Valley along the Red River. It’s what was happening here in the 1800s.

Till then I’ll see ya down the road….