Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Smokey Bear

Hi all,
 Wow good thing we don't spend all our time on the road I would barely have time to write the posts. We had one more day in the Alamogordo area and decided a drive was to be. Our aim was north to the Billy the Kid Scenic Highway. It lies north of Ruidoso, New Mexico in the Lincoln National Forest.
 Another sunny day with cool morning temps and as we were near the Capitan Mountains cooler temps prevailed. There also was another aim for this drive and that was to see the birth place and burial site of Smokey Bear. Who could miss crossing this off their bucket list?
 The drive took us from desert mesquite areas to shorter pinion pines and into the taller spruce and fir pines. Along the way we spotted a interesting cemetery and stopped. It was a public health service and Merchant Marine cemetery. Most of the sites only holding wooden crosses and small numbered stones as markers. As we looked about we noticed coins placed on the monuments and some of the graves, we found a sign explaining the meaning.

 Onward we drive stopping at a sign placed in front of the Capitan Pass where a small bear was found clinging to a tree after a fire on May 9, 1950. The cub was badly singed and taken to a vet in Sante Fe for care. At first getting the name of Hotfoot it was later changed to Smokey Bear.
 The Forest Service had actually been using Smokey Bear since 1944 but now had a real bear to use as our fire fighting mascot.
 Smokey was flown to Washington DC to reside in the National Zoo. Smokey became so famous that he received his very own zip code only second to Santa Claus in receiving mail.
 In 1976 Smokey passed away and at the urging of his many friends was returned to the city of Capitan, New Mexico for burial.

 We took in the nice museum amazed at the amount of items that have been used to keep Smokey's advice alive- Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires.  .
 Not done yet we continue on to more of the Billy the Kid Highway. Along the way you enter the town of Lincoln a Historic Site. The town of Lincoln and Lincoln County were stomping grounds of William H. Bonney, better known as Billy The Kid.
 Lincoln remains one of the best preserved old west towns looking as it did 130 years ago. There are five buildings that offer a self guided tour giving the true Billy the Kid story along with stories of range wars and the Regulators of that time.

   Boy, how is that for a history lesson? Learning new things along the way is another perk of this life style


  1. Never knew either of those stories, very interesting! Sometimes it's worth it to stop at those hokey spots such as Smokey :)