New Mexico – Day 3 – Monday, October 15th

Today we are heading to Carlsbad, some 155 miles from Santa Fe. The weather is clear with just a touch of white wispy clouds. The temperature is in the 70’s (I believe this to be true but since I didn’t write that down in my notes and am only now just getting to writing about this fully 2.5 months later I forget, but it is a reasonable to speculate since the temp. before and after was similar.)

Billy The Kid Museum

Billy The Kid Museum

On our way to Carlsbad we were told that if ever in New Mexico we should stop by a place called the Billy The Kid Museum. So we did, you know, since we were there. From the outside the building looks kind of cheesy with painted cartoon-ish pictures of people on the outside of the building. there were also some other eye-catching pieces to make a person take a second look and perchance stop on it. DSC07272A real life Howitzer/AA gun (I believe). There was some other random farm tractors and such and maybe a stage coach but for me the Howitzer was the draw.

At first I thought this was going to be a quick stop on our way to more interesting things. I was kind of wrong, this place was chalk full of actual newspaper clippings from the time of Billy the Kid, following his exploits and how Pat Garrett was ultimately tracked Billy and gunned him down. There was also a video that played for 45 minutes in a small theatre that talked with historians about BTK. It was really quite interesting and gave more of the story about how Billy came to be the person he was when he finally met his maker.

The BTKM was actually much larger than it looks from the outside having several building attached to the main building housing old cars, farm equipment from the period, stage coaches and buggies along with many weapons from the era including the rifle that Billy had with him in the last known picture to have been taken of him.

The rifle the BTK has in this picture

After our time at the BTKM we headed out through Roswell and of course had to stop in at the International UFO Museum and Research Center.

DSC07333This was an old movie theatre on one side and various other shops until this place came along and bought both and started knocking out walls combining the two spaces.

When you first enter you are greeted by a nice young man behind a counter who asks you to sign in and register for their newsletter (if you want) and then told where to proceed.

The main auditorium had been transformed into part diorama complete with 12 foot wide flying saucer that spins and 4 4-5 foot tall “aliens” DSC07356

Along the sides of the former theatre little cubicles were created for various parts of the tour. Complete and separate from each other element.  The first cubicle was newspaper clippings about the “incident” that occurred in July of 1947 along with pictures and testimonials from ranch owners from the nearby area.

The next cubicle/section was testimonials from many military serviceman that were involved with the initial search and containment of the incident.

Period equipment used during 1947

Period equipment used during 1947

These testimonials almost all spoke of a military coverup in 1947 and that if they were to ever speak of it they were threatened with transfer, demotion and in some cases death, if they didn’t tow the military-story line. Turns out that story changed a few times. Initially it was recovery of a flying disc, then the next day it was a radar-tracking balloon.

Materials found at the 1947 Roswell crash site

Materials found at the 1947 Roswell crash site

There were other cubicles that dealt with our own space program, art and poetry and other odd not so related to the theme of UFO’s. Finally we ended up in the gift shop that I toyed with buying a new alien bottle opener since my old Kokopelli had seen its last bottle but ultimately would go with the a gecko from another shop. How I miss the alien bottle opener.

We finally make it to Carlsbad around dinner time and decided to go to Danny’s Place, which we found with the use of GPS on my wife’s phone. Danny’s Place was voted the 6th best place to eat in Carlsbad. according to trip adviser.

For my meal I had what was called a 2-meat meal; I chose briquette and sausage which came with sides of mashed potatoes/gravy, pickle spear and dinner roll. Mine was quite tasty. Jess had the “Flip Plate” which apparently Danny’s Place invented 30 years ago. The “Flip Plate” is a grilled tortilla stuffed with a hamburger patty, 2 slices of American cheese, re-fried beans, green chilies, onions and salsa. Jessica said it was “an interesting culinary experience.”

We ended the night by getting to our condo and winding down a little bit before bed after such a long but very interesting and informational day. If you are ever in New Mexico I recommend going to both of these places.

More to come…

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