Sunday, November 11, 2012

So You Think You Know New Mexico Contest?

So let's talk about the contest for New Mexico Facts that Tucumcari Ranch Supply has been working on for several months now.  First, the prize will be a gift basket of made in New Mexico products with a retail value of $25.00.  You do NOT have to live in Tucumcari or Quay County in order to be entered into the contest.  If you reside outside the area and are the winner of the gift basket, it will be mailed to  you. 
In order to be a part of the drawing, you must 1) answer all the following questions correctly and 2) you must LIKE the Facebook page for Tucumcari Ranch Supply and/or you can also FRIEND the page for Tucumcari Ranch Supply.  
If you follow steps 1 and 2 above, your name will be put into the drawing for the prize which will be drawn on December 10, 2012.
Answer these questions in the comment section of this blog.  Also post that you have taken the New Mexico Challenge on our Facebook page.
So here goes with the questions:

1)  What is New Mexico's nickname?
2)  What other states meet at Four Corners in New Mexico?
3)  New Mexico became a state on what date and what number in the union was it?
4)  How tall is Wheeler's Peak and where is it located?
5)  What is the largest single mountain in the United States and where is it located?
6)  What is New Mexico state vegetables?
7)  What happened in Roswell and when did it happen?
8)  What is the state question?
9)  What is the world's largest scouting facility and where is it located?
10)  What is the Blue Hole and where is it located?
11)  Which New Mexico Pueblo is one of the oldest continuously occupied communities in the United States?
12)  What is the Balloon Festival and when did it start?
13)  What is the Very Large Array and where is it located?
14)  What is the United States's longest and highest narrow gauge railroad and where is it located?
15)  What is the oldest capital city in the United States?
16)  Where did Norman Petty record his music?
17)  Who were the code talkers and what did they do?
18)  Who is Smokey Bear and where was he found?
19)  What are the three villages where the descendants of Conquistadors still speak 16th century Spanish that is used no where else in the world?
20)  What has been identified and preserved at the Clayton Lake State Park?
21)  What is the Enchanted Circle and where is it located?
22)  What is White Sands?
23)  What is the Palace of the Governors and where is it located?
24)  What is the green chili capital of the world?
25)  What is the Trinity Site?

Well if you answered the above questions correctly, you know a little bit about New Mexico and what a great state it is.  It is steeped in history and is blessed with many natural attractions.  Let's all spread the word about what a great place New Mexico is to live in and to visit if you are not fortunate enough to be able to live here.

Thanks for taking the time to follow our New Mexico Facts and supporting Tucumcari Ranch Supply.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Salt Missions Trail (East Mountain Ramble)

A perfect day trip from Albuquerque which is well worth an over-night stay.  This trip travels one of the first scenic byways designated by the state (along with 11 others) in 1994.  The route is passable even in winter and will lead you to a trio of centuries-old Pueblo ruins, whose stacked stones are lovely with a dusting of snow.
Beginning in Tijeras (20 miles east of Albuquerque) the Salt Missions Trail National Scenic Byway travels past the Manzano Mountains and Pueblo ruins to Mountainair.  Looping along NM 41 to Moriarty, the route then traces part of the Route 66 National Scenic Byway (along NM 333) back to the starting point.
South of Tijeras, in the Cibola National Forest, take your choice among picnicking, hiking, and camping destinations like Tunnel Canyon, Otero Canyon, Cedro Campground, and Pine Flat Picnic Area.
In Moriarty, you'll begin your cruise down Route 66.  Mother Road institution El Comedor de Anayas has been serving New Mexican favorites since 1953.
Albuquerque's East Mountain area, which includes the town of Edgewood, has farms that raise alpacas, llamas, camels, angora rabbits, and other fleecy creatures.  At Edgewood Yarn and Fabrics, you'll find a bounty of raw fiber and yarn for your own project, as well as a display of  locally crafted fiber arts- with a slate of classes, you might even find a knitting circle in progress.
The Salt Mission Trail draws its name from the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, which includes three sets of ruins:  those at Quarai, Abo, and Gran Quivira (26 miles south of Mountainair).  The Tiwa and Tompiro speaking Puebloan peoples thrived here prior to the arrival of the Spanish by trading precious salt left by an evaporated lake.  Franciscan missionaries arrived in the 17th century and left their mark here also.  Visit the ruins of three mission churches built from 1620 to 1659 and the pueblo of  Las Humanas (at Gran Quivira).

Taken from New Mexico magazine.

New Mexico State Monument System

The New Mexico State Monument system was established in 1931.  Since that time, 16 have been named, although some have been returned to the National Park Service. The following six are still open to the public.

Bosque Redondo Memorial:  Navajo and Mescalero Apache people were forced from their homelands in 1862 - 63 by Colonels James H. Carleton and Kit Carson on a walk of 450 miles in what became known as "The Long Walk", only to be imprisoned on a million-acre reservation near Fort Sumner.  Today, the Bosque Redondo Memorial at Fort Sumner State Monument, which is located six miles south of Fort Sumner, is a monument to this great military atrocity.
Walking the quarter-mile trail around the site brings back to those dark days and the resilience of the Native American people who were eventually allowed to return to their homelands.  The monument was designed by Navajo architect David Sloan, and is shaped like a hogan (a Navajo dwelling) and a tepee, and features a video that describes how the Navajo people feel about the Bosque Redondo.

Coronado State Monument:  Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, a Spanish explorer in 1540 came looking for the elusive Seven Cities of Gold, found welcoming Native Americans at the Kuaua Pueblo.  Visitors today can descend into the remains of the Pueblo's ceremonial kiva at the Coronado State Monument, which is located 17 miles north of Albuquerque.  The kiva which is unique for its square shape, opens into a large room just below ground.  Thick walls support 17 layers of murals representing some of the finest pre-Columbian mural art in the US.  At the Visitors Center, children can don conquistador armor and grind corn on a metate (slab) with a mano (grinding stone).  As easy half-mile trail winds around the site, other trails allow visitors to explore the nearby Rio Grande bosque.

El Camino Real Heritage Center:  El Camino Real parallels I-25 and dates to 1519, when Spanish explorers headed north from Mexico to trade with Native tribes.  Standing on El Camino Real's (the Royal Road) windswept overlook today, it's easy to envision 16th-century travelers trudging through the desert to trade everything from live macaws to turquoise.  Visitors today see virtually what travelers saw 400 years ago.  Along with hand-hewn carts and tools, the Cultural Center, 35 miles south of Socorro, features a replica of a turquoise studded funeral mask once used by Native Americans and Mexicans, and offers an unbelievable look at this historic road.

Fort Selden State Monument:  Fort Seldon is quiet now although the wind sweeps through the adobe ruins.  It wasn't always that way.   Beginning in 1865, buffalo soldiers patrolled the desert, protecting travelers on El Camino Real from outlaws and Apaches.  Built near the Rio Grande, 13 miles north of Las Cruces, this isolated post comprised a central parade ground, officers' quarters, enlisted men's barracks, and corrals.  A young Douglas MacArthur called the fort home while his father was post commander (1884-86).
A 12-pound cannon ball, period firearms, soldiers' uniforms, utensils, and tools are displayed at the Visitors Center.  The second Saturday of each month, reenactors sound reveille and spend a day as 19th-century soldiers.  And every Saturday, a ranger prepares food as it was done 100 years ago, using hornos, fireplaces, and Dutch ovens.

Jemez State Monument:  Explorers declared the Pueblo at Jemez a Spanish colony in 1598.  Catholic priests forced the Puebloans to build grand missions, but in 1680, the Jemez people helped oust the Spanish during the Pueblo Revolt.  The Mission fell into disuse.  Beginning in 1910, archeological excavations and subsequent WPA and CCC restorations revealed colorful frescos on the mission walls, which visitors can see at the monument, a mile north of Jemez Springs.  A rare octagonal bell tower of the San Jose de los Jemez Mission (1610) still watches over the stone walls of the 500-year-old Giusewa Pueblo, where the ancestors of today's Jemez Pueblo people lived.

Lincoln State Monument:  Just the name "Lincoln" brings images of the state's Wild West days.  Except for the gunplay, little has changed since the famous Lincoln  County War - a real-life tale fueled by greed, corruption, violence, and ambition - and the legend of Billy the Kid and Sheriff Pat Garrett, who is credited with killing the Kid in 1881.
The State Monument comprises the entire town of Lincoln.  Among its 17 historic buildings sits a torreon (guard tower) built before 1860, and the Wortley Hotel, once owned by Pat Garrett. The Tunstall Store holds 1870s merchandise such as spats and a coffee grinder.  Walk the halls of the County Courthouse, where exhibits today recount past dramas.

All of these sites are wonderful places to visit with your family on short day trips around New Mexico.
(Taken from New Mexico magazine).

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Head south to a wildlife refuge and hot springs  (Allow two days).
South of Albuquerque, tour Socorro's architecture, including the San Miguel Mission, Garcia Opera House, and the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Depot.
San Antonio which is south of Socorro, may be small but is has a huge reputation for green-chile cheeseburgers.  The Owl Bar and the Buckhorn Tavern, literally across the street from each other continually duel for the right to claim that theirs is the best version of the state's signature dish.
The Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is a gorgeous setting year-round.  From November to March it is filled with migrating birds, including thousands of sandhill cranes.  It's home to the annual Festival of the Cranes and the bird watching opportunities are endless.
Truth or Consequences is a resort town and artist gathering place, which is famous for its hot springs, which are accessible by the many inns in town.  Nearby Elephant Butte State Park offers fishing, boating, rafting, and kayaking at the state's largest lake.
Taken from the New Mexico Vacation Guide.


This road trip will allow you to encounter nature, up close and high in the sky.  (Allow two days to enjoy)
The Albuquerque BioPark comprises four great attractions, all of which are suitable to kids.  The Rio Grande Zoo is among the finest in the western US, and is a well-known center for breeding and preservation efforts.  Animals from all over the world reside in the zoo in their natural settings.
The Aquarium brings ocean life to the high desert.  You can watch aquatic creatures through immense glass walls as you walk alongside and even beneath them.  The Botanic Garden showcases landscapes of the world within a beautiful featuring xeric plants.  Grab your rod for fishing at the lakes at nearby Tingley Beach (or take the train that links all parts of the BioPark.)
To experience Albuquerque's airborne history, visit the Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum.  Then take the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway which is the world's longest, to the top of 10,378 foot Sandia Peak, to take in 11,000 square-mile panoramic views of the Rio Grande Valley.
Taken from the New Mexico Vacation Guide.

Road Trips in the Heart of New Mexico

Take in majestic views along this scenic drive.  The Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway (N.M. 14) links Santa Fe and Albuquerque with breathtaking views of mountains, canyons and forests.  Prehistoric peoples, Spanish missionaries, and miners in search of glory have all thrived on this route.
From Santa Fe head south to Cerrillos, a ghost town turned artists' gathering.  At their peak in the 1880s, Cerrillos mines produced gold, silver, lead, zinc, and turquoise is still mined today.  The village is also home to the Cerrillos Hills State Park, a trading post, and a petting zoo.
Artists have turned Madrid into a community thriving with galleries, shops, and restaurants.  Take in the Mine Shaft Tavern.  Down the road a little way, take a side trip up the skyward drive leading to Sandia Crest with its incredible views of Albuquerque proper.
In Tijeras, visit the Tijeras Pueblo Archaeological Site, or continue past the Manzano Mountains (this is along the Salt Missions trail National Scenic Byways) to visit the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument where you can explore three separate sets of ruins of old Pueblo mission churches.
If I have omitted anything of interest, please add to comments for this post.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

New Mexico History 1993 - 2002

Even though the United States was building fewer nuclear weapons in the wake of the Cold War, the need to store these items securely was the country's biggest concern, a concern that was tragically reinforced by the rising terrorist threat and the events of September 11, 2001.
For years the military had stored much of its material at installations in the Manzano Mountains.  The need for greater security led the Air Force to construct the Kirtland Underground Munitions Storage Complex which opened in 1994.
After years of producing and studying nuclear weapons and other items, tons of high and low level nuclear waste that had previously been stored in other dangerous locations found a new home.  With the help of Sandia National Laboratories' scientists and engineers, a Waste Isolation Pilot Plan was built 2,150 feet below ground east of Carlsbad and opened in 1999.
In 2000, a "controlled" fire in the forest near Los Alamos grew out of control and burned 42,000 acres and destroyed large portions of the Pueblo Indian land and much of  Los Alamos - but not its labs.
In the meantime tourists continued to arrive in New Mexico during one of the most prosperous decades in American history.  Special celebrations continued to draw tourists to other towns across the state, including the Hatch Green Chile Festival, the Roswell UFO Festival, the Great American Duck Race in Deming, and of course, the Santa Fe Fiesta.
There are so many great places to visit and things to do in New Mexico that it is a wonderful place to spend your vacations or a lifetime.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New Mexico History (1983 - 1992)

There were several world events which had a deep, lasting impact on New Mexico.  A democratic movement in Eastern Europe that caused the fall of one communist regime after another, detente, and disarmament treaties all made their impact felt on New Mexico.
The reduction in nuclear weapons, coupled with the 1979 disaster at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant, cut demand for uranium that was mined in New Mexico.  Grants faced a sudden bust.  The call for new weapons developed at the Los Alamos and Sandia national labs was questioned.  Rumors flew about that air bases might be closed.  New Mexico's over dependence on federal government projects and spending became increasingly evident.
New Mexico's reliance on its oil and gas industry was also clear.  Competition with foreign oil producers and fluctuations in the world market caused economic instability in towns like Hobbs and Farmington.  The state government suffered whenever oil and gas production declined.  Some things haven't changed much since.

Taken from New Mexico Magazine.

Monday, April 16, 2012

New Mexico History from 1973 - 1982

In a decade not known for national glory, New Mexico experienced a surge of creativity and achievements.
Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima (1972) is perhaps the most famous novel ever written about Hispanic culture in the Southwest.  John Nicols's Milagro Beanfield War (1974) described the struggle to preserve the Hispanic lifestyle against modern development and personal greed.  R.C. Gorman's paintings made him one of the most recognized young Indian artists in the country.
The Unser family have won no fewer than nine Indianapolis 500 races, including four in the 1970's alone.  In 1978, three new Mexicans - Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson and Larry Newman, became the first team to fly across the Atlantic in a gas balloon.
On the other side, the Watergate scandal rocked the nation; New Mexico Senator Joseph Montoya became nationally known as a member of the investigating committee whose scrutiny ultimately led to President Nixon's resignation.  Closer to home, a scandal involving the recruitment of basketball players to the University of New Mexico led to convictions in what will forever be known as Lobogate.  It would take years for UNM's basketball program to recover.

Taken from New Mexico Magazine.

Monday, March 26, 2012

New Mexico history 1963 - 1972

The 1960's can be remembered as a period of growth and conflict in the U.S. and in New Mexico.
The state grew as an integral part of what President Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex which included the space race.  New communities, such as Rio Rancho, welcomed residents and hippie communes added countercultural elements to an already eclectic state.
New Mexico also experienced turmoil.  Some Hispanics, frustrated by the loss of their land grants, turned to an individual, Reis Lopez Tijerina and his originally peaceful Alianza Federal de Mercedes which was founded in 1963; Lopez Tijerina resorted to increasingly violent measures that ultimately ruined his movement.  Taos Pueblo residents non-violently defended their sacred Blue Lake in the Carson National Forest.
The Vietnam war divided the state:  abroad New Mexicans served in the military and at home, anti-war protesters sometimes turned violent, as when they clashed with opposing factions on Albuquerque's Central Avenue and National Guard troops were sent to the University of New Mexico.  Peace was restored in New Mexico only when peace was restored in the nation and in Southeast Asia.

Taken from the New Mexico Magazine.

Friday, March 16, 2012

New Time Line (1953 - 1962)

New Mexico was very involved in the Cold War which led to an ever-greater federal involvement in the state. The U.S. Government converted four WW II army air bases into Air Force bases (Cannon, Holloman, Walker, and Kirtland) that continued to train crews and test new planes and weapons.  The White Sands Missile Range located in southern New Mexico consisted of 3,200 square miles which allowed for advanced testing of weapons and rockets.
The US created new nuclear weapons, including the hydrogen bomb, at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Sandia National Laboratories.  Grants became known as the "uranium capital" of the nation.
The Cold War heated up into warfare with the Korean conflict of 1950 - 1952.  Nearly 200 New Mexicans lost their lives in this "forgotten war."
Albuquerque's population skyrocketed when newcomers arrived to work in Cold War industries.  Albuquerque's population grew from 35,449 in 1940 to 262,199 in 1960.  Smaller towns, like Los Alamos, Alamogordo and Grants, experienced like growth.  Modern highways, trains, and  commercial airlines brought tourists to New Mexico in record numbers.  Construction for homes, businesses, motels, and restaurants boomed.
Information taken from New Mexico Magazine.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New Time Line - (1943 - 1952) New Mexico History

New Mexicans were active in the armed services during World War II, with nearly 50,000 serving and 2,256 suffering casualties;  New Mexicans received seven Medals of Honor during the war.  Navajo Code Talkers devised a secret military code that was used to help win battles in the Pacific.  New Mexico native Bill Mauldin and Albuquerque resident Ernie Pyle won Pulitzer Prizes for their coverage of the war.  On the home front, Army air bases were built in Hobbs, Carlsbad, Clovis, Roswell, Alamogordo, Albuquerque, and other towns.
The biggest contribution from New Mexico in World War II was a secret scientific community organized on the remote Pajarito Plateau which developed the world's first atomic weapons.  J. Robert Oppenheimer, a physicist and General Leslie Groves, along with other scientists of the Manhattan Project worked long hours to develop a bomb that was finally tested at the Trinity Test Site, southeast of Socorro, in mid-July 1945.  Other bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, which caused mass destruction and led to the surrender of Japan one month after the Trinity blast.
It is arguable that New Mexico contributed greatly to the United States' final victory in World War II.  Perhaps more so than any other state of its size in the Union.  After the War, both the U.S. and New Mexico entered into a boom period thanks to returning service men who sought college educations and purchased homes.  Of course, New Mexico residents also contributed to the post-war baby boom.
Taken from the New Mexico Magazine.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

As I mentioned last month, I am posting interesting facts about New Mexico on our Facebook page in order to generate interest in New Mexico and Tucumcari Ranch Supply.  Last month I talked about the period from 1923 through 1932 with facts taken from the New Mexico Magazine article.  During February I want to talk about the period from 1933 through 1942.
The Great Depression didn't leave New Mexico unaffected and by 1933, the worst year of the prolonged crisis, 25% of New Mexico's skilled workers were unemployed and more than half of the unskilled workers in rural New Mexico were unemployed.  Drought conditions made the situation even worse for farmers and ranchers living in the northeastern section of the state.  Windstorms blew fine dust everywhere, burying crops, choking livestock and limiting tourism for the state.  The above conditions inspired John Steinbeck's book, Grapes of Wrath, and caused thousands of people in New Mexico's Dust Bowl region to abandon their homes and move west.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected US President in 1932, with help from New Mexican voters. He proposed a New Deal to assist the economy.  New Mexico acquired more New Deal money per capita than any other state in the union.  The Works Project Administration (WPA) hired unemployed workers to build roads, schools, post offices, buildings, etc. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) worked to conserve the state's natural resources.  If New Mexico hadn't received New Deal funds, it would have taken the state decades to complete these improvements by itself.
Local New Deal construction projects included Conchas Dam, the Quay County Courthouse and several school buildings.  Most of these facilities are still standing today and are currently in use.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New Mexico History:
New Mexico entered the 1920's with lots of energy.  New Mexico granted women the right to vote in an amendment in 1920 and we were all enjoying prosperity.
Railroads brought tourists in great numbers and the Southwestern Indian Detours transported tourists by car to pueblos and other natural wonders, such as Carlsbad Caverns.
Artists and writers also discovered New Mexico and began to develop groups which flourished in the New Mexico culture.
The discovery of oil in the Permian basin of southeastern New Mexico in 1924 created a very lucrative industry.  Oil field workers came in and created boomtowns, one of which was Hobbs located in the southeast part of the state.  Autos now challenged the railroads as the nation's primary means of transportation.  Modern highways sprang up criss-crossing the nation.  One of these was the modern Route 66 which was authorized in 1926.
Although many increased their wealth, great numbers of rural farmers and ranchers barely survived.  Most New Mexicans were so poor that they barely noticed when the Great Depression began in 1929.
(Information taken from New Mexican magazine).

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Mexico turns 100 years old in 2012.  To celebrate this awesome occurrence I am posting facts about New Mexico daily on the Facebook page for Tucumcari Ranch Supply.  It is amazing some of the things that we take for granted.
In order to encourage you keep checking out these facts about New Mexico, we are putting together a contest which will soon be ready.  I'll let you know when it is ready and how to play.  In the meantime, keep reading these daily factoids and continue to increase your knowledge about New Mexico and all it has to offer residents and visitors.
Those of us who live in New Mexico know how lucky we are to greet each day with amazing sunrises and to end each day with even more beautiful sunsets.  We would love to share these with you and welcome you to come visit New Mexico and perhaps, if you are lucky enough, to find a reason to stay.