Thursday, May 24, 2007

Clayton Lake State Park, Day 5




Since the Cimarron Cutoff of the Santa Fe Trail runs just north of the park, we decided to go look for it. We calculated the approximate GPS coordinates as closely as we could from our Benchmark New Mexico Atlas, and headed out north on SR-370. We drove up and down the road several times, but never saw anything that looked like it might be a wagon trail. Once, when we were parked along the edge of the road, a local stopped (thinking, perhaps, that we needed help). The woman said she'd lived here all her life and knew the trail crossed the road somewhere in the area where we were stopped, but she didn't know exactly where.

We decided to drive to a spot our atlas showed as "McNees Crossing Monument" several miles to the east. So we headed north on SR-370 to Campbell Road where we headed east. Just at the point where Campbell Road ends, and we would have to head south for a short distance, there was a small rest stop/picnic area with an information kiosk about the Santa Fe Trail. Turns out that there were markers along the trail at this point, so we walked to where the markers started. Although we could see a line of markers heading off into the distance, we never could make out the actual trail...what we saw were more like cow paths, but never did we see two parallel "cow paths" together that would have indicated a wagon trail. Oh well...we had a nice drive, got some fresh air, and saw some pretty countryside.

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