When we get to an area we check to see if there any roads that have been designated as National Scenic Byways and we check out as many of these as we can. New Mexico has quite a few of them. After leaving Artesia, NM, we started cruising down the local scenic roads and when the day was almost over we found ourselves in Ruidoso, NM.
One thing we learned about New Mexico is that it is not all desert but the terrain can and does change quite a bit in just 50 or 60 miles. You can go from desert (see picture in previous post) to forested mountains like Ruidoso. As we rode into town it reminded us of Gatlinburg, TN, with the wide street and winding road through the forested mountains and all the tourists. Very pretty place.
The scenic byway that brought us to Ruidoso is the Billy the Kid Trail. It runs through the town of Lincoln, NM. Lincoln is where Billy the Kid lived and eventually became convicted for his part in the Lincoln county range war (1876-1879). Now, I had never heard of the Lincoln County War so I Googled it and found it to be quite an interesting if bloody story. It was all over the control of the dry goods trade in the county.
The town had a population of about 800 in 1888, and Main Street has been beautifully preserved by current residents. Within the town’s limits are 16 state monument buildings, including six museums.