Traces

I love northern New Mexico, it is so lonesome an area, full of ghost towns and ghosts.  Before the coming of paved roads and the railroads, pretty much every place was equal, you might as well be in one place as in another.   But the places that offered some geographic advantage grew into cities, like Denver or Albuquerque, connected by main roads and the rest have been left to slowly decay.

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Before there were paved roads there was the Santa Fe Trail,  people would pile as much stuff as they could fit into a wagon like this and set off for a new life in the wild west.   More than 130 years later the wagon ruts are still there, testament to the fragility of the prairie and the number of wagons that made the trek.

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This is the old Colfax County Courthouse.   Built to last, this lovely building has outlived it’s original purpose and now serves as a small museum to the Santa Fe Trail.   They really only started to promote  the existence of the Santa Fe Trail and the history of this area about 10 years ago, so they don’t get a lot of tourists (and there is not much to see and do).  Most people don’t get off the Interstate (motorway) except to get gasoline.   (This is on old highway 85 which ran from Mexico to Canada).

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Why build a livery stable of something as ephemeral as wood?   We will always need horses, of courses.  It’s still here even though the horse is long gone, but they did get rid of the trough.

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It has no sign, but this is the old jail.  There must not have been much call for this with only four cells or perhaps it was very crowded, with the very bad prisoners being sent to the Santa Fe Territorial Prison.

This old hotel is slowly crumbling away.   Part lumber and part adobe, it still exists for now, even though the need for it has passed.   I love these old ruins, as the dinosaur that I am I appreciate those who went before us as I watch their dreams fade away.

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