Friday, May 27, 2016

New Mexico May 2016 Westward Ho! 10a Capitan NM and Smokey Bear Days

When we visit Visitor Centers they very often have brochures for different areas of the state they are in. That was the case in Roswell where they had kiosks for each part of the state.  That is where I picked up a postcard flyer announcing Smokey Bear Days in Capitan NM on May 5-6.  And that is when I found out that Smokey Bear (Only YOU can prevent forest fires!) the original cub was found in Capitan.

There is a Smokey Bear Historical Park with a museum dedicated mostly to information about forests and fire prevention and controlled burns, and a good time line of the use of first a generic Smokey Bear and then the real rescue cub, found 6 years later in a fire, as the public face of fire prevention.  The story of Smokey's rescue and subsequent fame is almost like Hollywood but the song many of us learned changed his name to Smokey THE bear to make the meter right.  His name is Smokey...Smokey Bear.

The amount of information about the use of controlled burns and how to maintain a healthy forest was really impressive.

So, each year the town of Capitan NM, home of the park celebrates their "fame" with a parade and party and we were there in time to see it.  The parade had

Old cars

Capitan's answer to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang


A steer


The Fire Department

Of course there were the requisite politicians running for office and offering candy and sparkly beads to the kids, a few "floats" with various organizations riding in the back of trucks and lots of merriment that happens in small towns where everyone knows each other. 

Afterwards we listened to music, toured the museum and the adjoining park and then walked to the other end of town to have a really delicious prosciutto and mushroom pizza at Renee's Real Food. Not only was the food delicious but the restaurant is decorated with rock concert posters from the 60's, the walls are lined with cookbooks and the entire staff was friendly and warm.  We strolled back through town, spending time talking with a woman campaigning for Bernie and enjoying the sites including a chain saw carving competition.
Foot stomping hip swinging music

The porch ceiling at Renee's Real Food is decorated with chandeliers hung with Mardi Gras beads

an artful yard

A dedication to a little girl who died suddenly one day at age 10

After a long day with hot sun, merriment, music and good food we were ready to go back to camp and relax.  We arrived home to find our pets lazily enjoying the solitude.  

Cadbury gave us a lazy, half opened eye glance and then settled back to sleep carefully positioned OFF his rug

while Phoenix stayed in dreamland until she smelled me

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