Scenic USA - New Mexico

Each day Scenic USA presents a new and interesting photo feature from somewhere in the United States. Chosen from a wide variety
of historic sites, city scenes, backcountry byways, points of interest and America's best parklands, this site offers the viewer hundreds
of unique vacation destinations and photographic subjects. Each feature is coupled with a brief explanation. For further detailed
information, links to other sites are provided, but are never to be considered an endorsement.

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Byway Points
of Interest

Mesalands Dinosaur Museum

Route 66 Tucumcari

Santa Rosa State Park

Santa Rosa Blue Hole

Bell Ranch

Ute Lake State Park

Conchas Lake State Park

Alexander Grzelachowski Home

Mesalands Scenic Byway

 

 

 

Puerto de Luna

Pecos River - Puerto de Luna, New Mexico

Photos by Ben Prepelka

     Once a boundary line between the civilized states and the Wild West, Conoco Station the Pecos River drops down from the western slopes of New Mexico's Sangre de Cristo Mountains and cuts through the eastern half of the state. Nearly a thousand miles long, the Pecos crosses the western corner of Texas before joining the Rio Grande River. Dammed up several times before reaching Carlsbad, the Pecos River was once free-flowing, providing early settlers with water for irrigation in the arid Mesalands.
     Puerto de Luna grew up along the Pecos River, with its first settlers arriving in 1848. By 1873, the town of Puerto de Luna grew large enough to earn a post office, and by 1891 it became the county seat. Puerto de Luna Sign Its prestige was short lived, overtaken by Santa Rosa to the north after the El Paso and Northeastern Railroad arrived.
     Although it's not a true ghost town, the Guadalupe Courthouse ruins, an old gas station, Guadalupe Courthouse ruins a few abandoned homes and its captivating name manage to attract quite a few sightseers. One of the many stops along the Mesalands Scenic Byway, an old legend offers explanation of its Spanish name. One of the first Europeans to explore the area in search of gold, the story begins when Francisco Vasquez de Coronado camped here. When he saw the moon rising in a gap in the mountains, Coronado dubbed the area Gateway of the Moon. Perhaps the facts are much less dramatic, but it is known that the Luna family, with descendants still living in the area, lived at the mouth of the Puerto River. In any case, a Puerto de Luna visited will leave an indelible mark on your memory.

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