I recently spent some time in Roswell, New Mexico, and although I was unable to get any running done while I was out there, I did manage to soak up a whole lot of interesting culture. An unexpected battle with some crazy allergies and scheduling may have kept me from running, but I was able to use that time to learn that New Mexico has a vast and largely unprovable history of outlaws and aliens.
My first day there I was taken to the UFO Museum, and man was that interesting. Roswell is famous for a huge conspiracy surrounding an alien crash in 1947. The museum covered this story like nothing I have ever seen before. From the moment you walk in, you are surrounded by a timeline of the crash and events to cover it up or just debunk it all together. As I walked around I read letter after letter and article on top of article about the crash and the government’s attempts to make the event go away. The museum contains so much information that it is really difficult to take it all in, and I found myself basically just skimming the walls for things that caught my eye. If you are ever in Roswell it is definitely worth the $5 admission to the museum as it has a way of making you believe, which I guess is the point. After reading statements from government employees who were told what to say and who to say it to, letters from people connected to the ranch foreman who found the wreckage, and of course all the conflicting evidence, I walked out of the museum an almost believer. I say almost because until I see one for myself or have proof put in front of me I really cannot say I believe whole-heartedly. I will ask this question. Why not just tell us? I understand wanting to hide it back then as the world’s mindset was completely different. A reading of War of the Worlds caused widespread panic back in 1938, so a UFO landing in 1947 needed to be covered up; I get that. I feel, though, with today’s overly educated and desensitized society, why not let the cat out of the bag now?
The next day found me in Lincoln, which was possibly the most fun part of my trip. That is of course with the exception of meeting my adorable niece. For those of you who do not know, Lincoln is sort of considered to be the home of Billy the Kid. It’s said he was originally from New York, but he spent a great deal of time in Lincoln, and the people there loved him. The town of Lincoln has been, for the most part, maintained in its original state. The buildings are all still there, lining what is now a paved road, but they have been turned into a giant walk-through museum. I was only able to look at the main building of the museum, due to my citified self only carrying plastic (Lincoln is still cash-only). The park ranger who was manning the desk was kind enough to let us walk through the courthouse, which is now the first stop on the tour. I was enthralled and really felt like I was in the movie Young Guns. After visiting Lincoln, learning about the real history, and then watching the movie again, I’ve got to say the movie is pretty close. The legend of Billy the Kid is a lot like the mystery of the alien crash; there just really is not very much proof. I kept asking why no one ever took pictures or wrote anything down. Where were the historians of our country in the early days? My guess is they didn’t think outlaws were worthy of history, but then I read about how guys like Jesse James and even Billy had stories published about them all the time. The problem is that they were, in Billy’s case, mostly fantasy. The truth is no one knows when Billy died, where he’s buried, or who he was. There are some wild tales, and this guy was definitely not someone to mess with, but outside of that he is clouded in mystery, and I find that fascinating. He is such a mystery that there is only one photo of him, and even that has conspiracies all around it.
On the way home from Lincoln we went through Ruidoso and I was awed by its beauty. I say we because my best friend Zack led me through this wonderful tour of New Mexico. Ruidoso was covered in tall pine trees, and it felt a lot like Colorado, which really surprised me because I had always thought the majority of New Mexico was just flat prairies that looked more like desert than anything else. While there, we stopped by an outdoors shop because they carry Vibram Five Fingers, and Zack wanted to try them out. I found out on my way there that he had tried them on once, but like so many others thought they were weird and was not sure why he would need a shoe like that. Well, spend a day with me, and you’ll know why, and I dare say you’ll want a pair. This was the scenario my poor friend found himself in. The store had a pair of Sprints in his size, and he walked out wearing them! I was a little worried that he would not get them because his wife, beautiful Beth, called while we were in the store, and I could tell she had her reservations. Still, in the end he got them, and she being the beautiful person she is agreed to allow him to wear them out in public. Truth be told, I would have paid for them myself if she had put the kybosh on the deal.
So there it is. I was not able to find an alien to run with, but I learned a lot, added another minimalist convert to my list, and had a great time seeing my “family”. Thanks so much to you guys for having me out and showing me such a great time. I love you, and don’t forget that if you see an alien, I need a picture for the site!