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Thursday, February 22, 2024

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Under the Chinaberry Tree

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The Sound of Texas

Monday, February 19
Kena Whitfield Throckmorton Restaurant
Tuesday, February 20
EW & Margi Forbess San Antonio Bagpipe Duet
Wednesday, February 21
Mack Neal Camden Lakes
Thursday, February 22
John Taylor Friona Engines
Friday, February 23
Phillip Brush Austin Israel
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by Tumbleweed Smith

Las Vegas, New Mexico is just a little over five hours away by car and we love to go there for a weekend. We left Friday morning around 9:30 after our daily workout at the gym and arrived in Clovis around lunchtime. We really didn't have an agenda, which I think is the ultimate way to travel. You seem to notice more that way, like the attractive visitor's center at Clovis. We had never been there before. We had planned to have a picnic lunch and the visitor's center had some covered picnic areas, so we stopped there. Unbeknownst to me, my wife had brought Sushi. So we had a Sushi picnic. Different.

We bought gas in Muleshoe, thinking it would be more expensive the closer we got to New Mexico. Wrong. Farwell and Texico both had better prices. We arrived at the motel a little after 3 and visited with the manager who suggested some things to do. We asked about the Pecos National Monument, the only place we had planned to visit. She suggested we wait 'til tomorrow morning to go there while it was cool. She told us to be sure and eat dinner at Dick's, where the locals go.

The tourist information center is in an old depot building in Las Vegas. The friendly woman there reminded us that Las Vegas had more than 900 homes on the national historic register. She also mentioned the scores of movies that had been made around Las Vegas.

The Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas is just across from a park with a gazebo and shade trees. Some of those trees have succumbed to the drought, but a group of enterprising citizens had tall woodcarvings made from some of them. They really decorate the park. When we were there Friday afternoon, a band was playing so we went to the hotel's wine bar and sampled some area production.

At Dick's restaurant we walked through the liquor store and lounge and took a seat in the restaurant. Great food. Great fun. A local hangout for sure.

Saturday morning we went to the Pecos National Monument between Las Vegas and Santa Fe and toured the remains of a large pueblo where the Pecos Indians lived. We returned to Las Vegas and had lunch at our favorite eating place called Charlie's Spic and Span Café. It's next door to Dick's.

We had planned to pick raspberries at Salmon's Farm but they were a couple of weeks away from being ready. A motorcycle group was there. Dozens of motorcycles. Colorful group. We toured the campuses of the 3 upper level schools in Las Vegas: Highlands University, Luna Community College and United World College. A castle is on the UWC campus. Armand Hammer founded the college. Alongside a highway near the campus are hot thermal baths, open to the public. Most unusual. The baths are up the bank from a river that has cold water. We left Sunday morning after breakfast at Charlie's. The sopapillas are out of this world.

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