Clayton State Park
I was up before sunrise and the rabbits were out eating right outside our door. Later we saw a roadrunner pass through the next rv site up the hill from us.
This morning we took a hike around the west end of the lake. Out and back was 2.7 miles. We got some good views of the lake and were able to see the primitive and developed campsites. There is no water or electricity on that side of the park.
After lunch, we took off for town. We needed fuel and wanted to stop off at Clayton’s museum. The cornerstone caught my attention.
Pictures were taken of the town during the Great dust bowl. Amazing and disturbing at the same time.
We love small town museums. They usually have great stories on the history of the town and include exhibits that larger museums would hide behind glass or rope off. We were not disappointed.
The two wealthiest families in the town's history had donated many personal items. These include President Lincoln's paperweight, a Salvador Dalí, John Wayne's golf putter, and many pieces of furniture, delicate carvings, and other intriguing items from around the world. The blue in the paintings are actual blue butterfly wings.
The two wooden boxes were used by the town operator to send a location number to the fire station. Pretty neat considering the time when it was used.
We then walked through the area dedicated to Black Jack Ketchum. The museum is known for having information and photos of Black Jack Ketchum who was hung here for his crimes. He was found guilty of many murders and train robberies. I did not include the most gruesome photos. A mistake was made in the planning for the hanging. If you want to know the details, you may want to google it.
The native indian carpets were amazing with bright colors. Our tour guide said they were dated to be over 200 years old. The detail stitching was incredible. Of course, they also have a buffalo skin rug and lots of cowboy items.
At the museum, they had information on the Santa Fe Trail. The trail passed right by the State Park. Knowing that thousands of wagons passed right by the area where we had camped and used the creek that feeds the lake for water is thought provoking. All these people traveled west across areas so desolate having to look for water each day. We travel hundreds of miles each day in our journey crossing back and forth from Florida to New Mexico. Settlers in a wagon train did good to travel 20 to 25 miles a day. What courage they had to try to make a better life for themselves and their families.
The drive to the park is a pretty one.
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