Today we went to Las Vegas, NM for some shopping and to see some of the town. Las Vegas is on the Santa Fe National Historic Trail and also historic Route 66.
The Santa Fe Trail was blazed in 1821 and connected Franklin, MO with Santa Fe, NM, it was initially about 934 miles long. The Trail was a major route of trade and was used by many trapping and buffalo hide companies to get the furs to the United States markets.
Between 1821 and 1831 the route changed several times to make it shorter. By 1831 Independence, MO became an important port on the Missouri River and captured most of the Santa Fe Trail traffic, this route was about 800 miles long.
The trail passed through land which is now in 5 states: NM, CO, OK, KS, and MO. The Trail was also an invasion route for the US forces during the Mexican American War. Heavy traffic on the Trail is believed to have disrupted the buffalo seasonal migrations in the Arkansas River basin and some think that it accelerated the demise of the buffalo.
Las Vegas is an interesting community, the railroad followed the Santa Fe trail and made Las Vegas an important community. There are over 900 national Historic Register buildings in Las Vegas.
We enjoyed our day there shopping, dining and seeing some of the town. Lunch was a family owned food establishment called Hatcha’s Express, which operates in NM and CO. Great food!
We’re back at Sumner Lake tonight. Elaine and I noticed that we have been able to easily see the Milky Way every night since we arrived in NM on ToadDate 0003.