27-Dec-2001 -- After our attempt on 35°N 104°W we had fairly high hopes for this one. The previous visitor got quite close and we were prepared to drive/hike the kind of road he showed on his picture if we got within a few miles. We pretty much drove straight south, first on paved roads and later on very well maintained graded dirt roads.
As we got closer we saw more and more 'No Trespassing' signs by the road and our hopes started to fade. Finally, about 10 miles north of the confluence there was an open gate with a big 'No Trespassing' and 'Private Drive' sign. We stopped and started to think about turning around. While standing there and studying the map for alternate routes a truck came up the 'forbidden' road. We approached the truck with our map and asked the rancher for assistance. We tried to explain our mission, but had not much success. The rancher asked again 'What are you doing our here?' Not knowing how else to explain I said 'Well, the wives went to the mall for the after Christmas sales and we decided to get out instead of joining them or sitting in the house'. He understood that! Satisfied that we had a good reason to be there he had another look at the map with us and we had a nice chat. It turned out that the road was not private at all, but that we were on a county road just where we thought we were. The rancher referred to the guy who put up the signs as 'rather cranky', but assured us that he was not home right now, so to just go ahead. He also told us that all the graded roads in the area were public roads and that the ranchers put the signs up mostly to keep hunters out. He asked us whether we saw the damaged gate about half a mile up the road (we had noticed it), some 'off-roader' had run into the gate and now he had the cost/work to fix it. 'It's the few bad ones that ruin it for everybody else'.
We decided to go for it and cross the cranky guy's land. We then drove on some more unmarked county roads and when we were about 1.7 miles south of the confluence we found a perfect dirt road heading in our direction, but with a big, fat, fresh 'No Trespassing' sign on it! The sign was from the Bojax ranch in Elida, unfortunately no phone number was given and we did not have time to drive to town and try to obtain permission. We were not able to find any graded road leading in the right direction. The pictures are taken from our closest approach. The view from the confluence will be quite similar, the area is very flat and the landscape does not change much for many miles.
Just like with 35°N 104°W it might be best to get ownership information and obtain permission to cross any private land before heading out for another attempt. The previous visitor did not mention any 'No Trespassing' signs, so we hoped the confluence would be on land that could be accessed without special permission. A lot of the signs we saw looked quite fresh and virtually every track off of the county roads was posted. Since a lot of the roads are not marked it is impossible to distinguish private and public roads (except for the graded 'freeways'). Cases like the one described above only add to the problem.
Our trip back to Albuquerque took us though Ft.Sumner, the town where Billy the Kid is allegedly buried. There are references to Billy the Kid on every corner. The grave itself is not much to look at and the tourist trap next too it might be the bigger attraction.