The Horner family had a change in plans. Because of the Spring fire in southeastern Colorado, all the roads into Cuchara, CO were closed–Cuchara has been our Independence Day destination for years.
So I remembered I got an email about WestFest in Red River, NM and Michael Martin Murphey would be there–doing a concert/dance at the MotherLode Bar the evening of July 4. I checked it out and there would be lots going on in that little mountain town—-that sounded like a great alternative.
One sad part for me was that Lin, my husband, was sick and couldn’t join us, so I updated our shenanigans to him with photos and texts all day and evening.
The morning of July 4, 2018, my brother, niece, her husband, their two sons and I left Branson, CO about 9:00 am, making sure we had our holiday wares to wear with us. My niece and her two boys and I love to dress up in our patriotic outfits!
We stopped in Raton, NM for gas and refreshments. Our hearts broke as we drove through the fire-ravaged mountains above Cimarron, NM because of the fire there earlier in the year. It came really close to the city and destroyed so much of the natural beauty in the mountains near Cimarron, but the town was spared.
We stopped in Eagle Nest, NM at my favorite jewelry store, Eye of the Eagle, and I added a T. C. (Tommy or Thomas Charlie) necklace to my collection of earrings and bracelet. People already lined the streets already at 11:00 am for the 2:00 pm parade–talk about anticipation!
We arrived in Red River, NM about noon and walked around the vendors in the park–seeing some unique handmade articles. We had a delicious late lunch at Texas Red’s Steak House.
Then we had fun shopping the stores and timed it to see the Cowboy Shoot Out at Frye’s Old Town. I loved the Native dancers from the Taos pueblo–I participated with the dancers and many others in the Friendship dance.
From that point, our afternoon became an adventure. During the Shoot Out and Native dancing, my brother spied the ski lift operating, so we headed that direction. We wanted to ride it up the mountain, but it closed just as we arrived. Change of plans again–we saw the Zip Ride and investigated that.
Four of us rode the ZipRide–my niece wasn’t too sure about it, but she did it anyway. She and I rode together, and her husband and oldest son rode together besides us in a separate ride. At the beginning, we screamed moving backwards up an incline, then it was full force forward with more screams and laughter. At the end, I felt like we were crashing through the building, but it stopped abruptly–whew! I loved it!! The price was reasonable at $10 each.
The two boys–one about eight years old and the other one about twelve-thirteen–were so patient with our shopping, so we turned the rest of the afternoon over to them at the Go Kart place. They had a blast there, and I got some really great photos.
We kicked back for a little while, and I had funnel cake and a corn dog–what a combination. We moved the truck closer to the MotherLode in case the kids wanted to crash early and investigated whether our two youngsters could go in–yes, they could. The bouncer at the door said, “It’s first come, first served,” but they had reserved almost all the tables around the dance floor for the VIP customers, people who paid more for the tickets. How disappointing! We ended up sitting on stools at the bar all night.
They had a bigger crowd than they anticipated, so they had to put 4 – 5 rows of chairs on the dance floor which made the dancing crowded.
Michael Martin Murphey and his band entertained us with old country and western songs and new ones–we enjoyed the old ones more. He had a Native flutist that resonated with my soul. Also a young singer sang and yodeled, “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart,” doing a fantastic job of the old standby.
We danced; we laughed; we celebrated the fourth of July like it should be–with family doing something you love!
And who knows–will it be Cuchara, CO next year or back to Red River?
What did you do for the fourth of July this year? I’d be interested. Do you have annual traditions on this holiday?
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