Joined: 31 Oct 2014
Location: New Mexico
| Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:21 pm Post subject: Santa Fe Reunion Driving Options (NRA Whittington Center)
|Shipmates, here is wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May 2015 bring good health and good fortune.
This is the last of my suggested driving side trips to be considered for your arrival trip to Santa Fe or your return trip from Santa Fe.
NRA Whittington Center
I made this trip about three years ago, and enjoyed the scenery quite a bit. For those that are driving south on Interstate 25 on the way to Santa Fe, I suggest this alternate scenic route. This route is highway 64 across the Sangre De Cristo Mountains. From just south of Raton highway 64 runs to Taos and beyond. Highway 68 running south from Taos should be taken to the City of Espanola. Taos can be avoided by using highway 585 just south of Taos to cut across to highway 68. Highway 68 becomes US84/285 in Espanola and this runs all the way to Santa Fe. Soon after entering Santa Fe there is the intersection of Highway 14 (Cerrillos Road). Turn right or south on Cerrillos Road and continue to the Hotel located at the Intersection of Cerrillos and Beckner road (all the way to the south side of Santa Fe). The left turn lane for Beckner is separated from the main road and the exit for it is not marked and nearly a quarter mile north of Beckner road.
This alternate route, according to Google Maps, is ten miles shorter than using I25, but takes nearly an hour longer. The trip is 3 hours and a half according to the Map Service.
Highway 64 is at I25 exit 446 just south of Raton. Four miles south on Highway 64 from the interstate on the right side is the NRA Whittington Center.
The NRA Whittington Center is the premier shooting range in the USA, probably the world. Link: http://www.nrawc.org/. This is located just south of Raton New Mexico. Major National Level competitive shooting events are conducted here on this 33,000 acre site. Camping, hunting, training and other events are also conducted as well. The staff is very friendly and will probably allow you a self guided tour of the facility, with proper signed releases. There is a small museum in the main building (Visitor Center). The museum has displays of old firearms etc. The display that commanded the most interest for me was of articles from Ben Lilly one of the last real “Mountain Men”. Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Lilly . In this display there is an affidavit from George Whittington that describes the time that he knew Ben Lilly. Mr. Whittington, when he was a young boy accompanying his father on a search for ranch land, stayed at a ranch in the Gila Wilderness for a while. Ben Lilly was employed there and allowed George Whittington to spend some time with him, as he prepared for his hunts of mountain lions and bears.