We followed highway 51 in search of Engle (the one we found).
Built in 1879 as a station on the Aitcheson, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, the town was probably named after R L Engle a railroad construction engineer.
Engle became a thriving cattle town, at one time having a population of about 500, it was also a shipping point for supplies and ore. When White Sands Missile Range to the east of Engle was created in 1945 it spelled the end for the town.
A few of the original buildings still stand, along with the school house which is now a country church.
We followed the road south towards Cutter (the one we lost).
Cutter once a mining boom town of 3,500, people moved away as the mines failed and today it’s a ranching area with no sign of the once thriving town. We reached a sharp left turn which we think would’ve taken us to Spaceport America, we didn’t investigate further as at the moment it’s only open to the public on organised tours.
Continuing straight ahead the road turned to dirt heading towards a couple of places on our ‘to visit’ list, the Yorst Trailhead, and Point of Rocks Overview http://www.nps.gov/elca/historyculture/yost-escarpment.htm on the infamous Jornado Del Muerto, a harsh, waterless section of the Camino Real de Terra Adentro.
We hope to return and visit the overview and hike the trail earlier in the day when it’s cooler. The Yorst trail is only 1½ miles long but as it crosses mesquite desert it is really easy to get turned around and it’s definitely not somewhere we’d want that to happen.
Have fun, we are!