Pretty much a Who’s Who of Tucumcari gathered at the Tucumcari Convention Center Thursday evening to greet the author of an article of in New Mexico Magazine.
The crowd was there because much of the article is centered in the Quay County area. New Mexico author and state employee Laurie Evans autographed copies of her articles which are in the June edition of the magazine entitled Scenic Byway Adventures: Mesalands Scenic Byway.
In fact, the Tucumcari reception for the author was one of the first such because the Mesalands article was the first of over 20 articles to be run in the magazine featuring the different ‘Scenic Byways” in New Mexico all to be done by Evans.
“Really, though,” said Evans, “This one (Mesalands) is my favorite. It is so unique.”
The article takes a traveler through the area which has been designated by the New Mexico Department of Transportation as a “Scenic Byway”. It focuses attention on such points of interest as Tucumcari Mountain, Mesas Redonda, Brush Quemado, Circle S, Bulldog/Saddleback, Liberty and many others. It also tells about the Native Americans, Spanish Explorers and even the dinosaurs which traveled the area in earlier times. It also points to such places as Ute Lake, and San Jon, Logan and Tucumcari. Evans said when she was looking for a centerpiece for the Byway and for that matter, her story, she was hard pressed to come up with one because of the diversity of the area. It was then, she said, she went by the Mesalands Community College Dinosaur Museum.
“And I said, ‘This is it.” recalled Evans about how the byways became “Mesalands Scenic Byway.”
In fact, the author said she continues to be so impressed by the museum that she feels it is “the high point of the tour. It’s that good.” Mesalands community College president Phillip O. Barry said he was truly honored the author was so impressed with the Tucumcari institution. “Naturally, I am happy to hear such news,” said Barry. “And I am happy she considers the museum an important part of this wonderful tour.” Tucumcari Banker Leo Thrasher said he also was impressed with Tucumcari being the hub of the Mesalands experience as it was manifested by Evans. “I think this is an excellent thing to happen both for the city and the county,” Thrasher. Associate publisher for New Mexico Magazine Jon Bowman said he supported his writer/state employee for her selection regarding the Quay County area as a Scenic Byway.
“It is such a uniquely beautiful place,” said Bowman. “It couldn’t be ignored.”