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36th Annual OIW Assembly

October 1-4, 2015

Chasing Apaches, Kit Carson, and Billy the Kid

Las Cruces, New Mexico

The 36thAnnual OIW Assembly was held in Las Cruces, New Mexico, started on September 30 , 2015, with a tour to Columbus, NM, let by Danny Martinez. Danny had 28 hardy souls that joined him on the tour. For the main OIW events starting on October 1, the bus tour guides were Ed Sweeney, Danny Aranda, Bill Cavliere & Layton Hooper. Fort Stanton, Fort Cummings, Fort Bayard and Fort Seldon were on the itinerary and the premier event was a trip through Cooke’s Canyon in four-wheel drive vehicles. There was also a visit Lincoln, New Mexico, where Billy the Kid shot his way to freedom. Lincoln is a trip back in time to the 1880s New Mexico when Lincoln was the scene of violence and greed, murder and mayhem.

Fort Stanton was abandoned to the approaching Confederate army. Kit Carson was sent to use the fort as a base to subdue the Mescalero Apaches. 

Cooke’s Canyon was one the deadliest spots in all the southwest. Only six miles in length, the canyon is littered with graves – most unmarked. The trail was the dread for every traveler on the Butterfield Stage trail. The four-hour ride was spectacular but was not for everyone – there were no bathrooms or immediate medical assistance.

The closing banquet was held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Las Cruces and Paul Hutton was the after dinner speaker.