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Billy the Kid's Cave

This cave was once named by buffalo hunters as "Los Portales"(the porch), it is now known to locals as "Billy the Kid's Cave". In Garrett's book he describes the site in 1880:

"Two springs of cool, clear, water, capable of furnishing a ample supply for at least one thousand head of cattle........bubbled up from the ledge

Billy admitted, in his letters to Governor Lew Wallace and to the Las Vegas Gazette that along with the help of Charlie Bowdre they intended to operate a stageline holding station. That was one reason why the Kid was fond of this site, the other was because it served as a base for collecting cattle that had drifted from the Texas Panhandle.At the time Billy saw these caves they stood about twelve feet high, they are now about eye level. A windmill was installed when the springs went dry due to the irrigation pumps lowering the water table. With continued lowering of the table even the windmill was abandoned.This is a fascinating site to see, because it has benn untouched by civilization. It is also a very difficult site to locate. You can find the historic marker on Highway 70 northeast of Portales.

Photos and info courtesy of Josh Slatten.