Sci-Fi! What? While "California Rifles" is out for edit, I decided to explore a different genre. I am writing a science fiction short story. Part of the story takes place in Camp Saturnino, New Mexico. Saturnino—isn’t that a great name for a sci-fi scene? Camp Saturnino is located 60 miles west of the infamous Hangar 84 at Roswell Army Airfield.
Today, Camp Saturnino is managed by the U.S. Forest Service as Baca Campground. It is a serene campground at the foot of the Capitan Mountains in the Lincoln National Forest. Baca Campground is chocked full of history: a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp, a young women’s job-skills academy, and a Japanese immigrant detention facility. It has also been known as CCC Camp F-17-N, Old Camp Raton, Old Raton Ranch, and Camp Capitan.
The camp’s namesake, Saturnino Baca, was a prominent citizen of Lincoln County in the 1870s and beyond. During the American Civil War, Baca served as a lieutenant in the Union’s 1st New Mexico Cavalry Regiment. In 1866, he was promoted to captain and served briefly as the commanding officer of Fort Stanton. He left the army and became a sheep rancher. On July 11, 1889, he was shot by cattlemen in an apparent grazing rights dispute, which caused his right arm to be amputated. Baca died in 1925. I’m not sure of his relationship to the camp that was named after him; the 22-acre site was deeded to the U.S. government two years after his death in 1927.
When cowboy William M. Crow purchased the “old Raton ranch in Lincoln county from [sheep rancher] Martine Chaves” in April 1914 it was described as:
Here is a U.S. Forest Service summary of Camp Saturnino’s history:
I camped at the Baca Campground in May 2023. It is a primitive, spacious site off U.S. Highway 380 between the towns of Capitan and Lincoln, New Mexico. The access road is a 5.3-mile, dirt road that is passable in a compact car if nature has been recently kind. I saw deer, elk, fox, and bighorn sheep in the vicinity of the campground. One of the highlights is the chimney that was built in the 1930s. If you’re curious, check out my 6+ minute video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Gv_2Eo_9yDw.
So, back to my story… the protagonists rescue a creature from Hangar 84. They hightail it to Camp Saturnino where they learn that they have more in common with the creature than they expected. Then, they head to China where… never mind, you’ll have to read the story after it’s published.
 “Another Cowardly Affair in Lincoln—Saturnino Baca Shot,” Santa Fe Daily New Mexican, August 12, 1889, p. 4, col. 4 (accessed on 6/23/2023, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84020631/1889-08-12/ed-1/seq-4/).
 Diane Stallings, “Two Historical Markers slated for Lincoln County,” Ruidoso News, July 30, 2015 (accessed on 6/23/2023, https://www.ruidosonews.com/story/news/local/lincoln/2015/07/30/two-historical-markers-slated-lincoln-county/71568900/).
 “Cowboy Buys Cattle Ranch in Lincoln County,” El Paso Herald, April 28, 1914, p. 10, col. 3 (accessed on 6/23/2023, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88084272/1914-04-28/ed-1/seq-10/).
 Santa Fe Daily New Mexican, April 18, 1895, p. 4, col. 3 (accessed on 6/23/2023). https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84020631/1895-04-23/ed-1/seq-4/).
 “Recovering History through Metal Detection,” U.S. Forest Service, September 28, 2018 (accessed 6/23/2023, https://www.fs.usda.gov/inside-fs/delivering-mission/deliver/recovering-history-through-metal-detection).