The 35th parallel railroad surveyors began in Fort Smith, Akansas and traveled west, entering New Mexico via the valley of the Canadian River. They continued west to the small Mexican settlement of Anton Chico, pausing to enjoy a Mexican “fandango”. From there they headed west toward Albuquerque. Whipple and a few of the party took a detour north and visited the interesting little village of LaCuesta.
September 29 – …The view from this point was singular and beautiful. A cultivated valley, about a mile wide, was enclosed between bluffs five hundred feet in height. The town, with its plaza and church, rested at the foot of the opposite cliff, and the tortuous river, with a border of trees, wound through rich meadows and fields of ripe corn.
(This town is now called Villanueva and is located on the Pecos River about 45 miles southeast of Santa Fe, New Mexico -ed.)