NOTE TO READERS: THIS POST IS FROM FIRE SEASON 2021.
With Beatty’s Cabin unfortunately in the news — threatened this June by the Rincon Fire on the east side of the Pecos Wilderness — I went to the bookshelf for my prized first edition of this Pecos classic.
Here is a fine (linked) profile of the author, famed New Mexico game warden and lifelong Pecos hunter, fisherman and trail rider Elliott S. Barker, by historian Marc Simmons. I was fortunate to interview Barker for the Santa Fe New Mexican in 1976, then having to walk only from the New Mexican newsroom on East Marcy Street to Barker’s home on East Palace Avenue to track him down. I’m afraid the occasion was the death of Smokey Bear. Barker was 89 at the time. Smokey was 26. (In case links to New Mexican story aren’t working, see screenshots below).
Here’s the cabin’s namesake, George Beatty, from the page’s of Barker’s book. I never felt the need to carry bear knives on my trips through the Pecos, but this photograph has been in my head most my of my life.
Here is a map of the June 2021 Rincon Fire area in the Pecos. “The lightning-caused Rincon Fire was reported on June 11 roughly 2 miles east of Hamilton Mesa and 6 miles northwest of the village of Upper Rociada in the Pecos Wilderness on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District,” the Forest Service said. The fire was about 500 acres in size on June 15.
The Rincon Fire is not far from the Barker family ranch in Sapello Canyon, where Barker grew up.
Story from Santa Fe New Mexican, Nov. 14, 1976, below. (Don’t know how Barker’s first name was incorrectly spelled with one “t.” Sorry).