Above: Broc and Danielle Bruton explore the landscape near the Plains of San Agustin and the Datil Mountains. Broc’s family has ranched on the Plains of San Agustin for many generations.

March 1952

West of the Magdalena lie the Plains of San Augustin. This flat, lonesome land was dreaded by Spanish padres, trappers, and cowmen. Live oak and cedar melt quickly into grassy prairies. The treeless vastness gives you a feeling of unbearable loneliness. Here and there you do see a windmill pumping hard in the breeze. After about thirty miles you see hints of low-timbered hills and then the forested Datils beyond.

So this little settlement with the pretty Spanish name has through the years been a kind of jumping-off place for adventure. Like any early-day town of the West, it had its outlaws and its men of independence and courage. Today, Magdalena is still an Old West town. And you can still find adventure back in its rock-made hills and mountains. There are Indian ruins to discover, the Alamo Navajos, and big-game hunting. Or just the big outdoors to explore. Magdalena lies 27 colorful miles west of Socorro on U.S. 60.