This town just west of the Texas border on Highway 84 is the home of the Norman Petty Studios, where the late Buddy Holly recorded many of his most famous rock 'n' roll hits in the late 1950s. The studio is still in use—LeAnn Rimes recorded "Blue" there in 1996—and can be toured by appointment. The Clovis Music Festival in July pays tribute to the town's musical heritage and offers concerts by big-name acts. Oasis State Park, a popular lake in the midst of the eastern New Mexico desert, is found 15 mi/25 km southwest of Clovis.

Fort Sumner, about 55 mi/90 km west of Clovis, is known as the place where Pat Garrett shot Billy the Kid in 1881. You can still visit the Kid's grave, which is notable for the iron cage that surrounds it: The tombstone has been stolen on several different occasions, although it was recovered each time. There's a museum about the Kid next to the cemetery. Also in town is the Fort Sumner State Monument. The 1862 fort no longer exists, but a visitors center marks the site where the U.S. government tried to resettle members of the Navajo and Apache tribes in the 1860s (an experiment that failed). Fort Sumner is worth a stop if it's on your way, but don't make a special trip. Clovis is 200 mi/320 km east of Albuquerque.

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