Wagon Wheel, New Mexico
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To those who live in Wagon Wheel, you have my apologies. I don't know you, and this may come off as cruel, but I just couldn't resist sharing the mystery, which seems perfectly matched with the tone and purpose of ArcanaWiki

Basic Information

About half an hour's drive East from Albuquerque, New Mexico is a little spec of a town called Wagon Wheel. It's on I-40, between Moriarty, New Mexico and Clines Corners, New Mexico, in the shadow of what Albuquerqueans call "The East Mountains".

Back when I lived in New Mexico, I used to drive by it quite often, and it always made me wonder. The town was maybe 4 to 6 buildings, but had more than 50 cars (I'm pretty confident it was more than 100, but I never actually stopped to count them) were parked at the most visible property. The first time we passed it, I thought there was some sort of event going on, a family reunion or town festival or something, because why else would there be so many cars for so few buildings. Every time we'd drive by, though, the cars were always there, and I never saw any people outside.

Just down the road about a mile past the town is a public rest area. Over the years, as we passed by, I'd make jokes about Wagon Wheel, or comment how one of these days I need to work it into a Role-Playing Game. I'd give it the From Dusk Till Dawn treatment, with a community of vampires or serial killers or some other nastiness that would prey upon those foolish enough to stop at that rest area. "They take the cars as trophies", I'd propose. Talking about it was a macabre way to pass the time on a long car ride.

This morning, I happened to think about it, and what a great ArcanaWiki page it would make.


Of course, for this Arcana Wiki page, I'd want to give a fair presentation of the town, even while hinting at something more sinister. So, I tried to google up some information on Wagon Wheel. Unfortunately, what little I found didn't help me get a true picture of the town. In fact, what little information there was just heightens the mystery.

Viva New Mexico has a page on Wagon Wheel, where they mention that it doesn't appear on any maps, nor in any phone books. Their theory: Wagon Wheel is a Spy. I'm not kidding, go read the page.

Google Maps doesn't show it as a town. Someone has been kind enough to add a landmark to the map, named Wagon Wheel, with no further information. There is, however, an entry for Wagon Wheel Towing in nearby Moriarty, which could be the logical and mundane explanation for why there were so many cars. I just don't recall any signs about a towing service, despite passing Wagon Wheel numerous times over the years.

A non-map google search for Wagon Wheel only turned up one other mention of Wagon Wheel, that being someone's myspace page, supposedly an 89-year-old who lives there. I note that her page says "Who I'd like to meet: … Can always use a like-minded partner in crime. Bail money doesn't hurt either."

Other than that, all the top entries were for pictures of wagon wheels, places called "The Wagon Wheel Cafe" or "Wagon Wheel Campground". All such spots are nowhere near Wagon Wheel, New Mexico. It's almost like the town doesn't exist. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes…

Game and Story Use

  • It could be a creepy or supernatural place, like my initial vampire and serial killer ideas.
    • Perhaps this is the place where the Bloody Benders settled to get out of the public eye.
    • Maybe it's a way station on the road to El Rey.
    • Wagon Wheel is a spy - it's a secret Majestic 12 listening post. It's a park and ride for the covert underground train that connects to Roswell, New Mexico and Dulce Base.
  • A possible character back story - as a child, your folks loaded up the station wagon and took a road trip vacation - maybe down to Carlsbad Caverns? - but the only part of the trip you remember was the night you stopped at a little rest area just outside Clines Corners. Memories of that night have haunted you ever since.
    • That's the one reason you almost passed on the current job or mission, because that job is taking you back to New Mexico.
  • Here's a completely different background element: your character could be from Wagon Wheel, and really pissed off at idiots on the internet (like myself) slinging mud and starting Urban Legends about your home town.
    • Once again, I'm sorry. I'm sure you've got a nice little town there, and it's nowhere near as sinister as this page suggests. This is a site about adapting the real world for use in role-playing games and stories, so showcasing the strange and dramatic is what we do.
  • Maybe Wagon Wheel is a sister city for Bielefeld, Germany
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