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The Small Town Way

For Nikki Boxler, The Small Town Way, is the only way. Her sort of story is one typically seen on the front page of the local newspaper, smudged in somewhere between the current events column and the printed buck pole photos.

It’s a modest story, with humble beginnings. But sometimes even the humblest beginnings lead to the grandest finales.

The Small Town Way

Somehow, a 2,000 mile trip from her family’s dairy farm outside of Buffalo, NY to Quemado, NM wasn’t a huge departure for Nikki. Sure, distance separates the two towns. So does a bit of dust and a stampede of tumbleweeds. But the culture, well, there’s not a whole lot of difference there. The Small Town Way can be found in every corner of America, from coast to coast. For example, friendly faces help visitors find their way when they need it. Handshakes still mean something. The sun is the only time clock needed. Locals hang out under the stars instead of the strip mall, and every household has a different Winchester for each day of the week.

Nikki was looking forward to a break from the every day grind. Farm life has kept her plenty busy this year. Tending to the cattle, turning sap into syrup, and wiping the sweat from her brow. You know, the usual. She was eager to hit the outskirts of Quemado, where the sun hangs high and the elk outnumber the people. Quick as the desert mercury climbs, she was off to the Land of Enchantment.

Waiting for her there were a handful of good ‘ole folks. Likeminded in their ways, and equipped with all of the simple answers Nikki needed to make this trip as memorable as it could be. She was itchin’ to start the stalk, but first she decided to chew the fat with the locals. If she felt homesick at all, it wasn’t for long. Carlton Armstrong quickly welcomed her into the Country Store for a history lesson, where Nikki was reminded that these local Mom and Pop shops anchor tight knit communities across the nation. After a quiet morning with the townspeople, it was off to the backcountry, where Nikki met up with her guide Ramone.

Nikki on her horse

Ramone had a surprise in store, when he took Nikki to the local cattle ranch to do some wrangling and riding with some real life cowboys. Much like down-home, there’s never a shortage of cattle to bring ‘round in Quemado. Anticipation built as the sun set on her first day in New Mexico. Just outside the city limits, lived a whole new world of endless opportunity. Where the hills role and the bulls roar. Where the only thing longer than the hikes are the shadows during the Golden Hour. It’s time for Nikki to see if she can tie up with a bull of a different breed.

Watch the related Winchester Life episode.

Nikki Boxler
Nikki Boxler
Nikki Boxler grew up on a large dairy farm in Western New York and continues to reside there today. This setting has shaped her love of the outdoors and is how she developed a passion which drives her to spend as much time hunting and fishing as possible. For her, hunting is not about the kill, it is about the experience, the memories, the moments and having fun. Her most memorable adventures take place not only in the woods but also around the grill. Nikki thoroughly enjoys her role as co-host of Winchester Life.