Saturday, July 9, 2016
Sunday, January 17, 2016
Then of course our main reason for going to Amarillo – Palo Duro Canyon State Park. The place is really something, I have told people I was really worried as we had just come from mountains and canyons and all I was seeing was flat fields, so where is a canyon. I describe it as, you know when you get so mad and punch a hole in the wall and that sheetrock in the
The land was donated by a private owner in 1933 and the CCC sent in seven companies of men and veterans to develop the roads to the canyon floor, the visitor center, cabins, trails, and the park. It is truly a beautiful park and another one of our bucket list items completed. Below are our pictures of the canyon and the wildlife we saw while there. It was neat seeing the deer and turkeys just wandering through the campgrounds.
Friday, January 15, 2016
with breakfast at one of the places on the square and what a great breakfast. We certainly got our fill for the day! The restaurant was filled with visitors from everywhere as well as lot of locals so it really was a good choice for us.
|Orgin of the Chapel|
|Inside of the Chapel|
|Staircase as it sits today|
|Picture of the original staircase|
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
The park was located down in a canyon along the Pecos River, it was a very interesting beautiful drive down a two lane road along the river to the park. What I did not realize was that once you got down into the canyon there was no phone service, no internet service or any type of TV service, local or via satellite as the cliff blocked all. This turned into one of the most peaceful, relaxing week we had on our trip though. The park was beautiful with trails down the river.
Our visit to the Pecos National Historical Park was more than I had expected. I was looking for the Glorieta Battlefield (where a battle during the civil war took place) but also found the park consisted of several Puebloan sites, Santa Fe Trail ruts and the old Kozlowski’s Stage Stations which was a tavern and watering stop
The ruins at the visitor center is a location where some of the first Puebloans around 1100 started building their rock and mud villages. Over two dozen villages were built over the area during the next two centuries. The area grew and more than 2000 Pueblo Indians lived there during its history as they moved in closer together due to the increase of the plain Indians. The villages were built up on the mountain top so they could better see any
enemies advancing upon them. Storage areas for food was built under ground in what was called kivas; many of the kivas were also used as ceremonial kivas. With the introduction of the Franciscan priest, they were taught how to cultivate the land and the priest also had them build some of the most impressive mission in the area. One of these were in the ruins and was one of the most imposing in New Mexico, with towers, buttresses and great pine long beams that were hauled from the mountains.
When silver was discovered and the struggles between the church and civil officials emerged for the Indian laborer, loyalty from the Indians started to suffer and they started fighting to take back their land and send the Spaniard back to Mexico destroying the missions and all that the Spaniards had them built. In taking control of the missions the Indians showed their discontent and built a forbidden kiva in the mission’s convento itself.
Walking through the ruins of what was once a great village was interesting. The history that you are taught while young and in school does not come close the the reality of what you see in these different places and looking upon the land. Taking the time to sit and just listen to the land and look from where we came is amazing and it makes you wonder why we don’t appreciate it more. History has a way of repeating itself and we really need to take the time to look and listen to the lessons of our ancestors so we do not make the same mistakes they did in letting outsiders come in and take control. Okay enough of my personal opinions. Here are more pictures of the ruins, hope you enjoy.
On the flip side of this National park was the Glorieta Battleground. This battle has been described as the west version of the Gettysburg Battle during the Civil War. I was personally disappointed in what we saw. The battle took place March 26-26, 1862 and really was a indecisive battle as neither side won or lost. In short the confederates made plans to raise a force of Texans and invade New Mexico to capture military supplies from Union forts in New Mexico. They had also hopes to recruit the miners in the area to the Confederacy and then they could take the ports in California and the South would then have a blockade free international trade. The Union found out about the plans and had the governors of New Mexico and Colorado to organize volunteers to assist in stopping the Confederates. Essentially what happen as both sides found out about each other and the battle began they destroying each others supplies and blocking the supply routes therefore neither were able to get supplies, food and/or other necessary items needed. As supplies ran out and the men grew tired, two weeks after the last battle both sides retreated back to their respective forts.
The area of the battle now is overgrown but there are hiking trails through the battlefield for those that want to take them. You must first visit the Visitor Center at thee ruins so that you can get the code to enter the area though. There is a 2.25 mile trail around the field and a short 1/2 mile round trip trail for those that just want to get an idea of the area.
There is a landmark that has been placed in memory of those soldiers who lost their life during the battle. Again you have to asked about its location and it is a drive from the park to find. I was disappointed in the care and preservation of this battle and the battleground, but was glad that we went.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Rick and Pat had to work the last few days we were in Colorado Springs so Fred and I headed out by ourselves. One of the places I wanted to go was to see the the wolves, so we headed out to the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center. The center was really a fabulous place and one that I truly enjoyed. I have loved wolves for years and this place really puts them into perspective.
The center started because the owner saw a wolf-dog that was to be euthanized at the local animal shelter and despite her fear of wolves, she took the dog home. From this she learned of the problems for wolf-dogs and open a recuse shelter for them and injured wolves. We had a friend that had a wolf-dog and Marley was one of the best, friendly, loyal, and loving dogs I have ever know. The center is full of wolves that they have rescued from injury and/or death. Some are very socialized and others are not; they have maintained their habitat as if they were still wild. Those that are socialized are available for tours in which you can go out and sit with them, have your picture taken and pet them. You are given special instructions as they are still wild wolves so you have to learn about their habits and nature in order to not upset them.
We did the standard tour and were guided through the park being shown all the different wolves and were give an explanation of each. We got to see them up close or at least as close as they would come. Really wolves are not fond of people and will stay away from them but with them being in this controlled area and used to the guides bring them food they would come to the fence for their treats. At the end of the tour we were told about how they communicate and about their howl. The guide told us how to howl and we all did at one time and as soon as we finished our howl the wolves through out the park howled back. It was really cool. One of the wolves that they had recused belonged to one of these companies that breed wolves for picture taking purposes like for calendars and such. It had been born with a defect and was not developing so they were going to put it down. Once the shelter heard about it they got the company to give them the wolf and a vet discovered the problem was due to a vitamin defect took care of the problem. The wolf developed to one of the best looking wolf they have. The company tried to buy him back but, of course, was told no. This is the best shot I could get of him as he was laying down in the back and I just could not get a good angle on him. He was beautiful. If you get the chance to visit the center, do so, as they are a non-profit center and only survive by donations and the tours they do. It is well worth your time. Oh they also have some very cute foxes at the front and other animals, but the wolves are the center.
Here are the other pictures I took of the wolves and the area, hope you enjoy. I have also given you the link to their webpage if you would like to learn more about the center and/or donate.Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center - Website
Saturday, September 26, 2015
Our next stop was at the Colorado Spring Pioneers Museum. It is in the old El Paso County Courthouse which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. They have preserved one of the old courtrooms, which those that know me, I was interested in. It was really neat. The museum is full of lot history from the early Indians in the area to western exploration and early settlers to the recent Waldo Canyon Fire where a lot of the area was destroyed.
They have even taken Helen Hunt’s house and moved into the museum and staged it as it was when she lived there. It was truly a unique place to visit.
The walk through the museum is worth the cost as it is by donation only and is very interesting. If you are in the area go walk through this old courthouse/museum.
From the museum we went to the Air Force Academy. This was one of those places I really wanted to take the time to see. It is in a beautiful setting and has a lot of great history. The visitor center takes you through the years of a cadet and show activities of the academy.Then there was the dorms and all the cadets
Lets not forget the chapel – talk about a unique and beautiful place
Each belief had their own chapel so they made sure all faiths were covered.
It was a neat visit and I am glad we took the time to see it.