Monday, June 1, 2015

Another Good Detour

NRA Whittington Center Campgrounds
Raton, New Mexico
Site #51

We awoke to another beautiful perfect day and before we knew it we were ready to head north.  Bill drove today and I pointed out all the pronghorns in the fields.  I only saw one while I was driving yesterday but he saw a lot more.

We hadn't been on the road for long, when we saw a sign for Fort Union.  The truck just automatically turned off the highway and headed for it.  We had to check out the ruts from the Santa Fe Trail.  We've seen a lot of the Oregon Trail ruts, but for some reason not very many parts of the Santa Fe Trail.  

It was 6 miles back on a very narrow road, but no traffic.  Bill and I both saw a Gazelle on the side of the road and commented how beautiful he was.  We both forgot about taking a photo of it.

You can see for miles and miles.  The wildflowers were so pretty.

Fort Union National Monument didn't have designated RV parking but Bill managed to park the rig sideways in the auto parking.  There was plenty so I'm sure we didn't bother the car drivers.  

The park ranger played a very good video on the story of the three forts that were here.

It was a mile and half walk around the ruins but we got to see all three sites.  The First Fort Union was established in 1851-1861.  It was a key station on the Santa Fe Trail.  

Between 1861-1862 a second Fort Union was built to defend the Santa Fe Trail against a a threatened Confederate invasion.  

We walked on The Santa Fe Trail.

These were the officers quarters.
This is the 36 bed hospital.  It was one of the best hospitals in the west.
The military prison was one of the last buildings to be built.
The third and last fort was erected between 1863 and 1869 and flourished until the railroad reached Las Vegas in 1879.

It was such a beautiful day around 70 degrees and just a perfect day for a short hike around the grounds.  
This is a famous landmark for the Santa Fe Trail--wagon mound. 

Back on the highway we noticed some black clouds in the west.  Pretty soon, we saw a lot of lightning.  No problem we were only going 106 miles and we were more than halfway there.

We kept thinking we'd beat the rain.  Our destination was the NRA Whittington Center campground.  Notice the 50 state flags along the entrance. 

So what do you think, did we beat the rain?  Well if registration hadn't taken so long, and you didn't have to drive too far to the campground we would have been dry.  As we left the registration booth, the rain started.  The roads are all dirt and I couldn't even estimate how many miles we drove to the campground.  We just hooked up the electric and leveled up.  My shirt was dry, but there was a lot of mud.  Of course as soon as we went inside it quit and the sun came out.  

I counted 5 different campgrounds besides the cabins.  The setting is beautiful and yes, they did warn us about the black bears here.  

Our site is a pull thru 50 amp full hook ups.  I think someone told me it is on 52 acres.  

Turtle Safely.........

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