Friday, June 5, 2015

Santa Fe Trail--Lamar

Elks Lodge #1319
Lamar, Colorado

I forgot to mention that we were a week late in arriving here.  The Lamar Elks lodge celebrated it's 100th anniversary last weekend.

Yesterday when we drove through town, we saw a very nice looking Chamber of Commerce.  This was our first stop today.  It was a train depot at one time.  I did notice a sign that said Amtrak went through here.
Of course, before we entered the building, Bill had to stop and admire this western bronze.  

This visitor center had ladies that were volunteers.  We lucked out again.  Volunteers have a real passion to tell you everything about the area.  They didn't disappoint us.  

We were telling them how much we enjoyed Old Fort Bent and the docent that showed us around.  They said it sounded like Kit Carson's grandson who works there.

I had to ask them about the wind turbine blade that was outside the building.  They said the town was excited about the Colorado Green Wind Power Project and the Twin Buttes Wind Power Project south of town about 20 miles.  They were hoping for tours of the turbines.  When that didn't happen, they were promised "something."  The something happened to be one of the blades.  
Also on the Chamber grounds was "The Madonna of the Trail".  It is one of 12 monuments sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution.  These mark the National Old Trails.  Of particular interest to Bill and I, there is also one back near our old stomping ground in Wheeling, West Virginia.  

On the grounds also was an enchanted forest which I didn't get a photo of.
Bill said he's never seen a locomotive with white walls.

The ladies were telling us that part of the windmill blew apart in a wind storm and they were building the parts to repair it.

Can you imagine, we haven't even left the visitor center yet and we've seen all this?

Just down the street was an old gas station that was built out of petrified wood.  Which claims to be the oldest building standing.  
The sign on the front says it's in Ripley's Believe It Or Not.  It is now a used car lot.

We decided that the World War II Granada Relocation Center sounded interesting.  Knowing that it was a National Historic Site we drove the 17 miles to it.  
We've visited the one near Lone Pine, California so this was a disappointment to us.
Basically, it was a drive through many dirt roads with signs stating what was there.  

The weather forecast predicted rain showers in the afternoon but we figured we had enough time to visit the Big Timbers Museum and we could afford the $5.00 per family entrance fee.

Those of you who know Bill's background will know why he enjoyed this so much.

While they had many interesting exhibits including a large exhibit about the nearby Sand Creek Massacre, one was a highlight to Bill.

I'll just quote what they had on their brochure:

     On May 23, 1928 the First National Bank of Lamar was 
     robbed by the Fleagle gang, that also shot and killed          the bank president and his only son.  The exhibit at Big
     Timbers contains a variety of documents, photographs, 
     furniture and guns relating to the robbery and the         
     capture and subsequent demise of the gang members.  
     Of particular interest in the case is that it was the first 
     time the FBI used a single fingerprint to identify the 

There were other interesting things.

Bill said he wondered if Stu McNicols or Ed Gannon ever used this type of fire truck.

Naturally Bill enjoyed the transportation building.
 We made a quick stop in Walmart and we both observed that the people in there were normal, not your "walmart shoppers" you see in other towns.  

I had to take this photo of my favorite 4 legged friend, Hickory, who now writes her own blog.  

We'll probably head out tomorrow and spent the night in Kansas.  We'll check the weather in the morning and then decided. 

Turtle Safely..........

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