Thursday, January 26, 2012
Fort Union and the Santa Fe Trail
On the road again - to Albuquerque. Tuesday was a long day of driving. Drove from home to Pueblo, CO (about 680 miles). Wednesday I did not get out of the room until 8am. In Raton, NM (basically the state line on I25) I found the Tourist Information and picked up some brochures.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif
While there, i asked what there would be to stop and see along by route. The suggested Ft. Union and the Turquoise Trail. Ft Union is only 8 miles off I-25.
To get to Ft. Union National Monument drive I-25 to exit 337. Take the road to West (NM 165) to the Fort. You can't miss it, because the road ends at the monument.
The fort was constructed and manned to guard the Santa Fe Trail. The trail was an important commerce route between the Indian tribes of the Southwest and the merchants to the East.
Today's photo shoes the shows the rut in he earth caused by the trail. Ruins of the Fort union Hospital was in the background.
Actually, there were 3 different Fort unions. The first 2 were temporary structures. The ruins at the monument are the remnants of the last Fort Union.
The fort had most of the materials for its construction. Sandstone was quarried in the area. Wood was available in the nearby forests. There were mud pits for adobe. In the days if the fort, there was a lake in the area. Fire break was about the only building materials transported long distant 0 that cam from the St. Louis area.
As you walk on the self-guided tour, to can see many more foundations. Unfortunately, scavengers got to Ft. union before the National Park Service aquired it and started protecting the ruins.
Check the the web sire information about Ft. Union. It was a hub of activity. A great break from the boring drive on the prairie of NE New Medico