Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fort Larned

Time for another trip to Albuquerque. With Spring weather, I wanted to play "tourist" a little on the way. Also, I have unfinished business at Palo Duro Canyon. With the help of the National Park Service I found Fort Larned National Historic Site about half-way between home and Amarillo.

Fort Larned was one of the forts guarding the Santa Fe Trail. The fort was established around 1860. The original buildings were constructed of adobe. Starting about 1866, the fort underwent a extensive construction effort. Buildings were replaced with those of sandstone and timber. Those buildings are the ones still standing at Fort Larned.

Stark contrast between the adobe ruins of Fort Union and what I saw today at Fort Larned. It was not just the construction. Fort Union had been abandoned and vandalized. Many buildings at Fort Larned were maintained and used as a ranch.

Fort Larned is a very interesting window into the life the soldiers along the Santa Fe. Most of the building are furnished with period furnishings. Many looked like the troops were just out on maneuvers, and might be returning any Day.

While in the area, stopped in at the Santa Fe Trail Center. Fort Larned tells the military story of the Santa Fe. The Santa Fe Trail Center concentrates on the transportation route, migration, and cultures.

If you find yourself in the area of Fort Larned, I recommend the Roadway Inn, Larned, KS. Room rates are reasonable. Large rooms, with mini fridge and microwave.

Today's photo was taken from the porch of the Officer's Quarters.

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