Fort Union National Monument

I, Zeb the Duck, visited an old fort.  I went with mom and my Alaska uncle.  Located in New Mexico, Fort Union is well marked and a fascinating place.

Fort Union, NM with my Alaska uncle

Fort Union, NM with my Alaska uncle

The park rangers told us there were 3 separate forts built on this location.  The adobe ruins of the last fort and the accompanying information signs showed the officers areas, the supply areas, the animal areas and so much more.

The first Fort Union was to protect the Santa Fe Trail.  The second was to establish a Federal presence in the territory.  The third Fort Union was a Union response to the Confederate invasion.  Everyone that is interested in Civil War history should visit Fort Union.

Ruins of Fort Union.  Two previous forts were closer to mountains.

Ruins of Fort Union. Two previous forts were closer to mountains.

The Santa Fe Trail went to Fort Union.

Santa Fe Trail goes to Fort Union, NM

Santa Fe Trail goes to Fort Union, NM

We saw the ruts from the wagon traffic.  This third fort was a large supply facility for the southwest.  At one time about 5,000 soldiers lived here.

We saw the adobe ruins as we followed the trail and read the informational signs.

Adobe remains of officers quarters

Adobe remains of officers quarters

We were warned to stay on the paved walkway and to watch for rattlesnakes.  It was a sunny day.  Guess that is good for us but the snakes also like the sunshine.  We did watch but did not see any snakes.

The National Park Service tells us some amazing facts.  As I said, Fort Union provided supplies to many establishments in the southwest.  In 1868, 44 tons of bacon was brought to Fort Union in 22 wagons.  That’s a lot of bacon!

Waiting for supplies

Waiting for supplies

Also, Fort Union had the premier hospital in the region with 6 wards and 36 beds.  You could get treatment and care for 50 cents per day!

Fort Union is located in Watrous, New Mexico, on I-25.  The National Monument is about 20 miles north of Las Vegas, New Mexico and about 100 miles south of the Colorado state line.  The exit is well marked and Fort Union is easy to find.  Visit it and you will have a couple enjoyable hours.  The area has so much vacant land that I could imagine living here 150 years ago.

Visit Fort Union National Monument

Visit Fort Union National Monument

When you visit Fort Union National Monument I hope you watch the film at the Visitors Center.  And don’t miss the gift shop.   For more information visit www.nps.gov

Devils Tower Legend

We visited Devils Tower in northeastern Wyoming.

Devils Tower, Wyoming

Devils Tower, Wyoming

Yesterday I told you about our time there.  When we entered the national monument area, we were given literature from the national park service.

This legend was included from the national park service.  I love this legend.  So, I told mom that I wanted to tell all of you about this.  You may or may not have already known this, but I wanted to tell you.

The national park service brochure says:  “Eight children were there at play, seven sisters and their brother.  Suddenly the boy was struck dumb; he trembled and began to run upon his hands and feet.   His fingers became claws, and his body was covered with fur.  Directly there was a bear where the boy had been.

The bear

The bear

The sisters were terrified; they ran, and the bear after them.  They came to the stump of a great tree, and the tree spoke to them.  It bade them climb upon it, and as they did so it began to rise into the air.  The bear came to kill them, but they were just beyond its reach.  It reared against the tree and scored the bark all around with its claws.

Devils Tower Legend

Devils Tower Legend

The seven sisters were borne into the sky, and they became the stars of the Big Dipper.”

Sisters form Big Dipper

Sisters form Big Dipper

WOW!  I know I will remember this legend every time I see the Big Dipper or see a bear.  So, now you know why Devils Tower has those lines.  If only the geologists would agree.

Go to Devils Tower and experience the tranquility of the area.  You will love it there.