Las Vegas, NM – August 21st, 2016

So at one point in time Las Vegas must have been a big stop out West.  Apparently Roosevelt’s Rough Riders chose Las Vegas as their annual meeting spot after the Spanish American War. There is a Harvey House here, La Casteneda.  It still stands but is in the process of being restored by the same guy who restored La Posada in Winslow, Arizona.

2016-08-20 09.39.35 2016-08-21 12.56.56 The process has been in place for 2 years so far so it may be a while for you can check in.

Although if you want an interesting old hotel to stay at El Fidel is still open.

2016-08-21 13.13.24 They are also still using their Carnegie Library as a Library. I should have gone inside.

2016-08-21 13.04.30There are over 100 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places in Las Vegas. They have a classic Spanish Square although it is no were near as nice as the one in Santa Fe.  Plus one of the prettiest college campuses I’ve seen at New Mexico Highlands University. Very impressed with this small town that I’d just driven by on the highway.

Yesterday when I drove to Albuquerque I drove past Pecos National Historic Park and I turned to the radio station that told it’s story. It was talking about how there was actually a Civil War battle fought in New Mexico. Apparently, the confederates had taken over Santa Fe and Albuquerque. They were marching north to take over Fort Union when they were met by Fort Union soldiers, Colorado and New Mexico militia and defeated at the battle of Glorieta Pass.

So I had driven by the exit for the Fort Union National Monument driving into Las Vegas so I decided that I’d go check it out on Sunday. Only expecting to spend an hour there I spent 2 1/2. I got there right at 10am when the tour was leaving. So walked around the whole fort which was about a mile. Definitely getting my exercise. But man this must have been an impressive military base.

Our guide told us it was the largest military base west of the Mississippi from 1851 to 1891. 2016-08-21 09.56.13 2016-08-21 10.05.10

So the Fort was built out of Adobe Brick. They spend a tremendous amount of time making sure that the remaining Adobe doesn’t wash away. After the Fort closed and was abandoned our guide said it became the local Home Depot. People from miles around would come to the Fort to scavenge windows, treated wood, and whatever they could get their hands on to build their own homes.  2016-08-21 10.21.482016-08-21 10.24.45 2016-08-21 10.26.31

Because of that there isn’t that much left of the Fort.  The buildings had real glass windows and it’s said that you can find them in the old buildings in area towns.2016-08-21 10.45.14 2016-08-21 10.47.37 2016-08-21 10.49.57 2016-08-21 10.55.18 2016-08-21 10.55.27

Be careful walking around out there. We saw a few Bull snakes cross our path. One had a rabbit wrapped up and was starting to eat it. Our guide had said he saw a rattlesnake a couple of days ago. Still the wild west. 2016-08-21 10.55.59 2016-08-21 10.56.10 2016-08-21 10.56.18 2016-08-21 10.56.50 2016-08-21 10.56.56 2016-08-21 10.59.29 2016-08-21 11.04.26

Below is the jail. They held 5 prisoners to a cell. So this side would hold 25 prisoners and the other side would hold 25. I don’t think the cells are any bigger than 6′ X 6′.   2016-08-21 11.49.01

The Fort was built to protect people traveling on the Santa Fe trail. After the annexation of New Mexico territory there was a huge increase in the number of travelers going to Santa Fe to trade with Mexico.

Here is a picture of the Santa Fe trail.

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For a short stop I managed to fit a lot in. On to Georgetown.

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