Our blog is to keep family and friends informed of our motorhome journeys.
We have dreamed of this for many years and finally our dream has come true.
We are looking forward to many happy miles ahead.
One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. Henry Miller.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Pecos NHP-Fort Lewis and Pecos Pueblo Ruins

27 August 2019

After departing Taos and lunch at the Guadalajara Cafe  our final stop was the Pecos NHP off IH25 exit 307. Located in the park are the remains of Fort/Camp Lewis, Battle of Glorieta Battlefield signage and remains of Pueblo Mission.

Park Entrance

Glorieta Battlefield Signage


Camp Lewis was established in 1862 and abandoned after 3 days as a  Union camp near Pecos NM and now located in the Pecos NHP on the Santa Fe Trail. It was occupied prior to the Battle of Glorieta Pass by members of the First Colorado Volunteers and one company of New Mexico Volunteers.

Confederate troops occupied Johnson's Ranch at Canoncito and used it as their supply depot and headquarters. When the location was discovered, a command of 400 Union men attacked and burned the Confederates train of 80 supply weapons forcing the Confederates to retreat and back to Texas.

The adjacent Kozlowski's Stage Station was used as a field hospital for 8-10 weeks afterward.

Trading Post Used as Hospital for Union Forces

Site of Fort Lewis

In 1941 Buddy Fogelson purchased the ranch and expanded it to 13,000 acres. In 1949 he married Greer Garson and they actively supported preservation of the area.. In 1991 Greer Garson sold the property  to the Conservation Fund who donated it to the National Park Service.

Returning  back to the Visitor Center we took the path up to the Pueblo ruins. Of course first signage was Rattlesnake warning. Almost turned back, but John persuaded me to continue and glad I did. When we got to the top,saw there was another parking lot adjacent to  the ruins.

Pecos Pueblo (1350-1838)was built on a high ridge and grew into one of the largest and most powerful pueblos and home to 2,000 people.Life at the pueblo was rooted in customs, religious beliefs,farming; however, warfare was common with over 500 warriors in domination. In 1541 Spain sought to colonize and convert the tribe to Catholicism. In the process Franciscan Friars destroyed the kivas, statues and banned Pueblo ceremonies. In 1621 under the direction of Fray Andres Juarez a large mission church was built. By 1680, years of Spanish control,disease, famine and Apache  raids brought about decrease in population of the Pueblo people. The church at  Pecos was destroyed in 1680. In 1717 Spaniards and Puebloans  built a smaller church on the site of the one that had been destroyed. Comanche raids, drought, disease and migration greatly decreased the population and in 1786 a peace treaty was signed. Descendants of Pecos Pueblo moved on  to Jemez Pueblo.

Below are photos of the remains of the Church and Convento and the Pueblo. On going archaeology is continuing. If in the area strongly recommend this a stop. We discovered the ruins by accident as objective was the fort.

Map of Ruins

Church Signage

Remains of Church


Another view of Church


John at Entrance to Church

Signage & Another View


Signage of People


Fort Burgwin-SMU Campus Taos NM

20 August 2019

Our objective today was to drive up to Taos and Santa Fe to visit forts Burgwin on the SMU Campus in Taos and Camp Lewis in the Pecos NHP near Santa Fe. Will write separate blog on Camp Lewis.

Fort Burgwin has been reconstructed and sits on 423 acres near the town of Taos. The SMU Campus offers courses during the summer and winter breaks that encourages experiential learning and interdisciplinary collaboration in the arts,sciences, business and other disciplines for adventurous learners. The campus also offers an Archaeology field school and cultural institute.

Fort Burgwin was a US Army fort established in 1852 to protect the Taos Valley from Utes and Jicarilla Apaches and named for Capt John HK Burgwin in honor of his death 1847 while fighting the Siege of Pueblo de Taos. The fort is best known for the Battle of Cieneguilla in 1854 between the Jicarilla Apache and 1st Cavalry. In 1860 it was abandoned. In 1957 reconstuction was started and continued until 2004. These new structures are known as the Fort Burgwin Research Center.

The buildings now serve as classrooms, offices and housing.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Arrival Kirkland AFB-Albuquerque

22 August 2019

275 miles drive down IH25 to Albuquerque and Kirkland AFB. Weather very hot in the 100's and we were afraid that since they don't take reservations, we would have to go into drycamp,. Fortunately we got a very good site #64 at a bargain rate of $18/day and we will be here 11 nights. This is our 3rd stay with last two in 2013 and 2015.

Site #64

Walking the campground couldn't believe the rig I saw...a converted semi. Our neighbor showed me interior photos from magazine article. Owner did all the conversion and it is quite impressive with lots of room. Personally, I would like to have more windows. They really turn heads when coming on the bases and having to explain it is not a commercial truck, but their RV.

Our friends Ken and Connie that we met at Wright Patterson AFB in September 2010, when we were there in 2015, recommended the Owl Cafe on Eubank just across IH40. Had to persuade John to go go for dinner knowing how he feels about Oscar the owl..hee hee. Oscar and I have a conversation everyday.


Cade showed his backup market Hog, Tom at the Oregon State Fair as well as two breeders. Good job, Cade.

Hope sent photo of Airbnb. Very cute. Think it is in Utah.

We went to Camping World to purchase new water pump for John to install so he spent several hours on Friday installing it.Another good job, my dear.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Francisco Fort and Colorado Sand Dunes

21 August 2019

Today our objective was to visit Francisco Fort and Museum in La Veda,Co as the last time we were here the Museum was closed. It is a 50 mile drive up IH25 to exit 249 and west on Hwy 160 to Hwy 12 South. La Veta is a small, charming community in the Cuchara Valley and at the base of the Twin Peaks in the San Isabel National Forest.

Francisco Fort is an original adobe plaza built in1862 by Col John M Francisco, the sutler at Fort Garland and his business partner, Henry Daigre. They purchased 48,000 acres as part of the Vigil land grant. The fort/plaza has been in continuous use since it was abandoned a a fort in 1866 housing artifacts,collections of Hispanic and Native American cultures. Historic buildings on the property are 1890's saloon,1876 log school house,1855 blacksmith shop and other buildings.

1878 Cottonwood Tr

It was built as a one story structure enclosing three sides of a 100ft square with the 4th side  stockaded. Later it became the local Denver and Rio Grande Railroad terminal in 1876.

The Museum houses many displays pertaining to the history of the town and fort. Below are just a few.

Dining Room

School House 1876

Sutler's Store

Blacksmith Shop

Children's Playroom

Master Bedroom



On the way up we stopped at the Ludlow Massacre Memorial Site at exit 27. I wrote about this on my blog about visiting the Pueblo Museum 27 July 2019. The massacre took place in 1914 and involved the Colorado Coalfield Strike.

After visiting La Veta we decided since it was only 60 miles away to visit the Colorado National Sand Dunes via Hwy 160 west and Hwy 150 north. Somehow I thought you could drive through the park only to find that this is only possible if you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle as many of the roads are primitive. However, the dunes are only a small portion of the park and visible from the entrance to the visitor center. Weather was getting cloudy and rain as we left the park teemed on us. The park features a camping ground, hiking and biking trails.

Did laundry on our return and later discovered that the water pump was not working. Anther project for John. He still believes the Owl is bringing us bad luck.

Tomorrow we leave for Kirkland AFB in Albuquerque.