Archive for the ‘Autumn/Fall 2009’ Category

Moore, Oklahoma

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

 Oklahoma

Moore

December 16, 2009

We drove north to Moore, Oklahoma on the 13th.  Bob’s daughter, Toni,  had total knee surgery yesterday and is doing fine.  We spend mornings at the hospital and then visit the dogs and the cockatoo while Jim stays with Toni in the afternoons.

We’ll probably be here for a couple or three weeks.

Fort Washita

Friday, December 11th, 2009
Texas
 
Fort Washita

Friday, December 11, 2009

Today we had a fun road trip.  It’s interesting how it came about.  After we left Laguna Park, we stopped at a WalMart in Hillsboro, Texas.  While shopping there, I happened to see a five-part documentary about the Indian Wars.  I am always interested in history, and we are driving right through the old Indian Territory.  It was only $5 so I bought it.

This morning was a cool morning at Lake Texoma so Bob and I decided to kick back and watch the documentary.  When describing the history of the calvary, they showed where some of the forts were located.  It looked like one of the forts was near where we are staying.  I checked it out on the internet, and sure enough we are only 35 miles from old Fort Washita.  We ate lunch and were on our way.

 Fort Washita was established in 1842 near the Red River.  The Red River separates Oklahoma from Texas.  The Fort served as the U.S. Indian Agency  from 1842 and through the 1850’s.  It’s purpose was to protect the Chickasaw and Choctaw Indians from the Plains Indians in western Indian Territory. 

Guard station at Fort Washita

Guard station at Fort Washita

In April of 1861, the Fort was abandoned by U.S. forces and occupied by Confederate troops throughout the Civil War.  After the Civil War, the post became the residence for Douglas Cooper who had been the Indian Agent at Fort Washita.  When Cooper died in 1879, the Colbert family, who were Chickasaw tribal leaders, moved onto the site.  The Fort was acquired by the Oklahoma Historical Society in 1962 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965.

This old Fort site was fascinating.  I actually stood in the ruts of the old Sante Fe Wagon Train Trail.

K.C. on the Wagon Train Road

K.C. on the Wagon Train Road

Wagon Trail Ruts

Wagon Trail Ruts

 The post well was hand dug by soldiers who lined the walls with stone. 

The well at Fort Washita

The well at Fort Washita

 Bob enjoyed checking out the reproduction of a Confederate 12-pounder gun. 

Confederate 12-pounder gun

Confederate 12-pounder gun

 Most of the buildings have none of the wood structures left.  You see only rock foundations.  It is interesting to see how small the rooms were.  Nearly every room had a fireplace.

 

Commanding Officers Quarters

Commanding Officers Quarters

 

Bachelor's Barracks

Bachelor's Barracks

Kitchen

Kitchen

Latrines

Latrines

Chimney is all that remains of these Officer's Quarters

Chimney is all that remains of these Officer's Quarters

 Cooper’s cabin was a two-room, rough hewn log cabin.  Cooper was the Indian Agent at Fort Washita in the 1850’s.  He was a friend of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and was appointed Colonel of the Chickasaw/Choctaw Regiment.  Later he served as Brigadier General.  After the Civil War, he lived at Fort Washita until 1879 and was buried on the Fort grounds. 

D. H. Cooper Cabin

D. H. Cooper Cabin

The Chaplain’s Quarters was built about 1842.  It had two main rooms, two shed rooms, and a detached kitchen.  It was rebuilt in the 1930’s between the existing chimneys and is now the Visitor Center and Site Office.

Chaplain's Quarters

Chaplain's Quarters

You can still see the cobblestone road that connected most of the post buildings. 

Cobbled road

Cobbled road

The West Barracks were built in 1856 from local limestone.  The upper floors had company quarters and orderly rooms for company sergeants.  The ground floor consisted of kitchens, mess hall, and commissary storage.  After the Civil War, the Colbert family used it as their home until it burned in 1917.

West Barracks

West Barracks

Inside the West Barracks

Inside the West Barracks

Army regulations allowed for four washerwomen per company.  The washerwomen received one ration per day and a fee for laundry.  In 1854, the monthly rate was 75 cents per enlisted man.  Often the wives of enlisted men served as laundresses and the fees provided for their subsistence as enlisted men received no family allowance.

Laundry

Laundry

The South Barracks were built in 1849.  It was 120 feet long and 30 feet wide with a surrounding veranda.  Company quarters and orderly rooms were upstairs, and mess halls and commissary storage was on the first floor.  Double fireplaces separated the company rooms and the mess halls.  These barracks were reconstructed in 1972.

Bob on military road to South Barracks

Bob on military road to South Barracks

Bob inside South Barracks

Bob inside South Barracks

South Barracks fireplace

South Barracks fireplace

South Barracks Stairs

South Barracks Stairs

South Barracks Veranda

South Barracks Veranda

KC on South Barracks Veranda

KC on South Barracks Veranda

South Barracks

South Barracks

The South Barracks is rented out to groups of “reenactors.”  There was a group there while we toured the Fort.  They dress in period costumes and stay for a weekend or a week living as people did in the old days.  What a fun hobby.

c people at west barracks

c west barracks with people

d

The Fort also had a blacksmith shop, stables, a school and the Adjutant’s Office.  The is a Confederate Cemetary there.

Confederate Flag at Cemetary

Confederate Flag at Cemetary

 

c confederate cemetary

The remains of U.S. soldiers who died before the Civil War were removed to the Fort Gibson National Cemetary in the 1870’s.  A Chickasaw burial ground is located at the Fort, and there is a current civilian cemetary there also.

We headed on home, stopping at Braum’s Ice Cream for a banana split.  It was a very interesting day that we would never have experienced had I not bought the documentary about the Indian Wars. 

Laguna Park to Lake Texoma, Texas

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Texas

Laguna Park to Lake Texoma

Thursday, December 10, 2009

We spent a few days in Laguna Park, Texas visiting with our friends Rusty and Pat and having our motorhome repaired.  Once again the exhaust manifolds had cracked and were leaking.  We just had them replaced last year, but hopefully this repair job with the right parts will last.

Today we left Laguna Park and after a stop at WalMart, we headed north on I 35 west.  At Gainesville, Texas, we turned east on Highway 82 to Whitesboro and then turned north on highway 733 to the Thousand Trails RV Park just a couple of miles south of the Oklahoma border.  Lake Texoma is a huge lake on the Red River which separates Oklahoma and Texas.  We’ve been to this park before and really like it.

Our campsite at Lake Texoma Thousand Trails RV Park

Our campsite at Lake Texoma Thousand Trails RV Park

Patriotic Patty

Patriotic Patty

 Check out the stuff in this tree.  Do you know what it is?

mistletoe

Did you know it is mistletoe?  Mistletoe is a parasite that grows in trees.  You see it everywhere down here.

We’ll be here at Lake Texoma until Sunday.  Then we’ll head on up to Moore, Oklahoma.

Pecos to Laguna Park

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

Texas

Pecos to Laguna Park

December 5, 2009

We had plans to leave the rest area near Pecos, Texas and drive to a rest area east of Abilene.  Unfortunately, as we accelerated out of the rest area in the morning we heard a new noise in the motorhome.  Bob said it sounded like an exhaust leak.

Last winter when we were staying at Laguna Park, Texas with our friends Pat and Rusty, we found a mechanic who does good work on our motorhome.  Since we were only 150 miles from Laguna Park, we decided to take a right at Eastland, Texas and head down highway 6 to Pat and Rusty’s house.

Before leaving the freeway, we passed through Odessa and Midland, Texas.  These two cities are all about the oil and natural gas.  We could see a tall flame miles and miles off into the distance.  Bob says that either a well has caught fire or they are burning off poisonous gasses.

Oil well on fire near Odessa, Texas

Oil well on fire near Odessa, Texas

 

flame on

flame on

And, of course, Windy the Turbine continues to travel with us.

The ubiquitos wind turbine

The ubiquitos wind turbine

 The trip was uneventful and the day was long.  We pulled into Pat and Rusty’s about 7 p.m.  We’ll catch up with the mechanic tomorrow.  Hopefully he can work us in this week.

We’re heading out to our favorite Mexican restaurant for lunch – Monte’s.  You won’t find better Mexican food anywhere.

Las Cruces, New Mexico to Pecos, Texas

Friday, December 4th, 2009

New Mexico to Texas

Las Cruces to just west of Pecos

December 4, 2009

We spent the night at a rest area just west of Las Cruces, New Mexico.  We woke up this morning to about three inches of snow. 

Rest area west of Las Cruces, New Mexico

Rest area west of Las Cruces, New Mexico

 We were surprised to learn that Patty loves the snow.  She frisks about happily when we take her out in the cold, white stuff.

Patty and pickup in the snow
Patty and the pickup in the snow

The  rest area has a cool roadrunner statue. Check it out in the snow.

Snowy road runner

Snowy roadrunner

 This rest area overlooks Las Cruces.  Notice  a very quiet I 10 in the distance.

Icy I 10

Icy I 10

 Bob checkout out the equipment while I took pictures.  Patty admired the snow.

Bob checking out the snowy equipment

Bob checking out the snowy equipment

 patty looking at snow

Snowy trees at rest area west of Las Cruces, New Mexico

Snowy trees at rest area west of Las Cruces, New Mexico

Winter Cactus

Winter Cactus

Bob in snow

Bob in snow

Patty likes snow

Patty likes snow

The freeway west of where we spent the night was closed down, but it was open to the east.  By about 9 a.m. the east bound freeway was decent so we headed on out.   We drove to Anthony, Texas and stopped at a Flying J to gas up.  We were surprised to see that the RV gas pumps were closed down, as was the propane filling station.  Bob went in to ask why and they told him that they were closed due to snow and ice.  This is how bad the snow and ice was at that place and that time.  Someone should send these people a wintertime picture from a Flying J up on I 90.

Too much snow and ice?  Holy smokes.

Too much snow and ice? Holy smokes!

 We continued onward along I 10 enjoying a view of snow covered Mexico.

Snowy Mexico

Snowy Mexico

I 90 leaves El Paso, Texas and climbs east up to about 4400 feet.  They received three or four inches of snow up there, also.  The roads were bare when we went through but they had been snowy and icy overnight.  We saw signs of a wreck about every mile.  In fact, Bob watched a car slide into the ditch and at that point in time the roads were only wet.  Of course, the speed limit is 80 mph for cars in Texas…

 

 

 

Dealing with snow wrecked trucks

Dealing with snow wrecked trucks

As we traveled on east, the mountains ahead were all covered with snow.

Heading east on I 10

Heading east on I 10

We continued on to where I20 branches off of I 10.  We drove on east on I 20 and stopped at a picnic area just west of Pecos, Texas.   Although the roads are clear, there is still plenty of snow here for Patty to enjoy.

CIMG0024

K.C. and Patty at rest area just west of Pecos, Texas

K.C. and Patty at rest area just west of Pecos, Texas

Tomorrow should be a better day.  Temperatures are supposed to be in the 40’s.  ACKKKK!  The 40’s?!!!!?????

 

 

 

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