Friday, April 11, 2008

Leasburg and Fort Selden, Wow!

This is my one hundredth post, just thought I'd mention that.

Do I ever love being out on the road. In the immortal words of Kurt Vonnegut, who left us one year ago today . . .

"We are here on Earth to fart around, don't let anybody tell you different"

Taking those wise words to heart, we are having the time of our lives.

Just yesterday a lovely couple walked by and asked if the spot next to us was open, and we said yep, so they pulled in and set up camp.

We chatted for a bit yesterday then met them again this morning and spent most of the day talking and getting to know each other.

Now we have new friends, is that wonderful or what? I just don't know another lifestyle that has so many opportunities to meet so many wonderful folks.

I woke up this morning to he sound of birds tweeting chirping and doing their version of the morning bark (for you Disney folks). When I looked out the window, we had about a dozen Gamble Quail, a like number of house finches (with their beautiful red heads), Mourning Doves, a group of Silver Cardinals, several Thrashers and a host of Little Brown Birds.

Whenever we park, we always set out some black oil sunflower seeds and they always attract the birds, but this place is a real treasure trove!

I thought I'd share a couple of pictures that I took from my bed this morning. I just love the giant windows in our rig, and particularly in the bedroom. Every morning is a visual feast.

This is one of the many Finches.

And here's a Silver Cardinal. Remember you can always click on a photo for a larger version of any picture. They really do look much better when viewed in a larger size.

After watching the birds for an hour or so, we decided to go over to Fort Selden. The fort is right next to Leasburg Dam, and was the center of life here in this area back in the 1880s.

In most of the State Parks and Monuments here in New Mexico, they erect these structures as places for people to rest. I know there's a name for them but I don't know what it is! I always take pictures of them, I just think the structures are so aesthetically perfect for this land.

From the inside, each one is different and I'm always fascinated by the patterns of the native wood against the sky.

I took a bunch of pictures and finally couldn't decide which of these two liked the best, so I'm including both of them.

This shot is kind of sparse, but I found it so easy to imagine troops and horses and the whole parade of frontier life in this open area.

Everyone at the Fort is getting ready for Frontier Days next weekend. There will be all kinds of events and demonstrations. We're looking forward to the fun.

This is a group of re-enactors who are practicing for the big event.

And now the REAL reason I'm so excited. This is Dave, a Ranger here who gives demonstrations of frontier cooking. We heard that he offers classes and we are hoping to get a group together to learn to prepare a cast iron meal cooked over an open fire.

I have spoken to him on the phone and he's a big fan of home made bread, so we spent a good amount of time discussing the ins and outs of bread making.

This is the horno at Fort Selden. It's an adobe oven often used in the olden days. The origin of the horno is Moroccan. This one was built by Dave and is used frequently for his demonstrations.

He also goes around the state and teaches folks how to build their own horno.

Here's a shot of Dave's cooking area. The big pot in the foreground was originally a washing tub, but would also have been used for rendering lard, making soap and other large tasks.

Here's a shot of Dave's chuck wagon. Guess what? It was originally the chuck wagon on Oliver Lees' ranch!

And here's the coffee grinder, mounted handily right on the side of the wagon.

As we were leaving Fort Selden, I took a couple of shots in their garden.

Isn't this a lovely collection of desert plants?

And here's a teaser of things to come, these beautiful cactus are just starting to bloom.

I can hardly wait!

I'll close with one more word from Mr. Vonnegut (who I adored, can you tell?)

"I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, "If this isn't nice, I don't know what is."

Well, if this isn't nice, I certainly don't know what is!

Life is very good.


Anonymous said...

Kate, I love your blog, but I don't see the pictures you are referring to? Linda

Kate & Terry said...


It appears my server (where I store my pictures) was down, but is now back up.



Brenda said...

I think the structure is called a Ramada. That is why the motel chain borrowed the name. It means arbor, shed or tent in Spanish.

And yes, to tomorrows question. There are people out there who check everyday. Still waiting for more Cholula Red photos. You do such a good job. But I can appreciate that bird watching, bread baking and painting might get in the way.