As W. Thornton Parker, M. D., said in his Annals of Old Fort Cummings, New Mexico, 1867-8, Cooke's Canyon, which slices across southwestern New Mexico's Cooke's Range, was a "journey of death." It ran generally east to west, "six miles or more in length, and with a gloomy gorge of four miles to add to its terrors. ...in this Canyon many an emigrant train, and travelers, and hunters, as well as soldiers of the regular army, have gone to their deaths at the hands of the cruel Apaches." More...
Route 66 was an American icon, and also a way of life for many local residents along the highway, who provided food, gas and lodging services to the motorists who passed through their towns. This 2,300-mile route brought travelers from Chicago to Los Angeles and back again from 1938 until 1985. Route 66 was not just another highway, it was part of American culture, and a well-remembered colorful part of our history. There have been songs written about Route 66, a television series called Route 66 and many stops along the way have been the backdrops of movies and music videos. More...
I rounded up my usual traveling partners - friend Klaus and grandson Matthew - to plot our next adventure. We decided to start with the Ironwood Forest National Monument, a 129,000-acre desert wonderland about 25 miles northwest of Tucson, and to end with the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, a few miles west of Tucson.
The national monument was established in 2000 with some sense of urgency, created under outgoing President Clinton to counter the threats of development and mining. The area contains the ghost town sites of Sasco and Silverbell and perhaps the finest stands of Ironwood trees anywhere. Its Silverbell Mountains are home to a small, remnant herd of desert bighorn sheep, which, unfortunately, have been devastated recently by an eye disease. More...
On the prairie of southeastern Colorado beside the Arkansas River stands a time warp, Bent's Old Fort, a place locked in the 1830s when the United States was just beginning its great push westward. Built in 1833, Bent's Old Fort was, for most of its 16 years, the only white settlement on the entire Santa Fe Trail, which ran from the U. S. frontier community of Independence, Missouri, southwestward to the Mexican provincial capital of Santa Fe. More...
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