We woke to rain and cold and the high today was 48 – BRRRR!! (Said with apologies to my east coast friends who are really freezing.)
We decided to dress warm and head to Fort Davis National Historic Park. More information on the fort can be found here:
Between 1849 and 1882, the San Antonio-El Paso Road also known as the Lower Emigrant Road or Military Road was an economically important trade route between the Texas cities of San Antonio and El Paso. This route was used by the military, gold seekers, Overland Mail, cattle drives, stagecoach travelers and Beale’s camels. In order to protect the people and supplies along the roads, a series of forts were established – one of which is Fort Davis.
Here is a map of the Military Road:
Our first stop was the Visitor Center where we watched a movie, walked thru the museum and chatted with the ranger. Here is the visitor center that is located in one of the enlisted men’s barracks.
A schematic of the fort:
Very interesting facts from the museum:
The ranger told us what buildings have been remodeled and are open so we decided to walk the fort grounds and see what we could.
There were four enlisted men’s barracks: the first one houses the visitor center, the second houses some displays, the third is a replica of how the interior may have looked, and the fourth has not been restored.
From the second barracks:
The third barracks:
Looking across the parade grounds is the officer’s quarters:
Looking beyond the parade grounds, notice the mountains. Those mountains surrounded the fort on three sides:
We were able to go into the commissary and look around. I found this interesting. This person had to be correct all the time, otherwise, people would starve – no grocery stores around the corner:
Right outside the commissary was the road:
Ruins of the bakery and one of the modes of transportation on the road:
From there we walked to officer’s row. Each building had a separate kitchen from the main quarters in order to keep food odors and heat from the wood burning stove out of the home. Also if the kitchen caught on fire, the house might be saved.
Right next to the kitchen in the same building:
Here you can see the ruins of each kitchen behind each building:
After the kitchen, we walked to the hospital which is set back from all the other buildings:
We made our way back to officer’s row – this one is the Commanding Officer’s House:
Our last stop was Shared Lieutenants Quarters. These quarters were split down the center with the foyer/entrance being the common/sitting room.
This side was probably for a married couple:
And this side for a single person:
What a wonderful day. If the temperature were higher and no wind, we may have taken the nature trail and even packed a lunch. But at 40 degrees, that was not happening. Oh well.
We stopped at the little grocery store/deli/bakery in town and picked up home made soup and home made bread – Yummy! Just the right meal for a day like today.
After settling in our warm home with our bellies full, we decided that we did not just want to sit here so off we went for a road trip. Our travels took us southeast to Alpine, west to Marfa, and then north to Fort Davis. I don’t have many pictures – sorry – but the views were so different from what we had thought of Texas. There were many mountainous areas.
We did make a stop at the Marfa Lights Viewing Area. See the links below on the Marfa Mystery Lights. The viewing area is located at the old Marfa Army Air Field (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marfa_Army_Air_Field):
The viewing area:
This is where they have been seen:
More information can be found here:
If it is clear tomorrow, we may try to go at sunset and watch. There is an RV area so that may be a future overnight trip.
Back home, we paid for another night and made reservations for the McDonald Observatory Tour for tomorrow. So stay tuned and enjoy today.
One last picture from today: