In the desert with phantoms

A few miles of driving down a graveled and rutted road in the searing hot desert of New Mexico is enough to discourage most travelers from visiting the Fort Craig National Historic Site, but once there you might enjoy it as I did recently, in complete solitude, the only visitor….well sort of.

Fort Craig-NM (1)Fort Craig Rd., view is looking east towards La Jornada del Muerto and San Andres Mountains.

In a respectful gesture a couple of historical markers have been placed against a most fitting backdrop, the waterless Jornada del Muerto (Journey of Death). Like ghostly sentinels the Apache and Navajo images stand ready to question and confront La Conquista and, centuries later, soldiers dressed in Blue and Gray.

Homage to the Apache-Fort Craig NHS-Tomas Trigo

Fort Craig-NM (25)

Here on this exact spot I can grasp the words of the Dwamish Chief Seattle; “For the dead are not powerless. Dead I say? There is no death, only a change of worlds.”

Fort Craig-NM (18)

Old Glory flutters in the hot breezes sweeping over the ruins of Fort Craig, view is looking northwest towards the Magdalena Mountains.

Fort Craig-NM (5)

Fort Craig-NM (21)

Fort Craig-NM (23)                         Ruins of Fort Craig

Vistas from Rt 52-Winston (18)

San Mateo Mts-NM-pan01

Photos are all from the Fort Craig/San Marcial area, central Rio Grande Valley, about halfway between El Paso and Albuquerque, still “despoblado” (unpopulated) as early Conquistadors described it.


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