Pecos National Historic Park

by Bob Hoelscher 13. January 2011 23:21

My final park visit on this trip was at Pecos National Historical Park, east of Santa Fe. Pecos was the site of one of the Southwest’s largest ancestral Puebloan civilizations, with a dramatic five-story pueblo and some 2,000 inhabitants at its peak around 1450. 

Originally settled around 1100 A.D. and finally abandoned in 1838, the ruins to be explored here on an easy-to-navigate trail include those of two Franciscan mission churches dating from the early 1600s to the early 1700s.

Even though these four varied, yet obviously related National Park sites are admittedly not nearly as well known as, for example, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks, they surely indicate the riches available to any group or individual traveler willing to venture a bit “off of the beaten track” to delve into the byways of American history. 

I certainly enjoyed my visits, all easily “do-able” in just a two-day span, and I expect that you would, too!         

Bob Hoelscher, CTC, CTP, MCC, CTIE, is a longtime travel industry executive who has sold his tour company, bought a motorhome and is traveling the highways and byways of America.  He is a former chairman of NTA, and was a founding member of Travel Alliance Partners (TAP).

Well-known in the industry as both a baseball and symphony aficionado, Bob is also one of the country’s biggest fans of our national parks, both large and small.  He has already visited more than 325 NPS sites and has several dozen yet to see.  He is currently traveling the country to visit as many of those parks as possible.  His blog, “Travels with Bob,” appears periodically on The Group Travel Leader’s blogsite, “Are We There Yet”. 

Bob is available for contractual work in the industry and may be reached at bobho52@aol.com or by calling (435) 590-1553.



Bob Hoelscher at Pecos National Historic Park



Pecos National Historic Park

Tags:

Lesser Known National Parks

Ghost military town

by Bob Hoelscher 7. January 2011 23:29

The next stop on my tour of back roads was also in southeastern Colorado. Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site is only a two-hour drive from Sand Creek and lies between Las Animas and La Junta.

Here visitors have the opportunity to explore an excellent reconstruction of an important trading post, which operated on the Santa Fe Trail between 1833 and 1849. The post played a significant role in America’s Westward expansion. 

My routing next followed the modern approximation of the famous old trail into New Mexico, where my third park stop was at Fort Union National Monument, between Wagon Mound and Las Vegas. One of the largest military posts in the frontier Southwest, Fort Union was the chief quartermaster depot and primary garrison of troops to protect travelers on the Santa Fe Trail from 1851 to 1891. 

Today, however, it is a fascinating and somewhat spooky complex of windswept stone and adobe ruins, which nonetheless are still sufficient to reveal the scope of this once very extensive operation.



Old Fort National Historic Site

Old Fort National Historic Site



Fort Union National Monument



Fort Union National Monument

Bob Hoelscher, CTC, CTP, MCC, CTIE, is a longtime travel industry executive who has sold his tour company, bought a motorhome and is traveling the highways and byways of America. He is a former chairman of NTA, and was a founding member of Travel Alliance Partners (TAP).

Well-known in the industry as both a baseball and symphony aficionado, Bob is also one of the country’s biggest fans of our national parks, both large and small. He has already visited more than 325 NPS sites and has several dozen yet to see. He is currently traveling the country to visit as many of those parks as possible. His blog, “Travels with Bob”, appears periodically on The Group Travel Leader’s blogsite, “Are We There Yet”. 

Bob is available for contractual work in the industry and may be reached at bobho52@aol.com or by calling (435) 590-1553.

 

Tags:

Lesser Known National Parks

The road less traveled by

by Bob Hoelscher 5. January 2011 21:14

While traveling in December from St. Louis back to my current home in Southwestern Utah, I decided to take the “back roads” and visit four, lesser-known sites administered by our National Park Service, including one of the most recent additions to the over 390 parks that make up our National Park System. 

Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, established in 2007, is located in rural Southeastern Colorado near the small town of Eads. This remote park commemorates the 1864 massacre of almost 200 Cheyenne and Arapaho people (two thirds of them women, children and elderly) surprised by cavalry and artillery forces of Colorado volunteers led by Col. John Chivington.

At the time, tensions between two vastly different cultures (settlers in the new Territory of Colorado and the native tribes) had been escalating rapidly, leading to this bloody confrontation, which was later harshly condemned by a Congressional Joint Committee. I was most fortunate to be given the complete story of the battle by Park Ranger Craig Moore.



Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site



Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site

Bob Hoelscher, CTC, CTP, MCC, CTIE, is a longtime travel industry executive who has sold his tour company, bought a motorhome and is traveling the highways and byways of America. He is a former chairman of NTA, and was a founding member of Travel Alliance Partners (TAP).

Well-known in the industry as both a baseball and symphony aficionado, Bob is also one of the country’s biggest fans of our national parks, both large and small. He has already visited more than 325 NPS sites and has several dozen yet to see. He is currently traveling the country to visit as many of those parks as possible. His blog, “Travels with Bob”, appears periodically on The Group Travel Leader’s blogsite, “Are We There Yet”. 

Bob is available for contractual work in the industry and may be reached at bobho52@aol.com or by calling (435) 590-1553.

 

Tags:

Lesser Known National Parks

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