Fort Stanton. Ghost Town. New Mexico

Friday, February 10th, 2012

"Who is the third who walks always behind you?
When I count, there are only you and I together,
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking besides you.
Gliding, wrapped in a brown mantle, hooded."
~ Eliot’s ~ [The Waste Land]

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I do not see and feel any glory in Wars. The word itself is a dark cloud depicting everything Humanity should not be. It is my own opinion without touching any sort of a political entity. Maybe it is my naive approach to how this Earth, World, Universe should be.

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[quote] Few sites in the nation encompass the breadth of history seen at the Fort Stanton State Monument. Early cultures lived along the Bonito River, leaving behind rich archeological evidence of human occupation. Spanish and Mexican settlers established communities in the nearby area, long before the United States sent the military west to protect settlers journeying to the region from the indigenous Apache Indians who claimed the lands as their own. Named for Captain Henry W. Stanton, the Fort was established in 1855 and operated as a military fortification through 1896. [quote]

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Should be. I know it is too late as now the Lion will eat the Lamb if the Lamb stays sheepish. We have to "defend" ourselves. What a concept. Is this how far we have come? And what a present distress and exasperation bothers me always has as in the above "Apache Indians who claimed the land as their own". Claimed? It "was" their land. Yet, I will go on and visit such spaces as Fort Stanton, and when I hear the cry of the Tour Guide or the person sitting at the Welcome desk, my own expression will never match his or hers.

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Our own ways of camping collaborate those thoughts encompassing much respect for the land itself and too often while resting, a gaze from here to the horizons filled with images past which could have then in a not too far time been present. Fort Stanton was disturbing I must say and I probably would be the only one to think and say so. I felt it as being the counterpart of Freedom. An aspect today I myself more or less have while roaming the land. Where is the nobility to it? The praise, the dignity?


The emptiness of Fort Stanton


The story is long within this space which I could only see in black and white, with the winds present muffling the past turmoil and commotions. Empty and deserted on that day all was a bit eerie. The fortifications throughout the years end up serving many functions after 1896, after the land was finally protected from their original occupants, after I more see it as being stolen and invaded.

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53 buildings, today empty, cobwebs, the power is off, the water is turned off, the doors are locked. It had also become the first Federal Tuberculosis Hospital. In World War II it also interned both German and Japanese. So much History I felt, so many walls to keep everyone present in and not out. Kit Carson lived here, John "Black Jack" Pershing, Billy the Kid, the Buffalo Soldiers of the 8th and 9th Cavalry. Some are still here in the near by Cemetery where we also stopped by.

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My surroundings always affect me. The quietness of this almost a city in itself brought in unfortunately a somber mood and yet I wanted to feel it’s presence. I think I stayed a little too long, the waves of past images kept replaying their acts. What an ending I was witnessing. Nothing left but almost crumbling walls, a small Museum, the grass turning yellow and the winds blowing and blowing some more.

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Returning to our "Three Rivers" campsite was as a breath of fresh air. On with cooking a dinner, long stroll with Spirit, darkness had already appeared, the cold made it’s way in, a little bit of writing and reading and on for the next day, a sunny and colorful one hoping, inside and out.

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In my effort to stay on the road I now have a T Shirt and Merchandise store. I think you will like it.
It is called “SpiritedOasis”.
Photos and Digital downloads are on “Smugmug”.
The recipes are on the “One-Pan Recipe” section. They free downloads, contributions are gladly accepted.
We both appreciate your support and hoping we are giving something back.

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Be well… Always.
Ara and Spirit

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9 Responses to “Fort Stanton. Ghost Town. New Mexico”

  1. Randy Says:

    Wonderful B&Ws gives feeling and says much about our past. Good, Bad I don’t know but our history. I hope we remember and learn from it. Live goes on and is a continuum. A special thanks for including the couple as well as the inevitable cemetery.

  2. Justin Barron Says:

    Love the black and whites! This is definitely a place Pops and I need to check out…

  3. Dee Says:

    Thank you for the somber memories of the tragic results of war, wasted lives, families torn apart. Your video shows the emptiness of it all. Will the human race ever learn!

  4. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Yes, we go on as it does… It was a bit for myself overwhelming. And the couple, also, yes, one of my favorite photo.
    Thanks Justin. It does need a visit…
    Maybe one Day the Human race will learn Dee… we might not be around to see it, but I think it will happen. Have to keep the Faith in Life.

  5. John Says:

    Beautifully done photo essay. Wouldn’t it be nice to see those fine buildings put to good use, not left to deteriorate.

  6. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Yes John. That is a lot of buildings. I had a chance to talk to the “caretaker”. One for all… It hit -16 last winter, and most likely winters ago also. Much damage. They could house so many people!

  7. starr gajdosova Says:

    I have just discovered your blog. I am an aspiring photographer myself & I really enjoy your photos. More than the photos, however, are the stories of travel. It seems almost a necessary act to travel if you are interested in photography. I travel to Big Bend & Terlingua in March. This is how I stumbled across your blog, there was an older post about the town of Terlingua. I am excited to be going back.
    I agree with your thoughts on war. As a nation, we are too easy to adopt the mentality of hate (and disguise it as patriotism, defense, and heroics.) I believe we must remember the atrocities we have provided in our history, and yet the masses believe in exceptionalism. Native &mericans being all but wiped out, Japanese in internment camps, the KKK, women’s sufferage…all of these real issues which bleed into present day are swept under the rug, and we are still the “greatest nation on earth.” we are proud of our soldiers, and they fight to defend our “honor” but forget about them when they come home and truly need the support they never got. Peace, love and conscious compassion are what I make the greatest effort in teaching my 2 small children each day.
    best wishes & luck to you in your travels.
    I hope to someday do the same! You are an inspiration!

  8. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Thank You Starr. We will be back in Texas end of March. Stay in touch… You can come and visit “The Oasis”. 25 miles North of Terlingua… Be well, always. Ara and Spirit

  9. Lyle Says:

    The Merchant Marine Cemetery reminds me of Leo Kottke’s “A Sailor’s Grave on the Prarie.” Odd place for a sailor’s graveyard– so far inland.

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