Borrego Springs, CA

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Fort Gibson, Oklahoma

In 1824, Fort Gibson was established to help resolve the conflict between the Osages and Western Cherokees in the area, and to protect white settlers.  Then the Indian Removal Act of 1830 marked the beginning of the forced removal of the Five Civilized Tribes to the then Oklahoma Indian Territory.  Fort Gibson had a central role in carrying out this policy.  Thousands of Creek, Cherokee, and Seminole stopped at Fort Gibson on the last leg of the journey to their new lands.  This was the terminal end of the Cherokee's "Trail of Tears."

The fort was in use by the army from 1824 until 1890.

This is part of the officer's area.

The stockade was two stories tall in some areas.

After 1890, the fort was abandoned and literally disappeared.  In the 1930's, the WPA reconstructed the present fort.  Just a couple of years ago, archeologists did some digs in the area, and found that the reconstructed fort is almost exactly where the original Fort Gibson was located.  This fort was a very important part of the history of our nation and of Oklahoma.

I had hoped to also visit what I thought was a nearby Civil War battlefield, but after talking to the gentleman in the visitor's center, I found out that it was at least 30 miles away.  I needed to get back to the rig and take Emma out, so I'll have to do that on a future trip to the area.  It was a Civil War battle that blacks, whites, and Indians took part in.  Too bad.

As I was returning to my car, I noticed hundreds of birds circling overhead.

After circling for several minutes, they all landed alongside a large puddle of water.  But they weren't there for a drink.  These cliff swallows were gathering small balls of mud in their beaks.  They use it to construct an enclosed jug shaped mud nest on rocks or buildings.  They never closed their wings.  They'd all land with their wings held high, grab some mud...

and all take flight together.  Cliff swallows nest in colonies, so this puddle with the wet mud next to it was a great find for them.

Tomorrow, I'll be continuing my journey north and plan to end up just south of Kansas City.  It has been a very enjoyable stay for me at Blue Bill Point COE campground.  I wish I could stay longer.

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later,  Judy

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