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Fort Bowie AZ  Ghost Town

Photos Courtesy Mike Sinnwell March 2011

The grave marker says it all.

Water was the reason for this fort. Water was as precious as gold to those attempting to cross the desert southwest. A reliable watering hole was the Apache Springs. Of course, with a name like that you can imagine that perhaps it might be risky to be in the area without some sort of protection.  

In 1862 Camp Bowie was established and in 1879 Camp Bowie became Fort Bowie with all the comforts of the day. A Bakery, Hospital, tailor shop, billiard parlor and a tennis court. It even had a seven bedroom Commanding Officers Quarters. In 1894 the fort was abandon as the skirmishes with the Apaches had diminished after Geronimo surrendered.

7.5 mile hike round trip mostly uphill with side trips included.

I knew there was trouble brewing when I stepped out of my Jeep. A somewhat over weight couple had just exited their car. The woman was providing a certain level of grief towards her husbands choice of routes into the location. He looked at me and asked, "What is the road like the way you came?". I replied good except the last few miles were gravel. It was obvious, from the woman's voice in the background, that their route out of the parking lot was going to be my route.

I went directly to the posted signs and began reading the historical markers and information. I heard them arguing as they started down the trail. They left the parking lot with no water, no back packs, and without realizing that they might need something for a long hike on a hot day.

After finishing my reading I grabbed my walking stick and back pack and started off. I got about 1/2 mile into my hike when I met the couple coming back down the path. The woman swearing at the man for taking her on a long hike without any food or water. I asked if they got to the Fort. "NO" shouted the woman "AND I HAVE NO INTENTIONS OF GOING THERE EITHER".

I told them to have great day and walked off smiling to myself. I sure am lucky to be married to a good woman. THANKS Joan.