(Ken) May 19 – May 28, 2013. After 20 years in the Air Force and another 10 years of sporadic travel to military installations within the United States, I think Jodi and I are in agreement that F.E. Warren Air Force Base is our favorite.
Not necessarily because it has the most options of things to do, but because of its actual size and the amenities it does have for its size and the history behind the base.
I won’t dwell on the mission, and why they are there today but touch on some facts about how the base got its start. On the branch of the South Platte River, just west of Cheyenne, WY. Fort D. A. Russell was established in 1867. It was originally named in honor of Civil War Brigadier General David A. Russell.
Today, it is the oldest, continuously active military installation in the Air Force. When plans for the transcontinental railroad were originated, they recognized the need for a military installation to protect Union Pacific workers from hostile Indians. On July 4, 1867, the railroad established its mountain region headquarters at Crow Creek Crossing, later known as Cheyenne.
Besides my son and his wonderful family being stationed there, Jodi and I enjoy walking and riding our bikes around and reading all of the historical placards posted throughout.
The wildlife is also free to roam without provocation, in fact they are protected. Makes for interesting driving early in the morning and around dusk. But, you simply stop and watch the deer and the antelope play; or at least move out of the middle of the road so you can pass!
There aren’t any of the original buildings left on the base; but once the outpost was made a permanent military installation in 1884 new, brick structures were built throughout. Many of these original brick structures still stand and are in use today.
During our first visit to the base, Jodi and I stayed in visiting Officer Quarters that were built in 1888! The trip to the outhouse…….just kidding. It was a beautiful building.
This visit, we stayed in the Family Camp campground named for the original Camp Russell, and it was located in a small valley with a creek flowing through. I don’t think they could have found a more peaceful location on the base.
On a Sunday morning, we decided to take a bike ride. We were up early and dressed, so we were out around 6:30 a.m. There was no traffic on the roads and only the birds making any sounds. This is the time of the day to really take in the beauty of the base!
If we are ever travelling through the Cheyenne area again, and need a place to stop for the night, I am sure we will drive a few miles out of our way to stay there again!
Until next time our friends……………..Cheers.