Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday February 14, 2012-Caddo Lake NWR

Our first morning here was foggy and cold. We were snug and warm in the trailer and it was kind of hard to get up and have to go to "work". Stella and I reported to the main office and were issued our shirts and caps, our keys to everything on this reservation and the keys to a Chevy Tahoe to drive. Wow, we were blown away! We knew that our RV site would be furnished with water, sewer and electric but we learned that there is a washer and dryer as well as propane furnished. It feels pretty nice to be back on the government pay... well, not really pay but nice not to have any expenses except for groceries. Thanks to the taxpayers!

I want to tell you about some of the things that I have learned about this area and the property where we are. The history lesson begins: The Longhorn Army Ammunition plant was established by Monsanto Chemical Co. in tiny Karnack Texas (pop. 775 in 2000) in 1941, producing almost 400 million pounds of TNT during World War II. The plant was closed in 1945 but reopened in 1952 to produce munitions and pyrotechnic devices, owned by the Universal Match Corporation for the US Army. Thiokol Chemical was awarded a contract to produce solid fuel rocket engines at Longhorn until 1971. In 1989 the Longhorn site was one of the sites selected to fire and destroy Pershing missiles.

Most of the buildings that were used for the production and storage of ammunition as well as the buildings used to destroy the nuclear arms are now gone, torn down by the Army. A few shells of magazines and storage bunkers are about all that remain. This was a very historic site and was visited by President George H.W. Bush visited this site to witness some of the destruction of missiles and interestingly enough, one of the only building remaining is one that housed some Russian inspectors for the missile removal.

So much for the history lesson. After Stella and I were issued the Tahoe, Todd and his wife Sue took us around the refuge and pointed out several points of interest and started training us on our activities. After lunch Todd and I went to pick up a new flagpole and took it to one of the storage areas. That was about the extent of our first day here. It's an interesting place and we are looking forward to the next couple of months here.

So long.

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