I’m sorry to tell you that Ft. Bowie is not, in fact, a monument to David Bowie, but is actually where the Chiricahua Apaches fought the U.S. military in the late 1800s and were (surprise!) defeated.
Not being a big fan of manifest destiny I can’t say I felt a ton of patriotism hiking around the site, but it is beautiful, and a good reminder of how this country came to be. The National Park Service doesn’t sugarcoat the reality of the situation, so the American flag flies comfortably next to signs explaining atrocities against a people who got there long before we did.
Yikes, I got all serious there for a second. Let’s look at some pictures!
By the time I got back to the parking lot I’d been hiking for a couple hours and had drank a lot of water, so I was happy to find a spotless outhouse waiting for me. The hand sanitizer dispenser was even full.
My experience was extra special because the weather was turning windy, and as I sat there a refreshing breeze came whooshing up from below. In that moment I thought, despite the reminder of our brutal history, some days all you need is a vigorous hike, plenty of anti-bacterial gel, and an air bidet to make the world seem right again. Only if David Bowie had been waiting outside to serenade me could it have been more perfect.