One of the great advantages in moving from northern to southern Colorado, besides the warmer weather, is having new places to explore. After 30+ years in northern Colorado, we were ready for a change.
Yesterday we took a trip east to explore Bent’s Old Fort near La Junta, Colorado. It’s an old adobe fort built along the Santa Fe trail back in 1833. Charles Bent, along with Ceran St. Vrain, built the fort to trade with Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Plains Indians and trappers for buffalo robes. For much of its 16-year history, the fort was the only major permanent settlement on the Santa Fe Trail between Missouri and the Mexican settlements.
Loved all the insights places like this give into the lives of the early settlers! I suppose I should mention my favorite thing to play as a kid was pioneer woman. Come to find out I would have really hated it…
Their theme yesterday was “Native American Heritage Day” and the highlight of our visit was a talk by Michael Terry on Indian artifacts. What a funny, natural speaker!
Michael is entertaining as well as very informative on the topic of stereotypes and the nonsense most of us have gathered about Native American lives from old and new movies.
On the way out we found this old grave, an artifact which helped me put this all into perspective. Let’s face it, all we do is complain about our lives these days. This young man only lived 31 years of what was probably a pretty rough life. He was a stagecoach driver who died of sunstroke en route to Bent’s Fort in 1865.