Southwestern US, US National Parks

A smattering of New Mexico history

Thanksgiving road trip has become a tradition for us. I always have the entire week off from work (well, sort of… I have the week off from classes but not from grading, so my work laptop definitely came with us), and it turns out that November is a pretty good time of year to travel… Continue reading A smattering of New Mexico history

Colorado, Colorado Destinations, US National Parks

Castle on the plains – Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site

Bent’s Old Fort was in fact not a fort in the traditional sense. It may have resembled military fortifications, but it was actually a trading post. Brothers Charles and William Bent and their business partner Ceran St. Vrain built the fort a few miles outside La Junta in 1833, choosing this particular place because it was fairly centrally-located between the fur trappers of the Rocky Mountains, the native lands of the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, and Comanche tribes, and people traveling between the US and Mexico on the Santa Fe Trail. It quickly became a key location for trading and the main stop on the Santa Fe trail for travelers in need of rest, repairs, and replenishment.