(La Junta CO)
Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site was recreated using plans drawn by an army officer that spent time in the original fort, and from various diaries. It was stocked with trade goods and decor from the era creating an authentic ambiance.
It was a major stop along the Mountain Route portion of the Santa Fe Trail, positioned where it turned heading southward. They maintained herds of various livestock, like cattle, oxen, horses, mules, sheep, and chickens. A few were present during my visit.
The fort served the buffalo hide trade with the natives, and provided services for the merchant wagon trains using the trail to reach the southwest and Mexico. At the time, the nearby Arkansas River was the border between the two countries.
There were volunteers in period costume that did a good job showing how life was lived at the time. I was very impressed with the presentation of that historically important part of the Santa Fe Trail. Those interested certainly should visit when in the area.
Camp: Old Trail City Rest Area drycamp
Scene: Restored fort, supplies, livestock