Today, we drove through the plains of eastern Colorado to two more National Parks sites. Many folks think of mountains when they think of Colorado, that’s only about 2/3 correct; the eastern 1/3 of the state is just as boring and flat as Kansas and Nebraska.
First, we visited Sand Creek Massacre NHS. It is the site where US troops massacred a bunch of friendly, peace-seeking Native Americans (mostly Arapahoe and Cheyenne) for no reason. This is yet another site in the middle of nowhere that you won’t stumble upon by accident!
From there, we drove a little out of the way for Taco Johns. This is our favorite “Out West” fast food place and we don’t expect to see another one this trip, so we got our burritos and potato oles (basically just tater tots)
Next stop, Bent’s Old Fort NHS. Bent’s Fort (at the top) was a trading post on the western frontier. It catered to trappers, traders, and travelers along the Santa Fe Trail. It is different from the other forts we’ve visited on this trip in that it was a trading post, not a military post, and it was made of adobe. We didn’t have a lot of time, but it was neat to walk through and get a feel of how things worked and how the workers lived.
From there, a Category 2 Hampton Inn in La Junta, Colo. Nothing exciting about this town other than an inexpensive, point-wise, hotel to stay at! From here, we will plan our return trip looking for Category 1 & 2 hotels. It really is just too hot once you get into this part of the world for tent camping to be comfortable. Also, we will have some long driving days and a real bed is just so much better than an air mattress!