Where am I?

Posted by on Jul 7, 2013 in road trip | 0 comments

Howdy all!

We’re here in Colorado Springs, and the Internet in our hotel was from the 19th century. Yes, there was an Internet in the 19th century, but the telegraph was considered the better option. Heck, smoke signals were faster and more reliable. Right now I’m sitting in a Starbucks catching up on things, and the connection here isn’t much better.

A quick update:

We left Trinidad on Friday morning and attempted to track down a crossing on the Purgatoire River, but all the potential crossings I’d identified were on private land. So we headed up the Santa Fe Trail to La Junta. Along the way we tried to pinpoint the watering hole of Hole in the Rock, but that too was on private land (that, and supposedly the hole is no longer there; the railroad long ago dammed the creek and the watering hole was silted over.)

We ended up on the east side of La Junta, at Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site. The fort was founded in the 1830s by William and Charles Bent, and was a vital stopping point on the Santa Fe Trail. Because of William’s fair dealings with the local Indians, it was also a place of peaceful trading between traders from the East, Mexican traders, mountain men, and Indian tribes. The adobe fort has been reconstructed from 19th century plans. They have a Junior Ranger program there for kids, and is well-worth the stop if you happen to be driving along US 50 in eastern Colorado.

bents

We landed in Colorado Springs ahead of another big storm, had bison for dinner, and turned in early. The next day we slept in, then made our way to Garden of the Gods. A free national park, on a Saturday, near an urban area and an interstate makes for a very crowded park. We were only able to find parking for two of the park sites, Balancing Rock and the Ridge Trail near Sleeping Giant.

We also saw our only live snake so far this trip. Which is pretty amazing, considering the Pecos River valley is known for its plethora of rattlesnakes, and most of the other sites we’ve tramped around have been in out-of-the-way, little traveled areas. But after the snake and another approaching storm, we decided to head back to our room and relax some more.

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Now we’re on the road to Denver, and the last few hundred miles of the trail. We’ll spend tonight in Denver, and then Monday night in Laramie, which I’m looking forward to–I really love the Laramie area.

Gotta hit the road now. I’ll be posting some of my map research as soon as I have a solid Internet connection.

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