Monday

The Bent's Old Fort Card Line New at WritingPlaces

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In the mid-1800's,  people began traveling across the country for different reasons. Some traded, some wanted to build a new life somewhere on the new frontier, some were scouts and adventurers, some were soldiers. Many of those people traveled on what was known as the Santa Fe Trail, which started west of St. Louis, Missouri and snaked across Kansas. In Dodge City, Kansas, the trail split into two. From this point, travelers could take the Mountain Route, which went through Southeastern Colorado and then down to New Mexico. Or, they could head south on the Cimarron Route. This route stretched into Oklahoma first before going into New Mexico. Both routes met in La Junta, New Mexico (now called Watrous) then travelers took one trail that ended in Santa Fe. 
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Along the Mountain Route, folks traveled across what was known as the Great American Desert. This area was peppered with sage brush, few trees and had little water. Yet, where there was water, the area was rich in resources, so trappers and traders came from St. Louis to catch beaver, buffalo and other animals for their hides. These hides were then sent back east so that people in the East could wear their beaver hats and keep warm under buffalo blankets.There were other uses, of course, but those were the main ones.

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Because the traders needed a place to ply their wares, Charles and William Bent, men well acquainted with Native American tribes in the area and with the land, built a trading fort that is now called Bent's Old Fort.This fort was built from adobe bricks and provided a place for travelers to gain refreshment, trappers to trade their wares, and Native Americans to sell or trade skins from their hunts. Although the U.S. Army traveled through the area, the fort was never a military base. 


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Bent's Old Fort is now a national historic site and is located on Colorado Highway 194 between the cities of La Junta and Las Animas. It is a great place to bring the family to find out what life was like on the frontier of America before railroads and modern highways existed. 

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My husband I like to go out to Bent's Old Fort once in a while to take pictures. Sometimes we'll take the kids and grandkids to the various activities that take place throughout the year. Mike and I took the pictures that are interspersed throughout this article on different trips out to the fort. I then processed them into an image with Photoshop and had them professionally printed at XPress Printers, a professional print shop in La Junta, onto recycled white 80-pound cardstock. 

You can view them at my Etsy store, WritingPlaces
I hope you enjoy them! 


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