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Day Trip to Lamar and Bent's Old Fort in La Junta, Colorado. (Thursday 18th November, 2010)
An approximately three-hour drive (160 miles) south-east of Colorado Springs took us to the old towns of La Junta and Lamar, on the Santa Fe Trail.  Lamar was the destination of a friend who used to live there, and Bent's Old Fort was a treat on the return journey.  The weather was a gloriously warm and sunny day in November, which was a gift.  After leaving I-25 and heading east on Hwy 50, we passed farm fields galore, as well as the quaint towns of Manzanola, Rocky Ford (famous for its melons), and Las Animas before our destination of Lamar.  I walked around for about half an hour taking photos of the buildings and sights, so I didn't get to "tour" Lamar as such, but what I saw was delightful.  Lunch was at the Rancher's Truck Stop which consisted of a decent buffet (pork ribs and loads of salads) for me, and a hefty burrito and chicken strips for the others.  The seating area is huge and nicely decorated with western paraphernalia, and they have a cute gift store as well.  Saltwater taffy by the ton is also on sale!


Bent's Old Fort (outside La Junta)
On the return journey, just before we got to La Junta, we veered off towards Old Bent's Fort.  In the middle of nowhere is this huge fort which was originally an early trading post (for pelts) in the early 1830s.  Faithfully restored, it was fun to walk around the fort which has many wonderful rooms off the main square, and you'll see where the blacksmith worked, where the supplies were stored, the dining room, the kitchen, sleeping quarters, the council room, and more.  The adobe structure is beautifully maintained and a pleasure to investigate.

Contact: 35110 Highway 194 East, La Junta, CO 81050-9523
Tel: (719) 383-5010   Web: www.npa.gov/beol
Email: beol_interpretation@nps.gov




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