Recharging in our hotel room, getting ready for dinner with Sarah and Kelly — my cousins who work here in the “shadow” of Pike’s Peak. Gorgeous.
It is not a long way from Las Animas to here, so we took in some great sites. On the spur of the moment we stopped at Bent’s Old Fort near La Junta. It is a reconstruction of an old trading post operated along the Santa Fe Trail in the 1840s. The US border with Mexico was up here in what became Colorado, along the Arkansas River. It was nice to learn of a moment in our history when Anglo-Americans, Mexicans and native American tribes had friendships and trading relationships — till at the end of the decade, the US decided to invade and annex “New Mexico” as part of its Manifest Destiny and the native Americans were decimated by cholera (before the survivors were deported to Oklahoma reservations). <Sigh>
By afternoon we were at the edge of the Rockies — about 6000 feet. We took the slow route to Colorado Springs and stopped to see the Early Pueblo cliff dwellings in Manitou Springs. How sweet it was to finally stop driving and open the car door to Indian flutes, a cool breeze, and a spectacular view.