On Labor Day we decided to get off the beaten path and take US 50 east out of Pueblo, where it soon meets up with the Old Santa Fe Trail. The mostly flat, but rolling route follows the path of the Arkansas River, toward Kansas. The south bank of the river was in Old Mexico until after the Mexican War. This is now very lush farmland, with wonderful melons and other produce in abundance, as well as cow country.
When we arrived at La Junta, we crossed “back into the US” in order to visit Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site. It features a wonderfully accurate reconstructed 1840s fort. The only fort on the Santa Fe trail that was privately owned. It functioned as an adobe fur trading post where traders, trappers, travelers, and the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes came together in peaceful terms for trade.
See more at: Santa Fe Trail