I have a feeling we are not in Kansas anymore. In fact we are in Colorado, at the John Martin Reservoir State Park, on the Santa Fe Trail. With a population of about 150 people, it was named to honor Lon Hasty, a pioneer settler. There is nothing here but the State Park and Trail.
So, we walked part of it.
The French explorer Pedro Vial pioneered the route in 1792 for transportation, and the Santa Fe Trail was established in 1828 to take advantage of new trade opportunities with Mexico, which had just won independence from Spain. The trail connected Independence, Missouri with Santa Fe, New Mexico.
After hiking a while you come to Bent’s Fort.
It was not meant to be a fort at all, but a trading post. At this time, 1833, the Santa Fe Trail was only used by trappers, Indians, and Mexicans looking to trade with each other.
William Wells Bent was born May 23, 1809 in St. Louis, Missouri. He was a fur trapper and trader. In 1833, he and his brothers built this trading post (fort) on the Arkansas river, which from 1819 to 1847 was the boundary line between the United States and Mexico.
From 1833 to 1849, the fort was a stopping point along the Santa Fe Trail. It was the only permanent settlement not under the jurisdiction and control of Indians or Mexicans.
As we approached Bent’s Fort, we were greeted by free roaming cattle.
Barbara still goes for those guys in uniform. The fort was built of adobe clay, which was made on the spot.
The Fort was well stocked
With fur traders laying out their stuff
Dodge City, Kansas to Hasty, Colorado: 176.5 miles
3 hours 59 minutes