Longtime readers of these blog will recognize the acronym (technically an initialism) ABF from our travels in Europe and its origin with the traveling mum and son we met in Napflio. For newcomers, it is Another Bloody Fort. Well, we found one just 74 miles (this is a short distance in our part of the world) down the road from our home in Pueblo.
I needed to scout out some of the towns east of Pueblo for an upcoming work event, so we decided to make a day of the initial exploration. We dropped Rebbe at “camp” and headed out towards Manzanola (the main site of the event). The town is small, but the old railway station (now the town hall) is quite nice.
We traveled next to La Junta, the biggest town in the area, where the train actually does stop at a much less attractive station. We went in search of a Chinese restaurant we had found on TripAdvisor and found it, but it was no more. So we moved on to The Barista. We enjoyed the coffee (Solar Roast), tea, and salad, but mostly we enjoyed the hospitality. Our conversation with the owner led us to some contacts that will be useful for the event, and in the longer term, our business.
Fueled, we went next to Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site. It happens to be free all this year in honor of the National Park Service Centennial. My favorite part of this visit was that it made me think about the fact that the Arkansas River (which also runs through Pueblo) was once the border between Mexico and the United States. Bent’s Fort was an important trading and traveler’s stop along the Santa Fe Trail.
The fort itself is a reconstruction, based upon the meticulous drawings and notes made by (then) Lt. James Abert. It is constructed of adobe, which makes sense for the region, but is unlike most of the other forts we have seen.
We saw the (very informative) welcome video, walked through several of the rooms (and the requisite gift shop), but looked at the clock and decided we’d need to return at a later date–most likely when guests visit–to see the rest of the rooms in depth.
Here are some of the highlights: