Before we left Colorado Springs, we wanted to see Florissant Fossil Beds. I had been told that they had one of the best junior ranger programs out there and it was close to where we are.
This area used to have redwood trees (about 20 million years ago), but volcanoes erupted and destroyed the trees and fossilized the tree stumps. It was very cool to see.
After that, we left Colorado Springs a day early and headed out to Bent's Old Fort in SE Colorado. They had this very cool entrance. It used to be one of the key stops on the Santa Fe Trail.
The original fort burned to the ground in the 1800s, but when the US government purchased it, they recreated it in such a way to pay tribute to the original based on photos and journals. It was very cool they way they had it set up. This was the general store where they traded fur and other goods.
This was a very small fort compared to some of the other forts that we have visited.
They did have some animals running around that would have been original to the post- such as this peacock.
David is showing the boys how the carpenters would have worked during the 1800s.
Logan is climbing the stairs to the second level of the fort.
This was a view from the corner of the top level. You can see the entire fort except for the barnyard.
David was at the bar in the billiards room. During the time of the fort, the ladies were not allowed in the billiard room, it was exclusively for the men.
The panoramic view of the fort.
As we left Colorado, we stopped at this rest area- which we had entirely to ourselves... unless you count the mosquitos. It was a great place to make dinner while the boys ran around. Here we saw thousands of grasshoppers which the boys found to be very cool!
We then entered Kansas!
... which was right along the Santa Fe Trail.
We stayed at a great little city park for $10, which included electric and water hookups. While we were playing Kan Jam with the boys, you could see the storm rolling in. There was only one other camper at this little campground and they left their truck windows down as the rain poured in and they were not at their site. David tried to put garbage bags over their windows, but couldn't get any of them to stick. As they returned to their campsite, David did walk over and tell them that their truck windows were down. It was a creepy, yet cool storm.