Day 36: Saturday, October 20 – Manitou Springs, CO to Dodge City, KS

  • We are heading to the plains and the “wild west” town of Dodge City, KS-via Route 50-we are avoiding the big interstate Route 70.  Along Route 50 we learn of a National Historic Site near La Junta, CO called Old Bent’s Fort.  It was a trading post on the Santa Fe Trail for fur traders, Indians, explorers and visitors-the gateway to trading in the west.  It is on the Arkansas River and sits near what used to be the border with Mexico.

At Old Bent’s Fort


  • That was a fun and informative stop – and Glenda met another Glenda in the gift shop.  Wow!!!  Back on the road we notice the flat, open land we expected.  No more Rocky Mountains or any mountains-in fact there’s hardly a hill at all.  We found a few more sites en route.  The DAR installed 12 statues of pioneer women all across the country from Bethesda MD to Upland CA and we found one in Lamar CO.  This one is the Madonna of the Trail.  We also passes through Holcomb, KS site of the Truman Capote “In Cold Blood” murders.

Madonna of the Trail

Road view

  • Now in KS we see a lot of feed lots–full of cows packed in at the troughs.  Roll down the window and breathe deep.  Take a good whiff of manure of a million cows.  Ugh.  Reminds us of Jersey on the turnpike.  P.U.

  • Dodge City is a pretty tired town with not much happening for tourists especially.  The fake western museum/town was closed when we arrived so we walked around town and shopped a little in the primarily Mexican downtown.  Dinner at a local Mexican joint.  Pretty good!!



Jersey Junction

No people junction today, but outside of La Junta, CO (which means the junction) at Old Bent’s Fort, we learn that Colt revolvers were traded regularly at the fort and were manufactured in…yes…Paterson, NJ.


Theme of the Day: It’s Mexican Day (our book on tape is also set in Mexico)

Up next: The Flying W Ranch Strong City, KS

5 thoughts on “Day 36: Saturday, October 20 – Manitou Springs, CO to Dodge City, KS

  1. Mom G

    Great photos as usual! Don’t know whether it came from early cowboy lore, but when we needed to exit a situation in my day we would refer to “getting out of Dodge.” Hmmmmm!

  2. JB

    NO trip would be complete without a stop in Cawker City, Kansas to view the World’s Largest Ball of Twine.

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