TRIP TO LA JUNTA CO: SAND CREEK MASSARCRE SITE, BENT'S FORT AND VOGEL CANYON

  • May 18, 2013 · 9:30 AM

 "The white man made us many promises; more than I can ever remember. When we were placed on reservations they promised to feed us and clothe our sick, elderly and children but gave us only sour pork with maggots and worms. They promised to shelter us from the white wind that carried snow and rain but instead they placed us in barns where the wood slats were far apart to let the cold air in. Yes; the white man made us many promises but they kept only but just one. They promised to take our land...and they TOOK it.

Chief Red Cloud: Oglala Sioux (Lakota)  Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee  written by Dee Brown.

DAY ONE: Saturday May 18, 2013

Mid-morning: We need to be at the Sand Creek Massacre Historical Site at 9:30 AM. I have scheduled a tour of the SCMHS with the Parks Service. I also requested a person (man or woman) of Cheyenne and or Arapaho decent. WE GOT WHO I WANTED!!! So we need to be there at around 9:30 as the tour begins at 10 AM. I was also asked to tell you this is a place of peace, it is sacred and hallowed ground and we ought to walk and talk quietly.

Directions: The Sand Creek Massacre is located in Kiowa County Colorado. Head out on east bound I-70 for a long ways!  Look for signs for Limon. When you arrive in Limon take Highway 287 to CO-96 where you’ll want to take a left (east) and drive for about 80 miles! You should be in the town of EADS!!! Continue on CO-96 until you see the signs for the Sand Creek Massacre Historical Site.

Mid-Afternoon we’ll meet in La Junta for a lunch then from there we'll meet at Bent’s Fort

Castle of the Plains  http://www.nps.gov/beol/index.htm

There is a connection with the Bent Brothers and the Sand Creek Massacre.

In 1835 Bent married Owl Woman, the daughter of White Thunder, a Cheyenne chief and medicine man. Together they had four children. Bent was accepted into the Cheyenne tribe and became a sub-chief. In the 1840s, according to the Cheyenne custom for successful men, Bent took Owl Woman's sisters, Yellow Woman and Island, as secondary wives.

All of Bent's grown children survived the massacre. Robert Bent testified in court against Chivington, who had forced him to guide the soldiers to the Cheyenne village. His brothers Charles and George Bent joined the Dog Soldiers band (Elite warriors of the Cheyenne) , as did Yellow Woman, who left William Bent to go with her son Charles. The Dog Soldiers led continuing resistance to drive the European Americans from the Cheyenne homeland. Charles Bent was later killed by scouts for the U.S. Army.

Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site features a reconstructed 1840s adobe fur trading post on the mountain branch of the Santa Fe Trail where traders, trappers, travelers, and the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes came together in peaceful terms for trade.  Today, living historians recreate the sights, sounds, and smells of the past with guided tours, demonstrations and special events. 

One of the most educated and well traveled men at Bent’s Fort was a humble hunter named Jean Baptiste Charbonneau.This highly regarded Bent employee started out life as the infant son of  Sacajawea and accompanied his mother on the famous Lewis and Clark expedition.

Admission fee is $3.00

Directions to Bent’s Fort from La Junta: As this National Historical Site is the most visited site in La Junta there are signs all over the town how to get there. It looks like on the map we need to take HWY 50 out of town. Here we’ll spend a few hours touring this fort and learn what the significance and importance of the fort was in the 1800’s.

Believe it or not the United States Special Forces U.D.T.- S.E.A.L.S; Green Berets etc. have used most all of the guerilla warfare tactics which were introduced by the Cheyenne Dog Soldiers. Attack and run. The (Lakota) Warrior Crazy Horse enlisted the Cheyenne Dog Soldiers to defeat George Armstrong Custer at the battle of the Little Big Horn. These men and women were no one to mess with...yes, I did say women! Remember it was there men and children who were being murdered. It were the women who volunteered to be decoys to bring the soldiers closer to an ambush and then after the battle would mutilate the bodies.

 

Day Two: Sunday May 19, 2013

Mid-Morning: TTBA (o: We don't want to awaken too early...do we? )o:

Vogel Canyon on the Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway: Located on the Comanche National Grasslands south of La Junta. These primitive canyons are home to the largest known set of dinosaur tracks in North America, Native American rock art, early Hispanic settlements and a historic ranch. A variety of wildlife inhabits the area, including deer, antelope, coyote, snakes, lizards and birds.

VOGEL C22 miles of the Mountain Branch of the Santa Fe Trail can also be found at the Comanche National Grassland. During the 1870s, a spur off the Santa Fe Trail (Las Animas to Trinidad) was developed by the Barlow and Sanderson Mail and Stage Line. Sections of the stage coach road and ruins of the station can still be found. American Indians lived in the canyon[masked] years ago and left rock art which is visible on the canyon walls. Geologically scenic Vogel Canyon is a tributary of the Purgatoire River drainage.

Two permanent springs in bottom of the canyon help support wildlife, which can best be seen early in the morning or just before sunset. Four hiking trails take you to the canyon bottom and mesa top, while walking through short grass prairie and juniper trees.

The rock art is situated on vertical rock faces, often in shallow rock overhangs. Look for petroglyphs in abstract designs and symbols. One large animal figure is prominent in the northern overhang. This rock art may have been created by the regions first farmers more than 1000 years ago.

Facilities

  • 3 covered picnic tables with grills (charcoal fires allowed in grills only)
  • 1 vault toilet
  • 4 hiking trails
  • 2 horse hitching rails & trailer parking
  • Drinking water not available
  • Camping is allowed in the parking area only. However, no electricity, water or garbage containers are available. Please pack out all trash.
  • Today vandalism is a continuing problem in this fragile area. Rock Art is particularly sensitive. Please photograph but do not touch or apply any photographic enhancing or replication materials. These sites on public lands are protected under federal law. We thank you for observing all the regulations for this area and for helping us to preserve this valuable resource. Please be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

From La Junta, Colorado drive south on Highway 109 for 13 miles. At the Vogel Canyon sign turn right (west) for 1 mile, then turn left (south) for 2 miles to parking lot.

Hiking Trails

Hiking Trail distances are round trip, beginning at the parking lot.

 Overlook Trail: Length is 1 mile, easy hiking, highlight is canyon overlook.

Mesa Trail: Length is 2 1/4 miles, moderate hiking, highlights are ruins, juniper woodlands, and short grass prairie.

Canyon Trail: Length is 1 3/4 miles, easy hiking, highlights are ruins, overlook, spring and rock art.

Prairie Trail: Length is 3 miles, moderate hiking, highlights are stage tracks, juniper woodlands, and short grass prairie.

 

Mid-Afternoon: Koshare Indian Museum and Trading Post located at 115 W. 18th St; La Junta, CO. Adults: $5 bucks, Seniors: $3.00 (55+)

The Koshare Indian Museum is a unique and diverse organization, consisting of many parts. The museum is unusual in that it was built by a Boy Scout troop The Koshare Indian Museum was built and supported through the efforts of a Boy Scout troop who danced their way to fame in feathers and paint.

Under the inspired leadership of the founder, James Francis "Buck" Burshears, the original 1949 structure is a registered state historic site of the Colorado Historical Society, housing a collection of Native American art and artifacts considered to be among the finest in the world.

Yet the museum remains true to its origins, providing an active and varied educational youth program focusing on American Indian culture, art and traditional dances. The museum serves as a troop meeting location, a youth center, an overnight hostel for thousands of scouts and school youth throughout the year, a center for many local Scouting and civic activities, and a performing arts center, not only for the famous Koshare Indian Dancers, but for other artists as well.

To provide additional benefits for the museum visitor, the Koshare Trading Post is located within the museum and provides a huge selection of beautiful items ranging from authentic Native American jewelry, pottery, kachinas and other items to novelty items for children of all ages. Included in this selection are a wide variety of books, videos, CDs and cassettes for adults and children.

 Evening: We should have a nice dinner together before you all head back wherever you may be coming from. But I wouldn’t take the same route as you came.

From La Junta: Just follow the signs leading you to Colorado Springs/Denver. You should have a great time driving back to the cities.

I hope you had a good time,

SUVATE’ (It is finished)

Don

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join or login to comment.

  • Jacquee

    Great trip-thanks!

    May 20, 2013

  • Howard Z

    Great trip all around, history lesson, rugged canyon trails, cool shaded camp ground with interesting neighbors. Sharla gets the campfire cuisine prize for her berry chocolate desert. Whoa!

    - H

    1 · May 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks Don for organizing this! I wished I could have joined you and seen the donkeys! Sand Creek was very memorable, and I will never forget it. Our guide was fantastic. Enjoyed the whole trip! Bent's Fort was fun as well. It was a good time!

    May 20, 2013

  • Don

    These was a collaborative decision on everyone's part. I would never have known about Vogel Canyon if Bonnie hadn't told us about camping in the parking lot, or Howard's idea about continuing on to the other canyon. If we wouldn't have acted on Howard's idea we probably wouldn't have seen the donkeys! SO!!! Thank you everyone!

    May 20, 2013

  • kathy

    wonderful! Camping & history & great food & company....who could ask for more? thanks, Don! Thanks, Howard, for great company & safe ride!

    May 20, 2013

  • kathy

    taking a pic would've lost the peaceful, spiritual experience. Thanks, Don, for a wonderful trip, w/awesome folks. I want to find a way to thank Eric of Sand Creek too. What a great intro into Second Wind!

    May 20, 2013

  • Don

    At first I regretted we didn't have a picture of us holding hands in the circle of prayer at the massacre site. But then I thought, maybe, just maybe this experience lead by Howard was meant to be for those of us you attended and us a lone.

    May 20, 2013

  • Don

    I could go on and on about this trip, the places we saw, the trails we hiked and about the people who attended this trip. But the guide who went out of his way to teach us more than we expected to learn (1 1/2 hours which turned into a few hours) was very appreciative by most of us.
    But above everything else we did and experienced was when Howard requested us all to hold hands in a circle and led us in spiritual prayer. Howard's request was quite possibly the classiest act I have ever witnessed in my lifetime.

    May 20, 2013

  • Bonnie

    It was wonderful to go camping, and see such wonderful sites! The guide at sand Creek Massacre was especially informative. Thanks, Don, for organizing this trip.

    May 19, 2013

  • Yan

    Thanks to Don again for organizing.

    For those who are interested in more about the Sand Creek Healing Run, here is a good intro video:
    http://www.vimeo.com/23782202­

    May 19, 2013

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