Practicing the Craft

Bent’s Old Fort – an Exercise in Chatting About Something Fun

I read an article today about 40 blog post ideas for writers. You’d think, as writers, that our brains could create dozens of blog ideas, but yes, we do get stuck. That’s why I picked #1 on the idea list – writing about a vacation. I choose a trip along the Santa Fe Trail to Bent’s Old Fort in Colorado.

You see,  Bent’s was a famous landmark on the Santa Fe Trail, visited by just about everyone who traveled the area – from trappers and traders to soldiers and Indians. I went on one of their Living History weekends because I love talking to reenactors. The slide show above is just a sampling of the folks I chatted with over the weekend.

By the way – if you write any kind of history, either fiction or non-fiction, – you won’t find people more informed about the period than reenactors. These folks pride themselves on the authenticity of their costumes as well as their knowledge about the period in which their “persona” lived.

One fellow – the man with the sketch pad – took on the role of a real artist who came west, sketched scenes and then returned to his studio in the East to complete his works. His name was Worthington Whittredge. If you know much about art, you may be interested to know that Whittredge belonged to the Hudson River School.

The other three reenactors were a trapper (the fellow in the red shirt), a hunter (with the knife), and the musician – and yes he really could play two pennywhistles at the same time!

Other places I visited along the trail were Santa Fe, Dodge City, Kansas, the famous Cimarron Cut-Off, Fort Union, New Mexico, and Pecos Pueblo.  If you want to learn more about the Santa Fe Trail, Wikipedia has a pretty good article, images and maps.

I’d love to sit down and share my photos and stories with you . . . but I’m on a deadline writing a book for a genealogy publisher . . . so must get back to it.  Hope you enjoy the pix – and leave a comment about YOUR last vacation.

One Comment

  • Jayne Bodell

    I also like visiting historical sites, only my love is the Revolutionary War period. You are so right about the re-enactors knowing their stuff. We visited Williamsburg on our honeymoon, and I could have talked to these people for hours. I look forward to reading your free book as I’m just getting started in the world of blogging.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *