Trip Log – Found a fort and a chimney

SL Chimney Rock 2

After looking over all the literature we had collected at the Colorado visitor’s center I did find a reconstructed plains fort. It is located near La Junta Colorado which is in the far southeastern part of the State. We started for there this morning but got sidetracked by the Chimney Rock Archaeological site.  Our tour guide was a retired archaeologist from the University of Denver so he was quite knowledgeable on the site. There are several of the Chivos found at the site and it is an active dig.  There is a whole village there but only about six of the structures have been excavated so far. The native Americans who built the structures inhabited the area for a couple hundred years beginning around 900 AD. Why they were there is speculated to be associated with a spiritual purpose surround the chimney rocks and the solar/lunar calendars.  Kind of like Stonehenge I guess? Why they left is very uncertain but many believe they simply ran out of resources and moved on. They burned their homes before they left which hampered but does not impact the research too much. We spent about 2 hours at the sites and then started heading east again.

We made it to within about 60 miles of the fort before stopping for the night. Tomorrow morning we will see the fort and then head up to I70 and towards home.

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