I love field trips! When we moved to Kansas I knew the Sante Fe Trail ran through here but I never realized it basically ran right by our door! Fifteen minutes north of our home is the town of Cimarron where the kids and I stopped the other day for a photo opp in a covered wagon. Look how small it is!! The boys and I tried to get a grasp on what it would be like to pack up only what was important and travel the plains. Wow!
In Cimarron the 1800's settlers would have a choice. They could continue west along the mountain route of the Sante Fe Trail or head along the southwest fork known as the Cimarron route. The mountain route was longer but safer and had more reliable water. The Cimarron route was shorter but settlers had to travel for at least 60 miles without any place to get water while they worried about Indians. Hmmm, which would you choose?
It was difficult trying to explain to the boys just what exactly we were supposed to be looking for across the prarie but it was an educational spot to stop. I'm a sucker for historical places like this and make every effort to introduce my kids to such places. They are too young to remember much or realize exactly the significance of this spot. But my dad always says, "Little by little is the way you expose your kids to learning. Eventually they'll put all the knowledge together themselves and they'll get it." Dad should know! There was never a trip my family went on without some educational experience.