The wagons were loaded with anything from buttons, cloth, thread, knives, sugar, playing cards to handkerchiefs and would leave for the six-to-seven week long journey to Santa Fe. Traders even sold their wagons and returned with silver coins, wool and mules. AS you can see on the map, more than half of the trail is in Kansas.
Last fall, "rut nuts" as members of the association call themselves, gathered in Dodge City, Kansas to share research and visit a site west of town where the wagon ruts can be seen.
Besides Point of Rocks, other major places on the Santa Fe Trail is a tree stump in Council Grove, Kansas, where U.S. agents signed an 1825 treaty with the Osage Indians guaranteeing safe passage through Indian land.
Back then, leaving Council Bluffs meant 600 miles to Bent's Fort, an 1840s post near La Junta, Colorado, before you'd see another building. This site has been reconstructed. Another place is Fort Union National Monument near Watrous, N.M., where you can see remains of the adobe fort and wagon ruts.
This trail is definitely on my list of things I'd like to drive some day along with any of the other eighteen trails.
Maybe One Day. Oh, Give Me a Rut Where the Buffalo Roam. --RoadDog