Take two millennia of Pueblo history. Stir in Spanish invaders. Add a major Civil War battle, the birth of modern archaeology, and a 1940s movie star, and you’ve got Pecos National Historical Park.
You’re on the Santa Fe Trail and you have a choice: one route is shorter, but water is scarce and the road is vulnerable to Indian attack; the other is longer and safer, but you’ve got to get your wagons over some serious mountains. Welcome to the Cimarron and Mountain branches of the Santa Fe Trail.
Why do I know so little about the Santa Fe Trail? Maybe following part of it will help me find out.