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The road less traveled by

While traveling in December from St. Louis back to my current home in Southwestern Utah, I decided to take the “back roads” and visit four, lesser-known sites administered by our National Park Service, including one of the most recent additions to the over 390 parks that make up our National Park System. 

Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, established in 2007, is located in rural Southeastern Colorado near the small town of Eads. This remote park commemorates the 1864 massacre of almost 200 Cheyenne and Arapaho people (two thirds of them women, children and elderly) surprised by cavalry and artillery forces of Colorado volunteers led by Col. John Chivington.

At the time, tensions between two vastly different cultures (settlers in the new Territory of Colorado and the native tribes) had been escalating rapidly, leading to this bloody confrontation, which was later harshly condemned by a Congressional Joint Committee. I was most fortunate to be given the complete story of the battle by Park Ranger Craig Moore.

Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site

Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site

Bob Hoelscher, CTC, CTP, MCC, CTIE, is a longtime travel industry executive who has sold his tour company, bought a motorhome and is traveling the highways and byways of America.He is a former chairman of NTA, and was a founding member of Travel Alliance Partners (TAP).

Well-known in the industry as both a baseball and symphony aficionado, Bob is also one of the country’s biggest fans of our national parks, both large and small.He has already visited more than 325 NPS sites and has several dozen yet to see.He is currently traveling the country to visit as many of those parks as possible.His blog, “Travels with Bob”, appears periodically on The Group Travel Leader’s blogsite, “Are We There Yet”. 

Bob is available for contractual work in the industry and may be reached at or by calling (435) 590-1553.