When one thinks of Colorado they often think of the spectacular Rocky Mountains that bisect the middle of the state. However, what people not familiar with the state don’t realize is that nearly half the state of Colorado is actually flat prairie land. Recently my family and I decided to take a trip from Colorado Springs to Rocky Ford which is located on the Arkansas River to go buy some produce from the city’s famous farmer’s markets.
We decided to drive from Colorado Springs to Rocky Ford by taking Highway 94 East of Colorado to then take Highway 71 South to Rocky Ford. From Colorado Springs Highway 94 is a single lane stretch of highway that passes through the mostly flat Colorado prairie:
Highway 94 passes through a few very small towns that probably none of them have more than 100 people living in them. The smallest of these towns has to be Punkin Center where Highway 94 intersects with Highway 71:
Punkin Center consists of about three trailer homes and a work garage for it appears state highway workers:
According to Punkin Center’s Wikipedia the town has a population of 4 and received its name from a store that was once here that was the color of a pumpkin. However, I would soon find out that once on Highway 71 that Punkin Center is in fact a big town because there was absolutely nothing but a few small ranches after about an hour of driving on the highway:
In fact the only signs of life besides the few ranch houses was some random cows by the fence near the highway:
Eventually near the small town of Ordway the highway crosses over the muddy Arkansas River that is the source of water that makes this region such a vibrant agricultural area in the state:
The city of Rocky Ford is just a short drive away from the river. By driving around Rocky Ford various farmers markets can be found along the roads with all manner of vegetables and melons that this area is well known for in the United States:
The Visit La Junta website has a listing of various farmers markets in not only Rocky Ford, but the rest of the Arkansas River region as well.
I really cannot recommend one farmers market because there are so many of them and it is fun to drive around and check all of them out. With that said there is nothing else to do in Rocky Ford anyway other than check out various farmer markets so why limit yourself to just one? So people like my wife and I that like to buy fresh produce straight from a local source Rocky Ford is definitely a place in southern Colorado that is worth checking out.