If you find yourself roaming along Interstate 10 in the southeastern corner of Pecos County, turn onto Texas 290, wind down a high mesa into the Pecos River valley and step back in time. Dinosaurs roamed the valley millions of years ago. Centuries of indigenous peoples forded the Pecos here, as did Spanish explorer Gaspar Castaño de Sosa in the late 16th century. In the mid-19th century the U.S. Army established Fort Lancaster to safeguard travelers on the San Antonio-El Paso Road. In 1857 the fort welcomed an odd entourage of soldiers and camels passing through as part of the Army’s experimental Camel Corps, bound for California. Get a first-hand look that exciting era at Fort Lancaster State Historic Site. Period-dressed reenactors stage living history events in the fort’s ruins, and, yes, some even feature camels. The site also interprets the Army’s 9th Cavalry, made up of African-American “Buffalo Soldiers” who reoccupied the fort after the Civil War. The 82-acre Texas Historical Commission site offers a self-guided walking tour of what once constituted a sizable military installation. Fort Lancaster also features a visitors center with artifact-rich exhibits and a gift shop.