I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m a dinosaur snob. I can’t help it. I grew up in a state full of fossils, in a town with a pretty fantastic dinosaur museum. The bar was set really high when I was really young. So I’m not easily impressed. But this place was… Continue reading Colorado Bucket List: Picketwire Canyon Dinosaur Tracks
Bent’s Old Fort was in fact not a fort in the traditional sense. It may have resembled military fortifications, but it was actually a trading post. Brothers Charles and William Bent and their business partner Ceran St. Vrain built the fort a few miles outside La Junta in 1833, choosing this particular place because it was fairly centrally-located between the fur trappers of the Rocky Mountains, the native lands of the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, and Comanche tribes, and people traveling between the US and Mexico on the Santa Fe Trail. It quickly became a key location for trading and the main stop on the Santa Fe trail for travelers in need of rest, repairs, and replenishment.
The Eastern Colorado plains are the original homeland of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Comanche, Osage, Kiowa, Sioux, Jicarilla Apache, and Ute tribes (source). But by the mid-1800s they were being systemically dispossessed from their homelands. The 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie established that the Cheyenne and Arapaho would retain some of their native lands in exchange… Continue reading Heartbreaking history on the Colorado plains – Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
The lands of northeastern Colorado have been inhabited for at least 12,000 years, originally by nomadic hunters. More recently, these lands were the home of the Arapaho and Cheyenne, who were forcibly removed in the 1880s to allow white settlers to establish homesteads and farm the land. As settlers soon learned, though, this shortgrass prairie… Continue reading Colorado Destinations: Pawnee National Grassland
How in the world does one meet people and make friends as an adult? It’s a question I grappled with when we first arrived in Denver. This wasn’t the first time I’d ever moved to a new state; but the big difference between previous moves and this one is that I was moving for school,… Continue reading Colorado Summits: Spruce Mountain
If ever there was an area of the US with a bizarre history, this is it. Even the name – which combines ‘arsenal’ and ‘wildlife’ into the same sentence – suggests that this land has quite the storied past. Located immediately northeast of Denver, the land encompassed today by Rocky Mountain Arsenal used to be… Continue reading Colorado Destinations: Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
Our early October visit to the Paint Mines on the plains of Colorado was a last-minute change of plans after our weekend camping reservations got rained out. Scattered showers and thunderstorms, I can handle. An inch and a half (4 cm) of rain while tent camping, I cannot. It would’ve been a miserable weekend. So… Continue reading Colorado Destinations: Paint Mines Interpretive Park