FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Wyvonne Phillips
Byway Manager
dagwood@trinidadusa.net
136 W Main Street
Trinidad, CO 81082

November 10, 2004

Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway- Mountain Branch BOD Ambassadors and Tour winners announced

 

The Mountain Branch of the Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway welcomed their new Madam Secretary Treasurer Barbara McKnight on November 5, 2004. Barbara takes the place of Priscilla Opper of the Trinidad History Museum and joins our current President Roberta Cordova, Vice President Michelle Stevens of Comanche National Grasslands, and Executive Director Wyvonne Phillips as the newest member of the BOD. The Byway Organization welcomes ambassadors Paula Manini of the Trinidad History Museum, Jane and Robin Barker of Trinidad Stone Mansion B&B and Trinidad Colorado Welcome Center, Chris Schorr from Cokedale, Mellisa Allen of the Trinidad Chamber of Commerce, Gerald Faust of Bent's Fort Inn.

Congratulations to our winner, Chris Schorr, from Cokedale of the auto tour on Picket Wire Canyonlands and overnight stay at Bents Fort Inn. Two more Canyonland tours were donated to the governors silent auction for the Colorado Rural Development Council fund raiser. Contact the USDA Forest Service in LaJunta at 719-384-2181 for information on access to the dinosaur track sites. Withers Canyon is the only allowable access to the canyonlands for the general public. Hiking, non-motorized bicycles and horseback riding are permitted. There is a NO CAMPING OR UNAUTHORIZED MOTORIZED VEHICLES ARE ALLOWED IN PICKET WIRE CANYONLANDS. Guided tours with the US Forestry Service are available by appointment. Tours operate in April, May, June, September and October. Self guided tours can be taken anytime but call for information first. You must be out of the park before dark.

Picketwire Canyonlands is located about 25 miles south of La Junta. The area is accessible by foot, bicycle, or horseback. Allow for a full day hike, and be sure to bring plenty of water and food. Picket Wire Canyonlands became part of the Comanche National Grassland, December 3, 1991. 16,000 + acres of land was transferred from the U.S. Army through congressional legislation to the U.S. Forrest Service (Public Law 101-150). The U.S. Forest Service is mandated by law to protect and conserve the natural resources in Picket Wire Canyonlands. Interim guidelines have been developed to protect and conserve precious, non-renewable resources in the canyon and still provide appropriate public access. We encourage you to stop by or call the Comanche National Grassland Office in La Junta, Colorado for current weather and road information on Picket Wire Canyonlands. They are located at 1420 E. 3rd Street, just east of Vanhooks Fruit Market off of Highway 50 in east La Junta, (719) 384-2181. Office hours are from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

This land offers an incredible amount of history and dates from 150 million years old dinosaur tracks to late 1800 homesteads. Rock Art images some of which may be 375-4500 years old have been found in Picket Wire Canyonlands. The Canyonlands are pristine and remote, and none of the area's rock art sites have been identified for public viewing. Look carefully and you can find petroglyphs of meandering lines, abstract designs, and animal figures.

The dinosaur tracks were a well-guarded secret until letters in Life Magazine and Scientific American in 1935 reported the existence of dinosaur track ways in the Purgatoire Valley, called Rio de las Animas Perdidas en Purgatorio or River of Lost Souls. Despite the publicity, the site was too remote to attract sustained scientific interest and all was forgotten until a half-century later. The site has since been named the Picketwire Canyonlands and came under serious scientific investigation in the 1980s. The tracksite extends 1/4 of a mile and is the largest continuously mapped site in North America with over 1,300 footprints in four different layers of rock. Called the Morrison Formation (layers of strata which are 150 million years old), this particular strata formation is famous for producing dinosaurs such as brontosaurus/apatosaurus, stegosaurus and allousaurus.

The Dolores Mission and Cemetery was built sometime between 1871 and 1889 when Mexican Pioneers first began permanent settlement in the valley. Partial remains of the Mission and Cemetery are still visible. The Rourke Ranch also known as the Wineglass Ranch, was a cattle and horse ranch, founded by Eugene Rourke in 1871. Three generations of the Rourke family lived and worked on the ranch ensuring its survival over a span of a hundred years. When the ranch was sold in 1971, it was known as one of the oldest and most successful enterprises in southeast Colorado expanding from Eugine's original settlement of 40 acres to well over 52,000 acres.

This years B2B Expo drawing congratulations go to the winners of tickets for two to Koshare Indian Dances, Richard Lawler of Trinidad and Jill Tamburelli of Aguilar CO. The Koshare Indian Winter Ceremonial Dances will be held December 27-30, 7 pm and December 31, 4pm. A special exhibit for a silent auction will be on display throughout the month of December. From December 27 – 31, the auction will be held during regular business hours (10a – 5p), as well as one hour prior to each of the five Winter Ceremonials. The bidding will officially end one hour prior to the 4:00p Winter Ceremonials on December 31. During the intermission of this performance, the winning bidders will be announced. You need not be present to win. Proceeds from this auction will benefit the Museum’s endowment fund with the intent to provide collections preservation, as well as facility expansion. Larn more about the event at The Koshare Kiva , located in La Junta 18 blocks south of Highway 50 (First Street) on the campus of Otero Junior College, 115 W 18th Street, La Junta CO 81050, 719-384-4411. What is a Koshare? Koshares are not a tribe, but they are an integral part of Pueblo society. During dances, these black-and-white striped characters portray unacceptable behavior and provide entertainment while reinforcing community values. The Koshare Indian Dancers are the members of Boy Scout Troop 232 and Venturing Crew 230 of the Rocky Mountain Council, Boy Scouts of America. For over 65 years, they have entertained people during summer and winter performances and other shows at home, as well as across the nation. The Kiva museum houses and incredible collection of priceless Indian art and artifacts and admission is free with your show tickets.

 

 

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