Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Adventure Weekend

There's a place east and south of Pueblo, CO that's dear to my heart. My dad grew up in Rocky Ford, CO, and his boy scout troop used to go camping "out south in The Cedars". This area is the Purgatoire River Canyon. The Purgatoire flows out of the Sangre de Cristo Range, through Trinidad near the New Mexico border, then diagonals to the southeast to join the Arkansas in Las Animas, CO. As my dad's uncle told me once "The old cowboys around here couldn't say Purgatoire so they called it the Picketwire."

The river is locally known as the Picketwire, and there's a Commanche National Grassland rec area with a really cool set of dinosaur tracks in there. There is also a vast network of red rock canyons, very similar to what you see in Utah's Canyonlands NP, between Trinidad and CO Highway 109. And almost nobody but residents of Otero and Las Animas counties know about it.

The Army, Fort Carson in Colorado Springs specifically, has had a maneuver site where they practice war-making north of the river (the Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site, aka PCMS). The Army has plans to radically expand the site to suck in some absolutely beautiful and remote canyon country. The plan would also displace many, many multi-generation ranch families, acquiring their ranches by eminent domain. See this site:


I don't have enough time this morning to fully tell my story, but I made a scouting trip down there to possibly find a huge loop that would allow for many memories to be made and pictures to be taken. And maybe raise some awareness about what we may quietly lose. 

More will be coming, but here's a teaser: