2019 Summer Guide


Guide to businesses and activities year-round around the Scenic Highway of Legends in southern Colorado

World Journal 2019 Summer Guide page 3

Welcome to the

Spanish Peaks


Welcome to SpaniSh peakS country.

You’re about to discover one of the most

beautiful places in southern Colorado.

The area has been a getaway destination

for over a century, attracting visitors to its

unique natural beauty, outdoor recreation

and rich history.

Enjoy the small town flavor of La Veta,

Cuchara, Walsenburg and Gardner as well

as the open ranges of Huerfano County. As

you travel the Scenic Highway of Legends

you will also see Trinidad, Stonewall and

other small towns along the route.

Circling the mountains on the Scenic

Highway of Legends (Hwy 12) provides a

great way to track the history, culture and

geology of the region.

The region is a crossroads of cultures

and peoples, of explorers and adventurers,

of settlers and travelers. The rich history of

the area has been passed down both in legend

and fact. Discover our history at the

Mining Museum in Walsenburg, or Francisco

Fort Museum in La Veta.

The Spanish Peaks (also known as Wahatoya

or “Breasts of the World”) are a

prominent feature with historical significance

and rank among the most important

landmarks of the Southwest.

The Spanish Peaks had special significance

to the Ute, Apache, Comanche and

earlier tribes who lived nearby. The peaks

photo by Dane Tessler

were used as navigational markers to guide

Native Americans, Spanish and French explorers

to the settlements of New Mexico.

Recreation options abound. We are

home to the San Isabel National Forest and

Lathrop State Park— Colorado’s first. Take

a hike, watch birds and view wildlife. Bring

a camera and picnic.

Shop the quaint Main Street art galleries,

gift shops and boutiques. Great

music is abundant during the summer both

at local venues, festivals, and special


However you choose to spend your

leisure time, you’ll find something to enjoy

here in this comprehensive Summer Guide.

Local small businesses work together

to bring you this guide, and will ensure

you have a wonderful visit. Please patronize

the restaurants, shops and attractions

inside this guide.

Escape from the stress, hustle, and

bustle of daily life to a place where you can

still see the Milky Way, hear birds singing

or just the babble of a brook.

Enjoy your stay, but be aware of the

energy of the Spanish Peaks—it will pull

you back again and again.

Gretchen & Brian Orr

publishers, the World Journal


On the cover: Hiking up to Lily Lake and the back side of Mt. Blanca


Things to do Today Page 4

Art Galleries Page 5

Photography Page 6

Lathrop State Park Page 8

Trails Page 8

Scenic Drives Page 9

Calendar of Events Page 10

Go Fishing Page 11

Trails: Hike, Bike, ATV Page 12-13

Bear Aware Page 14

Oldies Rock Tours Page 15

Wildlife Page 18

Concerts Page 22

High Altitude Sickness Page 23

Flash flood safety Page 23

Hiking Essentials Page 26

Maps of the Area Pages 26 & 30

Scenic Highway

of Legends Pages 27-29

Index to Advertisers Page 29

2019 Summer Guide

Editors.................................................... Gretchen Orr, Debi Sporleder

Design & Production....................................... ......................... Brian Orr

Contributors.............................. Ruth Orr, Eric Mullens, Tom Macedo,

Marilyn Russell, Travis Sauder

the Summer Guide is published annually by the World Journal

Second class postage paid at Walsenburg, co, 81089 and additional

mailing offices. uSpS 024-957. all contents of the Summer Guide are

copyrighted 2019. Free distribution.

508 Main St. Walsenburg, CO 81089. (719) 738-1415 Fax: (719) 738-1425

email: editor.worldjournal@gmail.com www.WorldJournalnewspaper.com

Page 4 2019 Summer Guide World Journal

Things to do Today

Francisco Fort Museum

Francisco Fort is the oldest known

standing structure in Huerfano County,

built with adobe by La Veta founders John

Francisco and Henry Daigre in 1862. The

Francisco Fort Museum includes eight

historic buildings and an impressive variety

of exhibits.

Weapons, wagons, saddles and clothing

used by pioneers are on display. A saloon

from old La Veta’s Main Street

contains the bullet scarred bar owned by

Bob Ford after he shot Jesse James. All will

enjoy the one-room schoolhouse.

Allow an hour or two to tour the

buildings and to view the wide range of

artifacts. Located in La Veta. Entrance on

Main Street next to the library. Hours:

Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 719-


Horseback Riding

Take a trail ride leaving Yellow Pine

Guest Ranch in Cuchara to enjoy the spectacular

mountain scenery along the Cucharas


Guided rides available. Call 742-3528.

Mini Golf

Enjoy family fun with a round of

mini-golf at The Bear’s Den in Cuchara

village. The 18-hole course is custom-designed

with local buildings and mountain


The Walsenburg Golf course also

offers a full 18 hole miniature golf course

next to its restaurant. Get to it through Lathrop

State Park west of Walsenburg, and

follow the signs to the restaurant.

But those who visit Mission:Wolf, located

15 miles north of Gardner, will leave

with a deeper appreciation of this magnificent


Kent Weber established Mission: Wolf

in 1988 on 20 acres nestled at the base of

Greenhorn Mountain. The refuge is now

home to dozens of captive-born grey

wolves and wolf-dog crosses.

Visitors can view the animals from an

elevated walkway. The fenced areas contain

several acres for the wolves to roam.

Some may want to take the unique opportunity

to interact with wolves, under supervision.

As a nonprofit organization,

there is no admission fee, but ask visitors

to make a donation or purchase souvenirs

from the gift shop.

Open daily from 9 a.m. to sundown.

Info at www.missionwolf.com.

Directions: From Gardner, follow

Hwy. 69 north 1.5 miles. Turn right

on Gardner Road. Go north 13.5

miles and turn right at Blue Spring

after the cattle guard. Follow the

driveway 1.5 miles along the fence.

Four-wheel drive is recommended

November through May. Drive time

is approximately one hour from Walsenburg.

Museum of Friends

Located at 600 Main St. in Walsenburg,

contains an eclectic personal collection

of art, and special exhibits. This

summer will feature a Earth Group Exhibition

through June 17, followed by John

Wark Photographs and Bobby Valentine

Paintings through October.

inated the economy in Huerfano County

from the 1870’s through the 1930’s.

Houses memorabilia from such notable

charactors as Bob Ford, famous for killing

Jesse James, and labor leader Mary

“Mother” Jones. Also includes Ludlow

Massacre Exhibit.

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.,

Sat. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Walsenburg, 112 W.

5th Street. 738-1992.

Walsenburg Wild Waters

Open daily, Walsenburg Wild Waters

offers two serpentine slides, a diving

photo by Eric Mullens

pool, a meandering river and toddlers activity

pool. Enjoy the Colorado sunshine

with a splash, and sunscreen. You’ll see

the water park on 7th St. in Walsenburg,

next to City Park.

Mission: Wolf

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

Fables and fairytales have long portrayed

the wolf as a stalker of humans and animals

and instilled fear in all who may encounter

the wild animal.

Walsenburg Mining Museum

Located in the historic jail next to the

county courthouse in Walsenburg, the

Mining Museum displays artifacts that

tell the story of king coal which dom-

photo by Renee Rinehart

Enjoy a round of golf with views of the Spanish Peaks at the 9-hole Walsenburg

Golf Course, located inside Lathrop State Park.


Located just outside of Trinidad,

CO this premier 4,237 square foot

open floor plan includes sun

room, kitchen & pantry, dining

room and great room with stairs

to spacious loft.

All share custom native rock

and local juniper/pine wood work.

In floor heat in all rooms. Kitchen

offers full custom cherry cabinetry

with granite throughout.

Three car garage, guest

quarters, four bathrooms and

CITY water. The 35 acre property

is a must see offering a park like

feel under tall pines and offering

fantastic sunsets over the Rocky

Mtns! $699,000

This 4,800 finished square foot

Spanish style stucco home is

perched on a pine covered knoll

on just over 35 acres. Secluded

and private, yet only ten minutes

from downtown Trinidad, CO.

3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms,

in-floor heat throughout home including

the 3 car 30′ x 40′ garage.

RV parking with hookups. City

water & underground power.

Words simply can’t describe the

view and the sunsets that you will

see from the expansive covered

deck with built in grill over looking

Trinidad Lake (trout & WALLEYE)

and Trinidad Lake State Park!

Priced to sell at $674,900!

Bruce Bohn, Broker


719-680-1889 cell/text


Peter Chase, Agent



Fantastic layout in this classic

3 bedroom 3 bath log home surrounded

by tall pines on 35 acres.

Vaulted tongue and groove ceilings.

Towering rock fireplace in

great room.

Finished basement area for your

bar or game/theater room. 2 drivein

garages plus a stand alone oversize

two car garage. Turnkey with

all appliances and furniture.

Baseboard hot water heat. 1,920

square feet of living space upstairs

including loft and approximately

1,000 square feet of living space

with wood burning stove, bar,

kitchenette and bathroom

downstairs. Huge back deck

for entertaining! $395,000.

#9 Milligan Ranch


This easily accessible, yet very secluded location

offers fantastic opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast.

Hiking trails, abundant wildlife, hunting

National Forest, ATV trails or you simply want to

"get away from it all" This location is not near the

big city and has ample elbow space for you and

your friends and family to build your getaway

place or retirement home. $65,000

#4 Blackhawk Ranch


Turnkey 43.5 acres with electric ran into property

where cabins are located and wired for satellite

TV. Fantastic views of valleys and mountains

near and far. 32' X 12' fully finished cabin with

porch, extra window, two lofts and small private

restroom area. $149,000

#5 Santa Fe Trail Ranch


Very affordable ponderosa pine property at

Santa Fe Trail Ranch. This heavily wooded 35

acre property offers jaw-dropper views of the

Fishers Peak! Acres of tall Ponderosa Pines and

a choice building/camping site with level access

for easy driveway from the ranch dead end spur

road. $49,000

#3 Vigil Ranch


A First-time offering for this 35 acre lush lower

valley meadow, with over 1,100 feet of the middle

fork of the Purgatoire River and amazing panoramic

Sangre de Cristo snow-capped mountain

views! This is a TRUE horse property! Homesteaded

before Colorado even became a state,

the original adobe home still stands today.


World Journal 2019 Summer Guide page 5

Visit local art galleries:

Art Cartopia Art Car Museum

and Art Gallery

Art cars are drivable works of art,

with possible origins in the hippie-themed

VWs of the late 1960s, lowrider cars, and

advertising vehicles like the Oscar Mayer

Wienie Wagon. Trinidad is part of this

worldwide movement with 25 art cars on

display, an art gallery, and gift shop at 2702

Freedom Road, Trinidad.

La Veta Gallery on Main

A unique art gallery on La Veta’s

Main Street featuring paintings, ceramics,

photography, fiber art, jewelry, scratchboard,

mixed media, and paper crafts by

local and regional artists. Visit the gallery

to experience the creativity of our artistic


Shalawalla Gallery

Features Batik works from

Beth and Jonathan Evans plus

work from local artisans. Beautiful

scarves and shawls. Visit the

gallery, studio and gift shop at

107 W. Ryus Ave. in La Veta.

The Painted Horse Gallery and


More than a gallery and gift shop, The

Painted Horse also offers wine and canvas

nights throughout the summer and fall,

and will host private events and parties. It

is located at 206 Main Street in La Veta.

The Timbers Gallery

In Cuchara, you can enjoy works of

art while you dine. The entrance to the restaurant

is a gallery of art on two levels.

Browse before dining, or request to be

seated in the gallery space.

Art Galleries

Art galleries in La Veta

and Cuchara include

pottery, photography,

fine art, jewelry and

other crafts.

In the summer, enjoy

the Fourth Friday Art

Walk in La Veta.

Openings and special

events are held

throughout the year.

photo by Cathy Mullens

Spanish Peaks Arts

Council— SPACe

Gallery in the Park

Located at the west end of

La Veta Town Park, is the gallery

for the Spanish Peaks Arts Council

(SPACe). The non-profit

group is comprised of artists

from around the county and is

host to numerous art shows

year-round. Browse the current

art show in the gallery and shop

for unique gifts.

Youth classes are

offered in the summer

with Fridays for Fun

and Children’s Art


photo by Renee Rinehart

There’s usually something fun happening at the La Veta School of

the Arts on Fridays.

Page 6 2019 Summer Guide World Journal

Wildlife and scenic photography:

Colorado memories to cherish

lower shutter speed. Most modern digital

cameras have pre-set shutter speeds

to accommodate both portrait and

sports photos and nearly everything in


• Some photographers love to take

everything they may need into the

field, others prefer a more compact kit.

If you want, you might trade your tripod

for a mono-pod; a single shaft stabilizer.

Some shooters like the filled

rice bag as something they cradle their

cameras on, especially on car window

frames. If your digital camera lens has

a stabilizer or anti-vibration button, set

it to ‘on’ as often in Colorado county

high winds can effect your grip on your

camera especially when using longer or

zoon lenses.

Both native and migratory species

make good photo subjects in Colorado.

flower or even bug that you want to get

a really close up shot of!

When I go afield, I carry a 70mm-

300mm zoom and a standard 52mm

macro. I rarely carry a tripod or monopod

because I am very used to the

weight of my camera and will compensate

with my lens settings and shooting

speed to adjust for any minor movement

that may affect the finished


While hiking trails and wilderness

areas are, of course, perfect places for

A macro lens or macro attachment will bring you right down into some of

the smallest worlds for spectacular photographs.

Wildlife Officers are great assets to the

budding or experienced wildlife photographer.

They know what species are

in a given area, the times they are most

active and where you can find them.

• Another often overlooked asset

to the photographer is local historians,

historical societies and museums.

These folks love to share their knowledge

of their areas and may provide

tips (and even directions) to highly

photogenic sites like specific vistas,

ghost towns and other locales. Old

mining sites are favorites with some

photographers but remember many are

located on private property and all old

mining areas may be very dangerous!

It may be best to contact a landowner

and see if you can arrange a private

guide into an area that interests you.

• While Colorado is a very beautiful

state, remember, much of it is private

property. If you don’t have

specific permission to be on private

property, then use that long or zoom

lens to photograph that herd of deer or

antelope from the side of the roadway.

Don’t trespass and a good rule to keep

in mind is, ‘take only photos and leave

only footprints’, don’t litter and be a

good neighbor of wildlife and private

Remember, don’t limit your scenic and nature photography to just one

season of the year here in Colorado. Summer, winter, spring, and especially

fall provides colorful scenic photo opportunities throughout the

Spanish Peaks region. All photos by Eric Mullens.

• The choice of lens is up to the

photographer and may be matched to

a certain subject one is seeking, or a variety

may be taken to the field so you

are ready for anything. I suggest zoom

lenses, which provide versatility; a

good 70mm to 300mm zoom will allow

for both medium close up and the

300mm has a pretty good reach. A

larger zoom extending into the 500mm

to 700mm range (and longer) will bring

those far-a-way subjects close in, but remember,

if you’re hiking all day, some

models can get fairly heavy (always

check the condition of your camera

strap too!). When using very long zoom

or telephoto (fixed) lenses, a tripod or

monopod is necessary, as any slight

movement may ruin your overall


While most cameras, digital and

film come with standard 50mm lenses,

you might want to invest in a 50mm to

70mm macro zoom, or standard 50mm

macro. That macro will come in handy

when you spy a beautiful butterfly,

wildlife photography, they may be

crowded at times and wildlife may shy

away from campground noise. Of

course the human activity sometimes

draws in some opportunistic critters,

such as squirrels, chipmunks, and

even deer looking for a handout, don’t

fall victim to them. Wildlife officials

ask human visitors to NOT feed the


Unlimited possibilities;

While we’ve presented a quick

overview of wildlife photo, don’t forget

Colorado’s scenic vistas and remember,

if you have bird feeders where you live

or were you are staying they are the

perfect location to photograph songbirds

and hummingbirds and of course,


But do feed you sense of adventure

and creativity and don’t venture out

without your camera, even you pocket

camera or phone camera will help you

bring back great memories of Colorado.

Keep your eyes open for the unusual, like this rustic find in a backyard in

by eric mullens

One of the very best ways to keep

your Colorado adventure alive for

years is to venture afield and capture

some of the state’s abundant wildlife

on film or in the memory of your digital


You don’t have to be a big game

stalker to photograph some of Colorado’s

wildlife, but quiet movement,

the knowledge of what your camera

and lens’ can and cannot do and some

general rules are important to keep in


• Do your homework. Know what

area you’re heading into; do some preplanning.

Walk the trail or the shoreline

of the lake and take note of the time of

day your photographic subjects are

most active. If you’re seeking that early

morning or late evening sunrise or sunset,

pick your spot(s) in advance and be

there when the ducks land, or the fox

kits are active and plan your shots in


• Be aware of the area(s) you will

be in; take precautions in bear and lion

county and make sure you have what

you might need in an emergency if you

are taking an extended trip into the

back country. As with all Colorado out-

La Veta.

door adventures, tell someone where

you are going, take along water, food,

a charged cell photo (with GPS if possible),

appropriate clothing (the

weather can change very quickly during

any season) and always use your

common sense.

• If you are venturing into state or

federal forests, mountains, camping

areas, or wildlife preserves, contact a

ranger and ask advise concerning the

types and locations of wildlife you

might be able to find and photograph.

USFS Rangers and Colorado Parks and

and public property owners.

• Photographing wildlife is full of

surprises, unexpected shots are sometimes

the best, so know what the settings

on your camera will and will not

do. If you seek a crisp, clear photo,

make sure your camera ( or lens) is set

at a higher f-stop ( f 16 or above will ensure

your main subject and the background

are both in focus and a faster

shutter speed will freeze the action). If

you seek the blur of wing movement,

and a soft, almost abstract background

use a lower f-stop (1.2, 2.4, 5.6) and a

You will often find the opportunity to photograph more than ‘birds of a

feather’ together as many waterfowl share the same lakes, ponds and protected

water sources in Colorado.

Page 8 2019 Summer Guide World Journal

Lathrop State Park

Lions and tigers and bears

Lathrop State Park boasts two lakes for outdoor recreation, camping,

picnicking, a variety of interesting critters and lots of birds

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! No,

we’re not in Oz but Lathrop State Park, Colorado’s

oldest state park, and there are

mountain lions, black bears and tiger

(muskies) here.

Located three miles west of Walsenburg

on Hwy 160, this park also has two

lakes—Martin, where speedboats circle the

lake or jet skis skim the water and Horseshoe,

a wakeless lake where kayaks glide silently

by. Both lakes offer a beautiful view

of the Spanish Peaks, some 20 miles away

and Martin has a sandy, roped off swimming


This nearly 1,600-acre park has over

100 campsites along with hiking trails and

a nine-hole golf course. Overnight or

weekly visitors can choose to “rough it” in

a tent or pull their RV up to a site with electricity

and relax in style.

Spending the day hiking, swimming,

fishing or picnicking are popular for family


Fishing is good and both lakes are

stocked with several varieties including

rainbow trout and tiger muskie.

For bird watchers the shoreline will

often shelter a Great Blue Heron, a Snowy

Egret or White-faced Ibis. Other waterfowl

are seen on the lakes and nearby ponds. Mallards,

Cinnamon and Blue Winged Teals and

Shovelers are common sights. Osprey can be

seen hovering above the water watching for

New handicap-accessible path

around Martin Lake at Lathrop Park

photo by David Rinehart

Outdoor recreation is abundant at Lathrop State Park including a sandy beach, water sports, hiking, photography

and bird watching—and close to Walsenburg and La Veta for a day trip.

fish or perched in a near-by tree with the

“catch of the day” in its talons.

Other animals seen in the park, a daily

list is kept in the Visitors Center, include

mule deer, pronghorn, bobcats, coyotes,

wild turkeys, raccoons and rattlesnakes.

Bald Eagles also visit the lakes, usually between

December and March.

Birders have reported seeing Double

Crested Cormorants, Swans, White Pelicans

and Loons on the water and Flickers, Piñon

Jays, Road Runners and Ladder Backed

Woodpeckers in the forested areas.

As in all areas of the Rocky Mountain

West, campers must remember to keep their

site “bear proof”. This includes keeping food

out of your campsite or vehicle. Bears have

been known to “break into” motor homes,

tents or cars seeking that salty or sweet treat.

There are weekend educational and informational

programs offered in the

summer at the outdoor Piñon amphitheater.

World Journal 2019 Summer Guide page 9

Take a

Scenic Drive

Explore the alpine flora

and panoramic views of

the Sangre de Cristo

mountain range from

Farley Overlook.

many working ranches and cattle may be in

the road. Turn left and go east on Highway

160 for about 100 yards and turn right on

CR 410. Take CR 410 until you reach Highway

12 again just north of La Veta.

Detours: Take Highway 69 from Gardner

to Walsenburg. Or, follow South Oak

Creek Canyon. When on CR 550, before

reaching Gardner, turn south on CR 560 to

CR 540 to CR 531 to CR 530 which will lead

you to Yellowstone Road.

cameron mine

Operated by Colo. Fuel & Iron (CF&I),

the company town was built in 1907 and included

25 homes, a store, and post office

which named the camp Farr. Coal production

ended in 1945.

You can see ruins and tailings as you

drive along the road. You’ll also see a stairway

left from the former YMCA camp at

Farr, built by Rockefeller.

Take CR 340 (Bear Creek) from the west

end of Walsenburg, go south one mile. From

La Veta take Moore St./CR 358 east nine

miles to CR 343, turn left on CR 340.

Farley memorial Wildflower


One of the finest displays of alpine

wildflowers is yours to view this summer at

the top of Cuchara Pass. The John B. Farley

Wildflower Overlook in the San Isabel National

Forest puts on an amazing show of

color, covering a whole mountain meadow.

More than a dozen kinds of wildflowers

create a beautiful setting so don’t be surprised

to see a wedding going on, especially

in July.

To get to the Farley Memorial Wildflower

Overlook, take U.S. Highway 12

(Highway of Legends) from La Veta south

for 17 miles to the top of Cuchara Pass. Turn

left onto the dirt road marked Cordova Pass

Road (CR 364). Go about one-half mile and

look for the Farley Overlook sign. Park your

car before the fenced area enclosing the


uptop Ghost town

Located at the summit of

Old La Veta Pass, the Uptop

Ghost Town has the original

1877 depot museum, dance hall

and chapel-by-the-wayside. Located

15 minutes west of La

Veta. Take Hwy. 160 to CR 443,

the dirt road climbs to 9,000’.

Once you reach the summit you

can continue and rejoin Hwy.

160 on the west side of La Veta

Pass, or go back the way you


A beautiful loop drive on

maintained county roads. Be aware, the

only restroom on this route will be in Gardner,

if the store is open.

Go west on Highway 160 over La Veta

Pass. About a mile west of the pass, turn

right on CR 572 (a.k.a. Pass Creek Road).

You will drive by the subdivision of Paradise

Acres. CR 572 will merge with and become

CR 570. The road winds along aspen

groves and Pass Creek flows next to the road

at times. Sheep Mountain and Little Sheep

Mountain dominate your views to the

east.Continue until the intersection with CR

550 at Malachite. Turn right (east) and follow

550 until Highway 69. Follow Highway

69 east to Gardner. Drive east on Highway

69 for 8 miles until County Road 520 (aka

Yellowstone Road) branches off to the south,

with Badito on the north of Highway 69.

A quarter mile on CR 520 is a Historical

Marker for the Taos Trail. Drive the length

of CR 520 until Highway 160. You will see

photos by Renee Rinehart

Uptop Ghost Town contains several buildings including the Chapel-By-

The-Wayside. Experience early Colorado history and railroad history of

Old La Veta Pass from 1877 to 1962,

Art CartoPia


2702 Freedom Road

Trinidad, CO 81082









Page 10 2019 Summer Guide World Journal

Calendar of Events


June 1



June 1 @ 8:00 am - 10:00 am


June 1 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

at Deerprint Wine in La Veta



June 1 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

At La Veta Mercantile in La Veta

June 1

Trinidad Triggers Baseball opening day,

Central Park in Trinidad

June 7


June 7 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm At Deerprint

Wine in La Veta

June 28


June 28 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

CMA award winning singer/ songwriter

returns to La Veta! Susan is a respected

performer and writer with one of the

top-selling country songs of all time

under her belt. At Deerprint Wine in

La Veta

June 28


Concerts and fun events.

Call 719-846-7217 for more info.

June 29

June 29


Allan Goodwin is one of the funniest

and respected comics on the circuit

today, At the Fox Theatre Walsenburg

June 29


PARK FUNDRAISER @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Life is a Cabaret: Cuchara Mountain

Park Fundraiser. The show will feature

a Beatles Medley (with Audience Singalong),

light jazz, Broadway, operetta,

comedy, and more!

June 30

BASEBALL Pecos League Mountain Division

All-Star Game, Trinidad at Central


CONCERT: Jed Zimmerman & Jimmy Davis

@ 6:00 pm

Deerprint Wine Bar,


8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Fox Theatre

Nancy is passionate about spreading

the word that HUMOR is a actually a


July 20 and 21


July 20 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Celebrate La Veta’s origins on the

grounds of Francisco Fort Plaza.


July 20 and 21



July 21 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

La Veta Village is organizing our First

Annual Highway of Legends Yard Sale!

303-419-0694 for more info.


July 22-27

Las Animas County Fair


The Marathon of the Legends Team

Relay starts at Sixth and Main Street in

downtown Walsenburg

August 29


6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Audiences are in for a treat with Austin

duo Byrd & Street noted for their “impeccable

male/female harmony,” Deerprint

Wine Bar


September 7

CULTURAL FESTIVAL Mountain Mining Days,

Walsenburg Local parade with a street

full of vendors. Good family fun.

September 13-14

CULTURAL FESTIVA LArtocade Parade - an astounding

display of car art - a must see.

Visit the Art Cartopis Art Car Museum at

2702 Freedom Road, Trinidad.

September 19 - September 22



Attend the Spanish Peaks International

Celtic Music Festival and become enchanted

by world-renowned Celtic artists

and scholars guaranteed to keep

you singing, dancing, and enjoying

music day and night in various locations

throughout Spanish Peaks Country!

June 8

CULTURAL FESTIVAL: June 8-9, Huajatolla heritage

festival, in Town Park in La Veta -

See Facebook

Is a special three-day event in Spanish

Peaks County that honors the area’s Hispano

and Native American cultures.

June 8


8am to 2pm

June 8



@ 8:30 am - 10:00 am Spend an hour

Saturday morning on a 5K run through

La Veta, located in the Cuchara Valley at

the base of the Spanish Peaks!

June 8

CONCERT: Shelley Morningsong @ 7:00 pm

- 9:00 pm La Veta Mercantile,

300 S Main St

La Veta Mercantile on Facebook

June 8

CONCERT: Eryn Bent @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Daily Perks on 5th Coffee Bar, 110 East

5th St. Walsenburg, CO

June 15

CONCERT: Singer-songwriter BOB LIVING-

STON has never been a traditional Texas

country musician at La Veta Mercantile

in La Veta

June 20-23

CONCERTS:Sonic Bloom at Hummingbird

Ranch North of Walsenburg

June 22

CONCERT: Anita Cochran is an American

Country Music and Country Music

Awards nominated country music

singer, songwriter, guitarist at La Veta

Mercantile in La Veta

June 26


June 30 Rocky Mountain Star Stare

(RMSS) is an annual star party sponsored

by the Colorado Springs Astronomical


June 27


9:30 pm at Fox Theatre in Walsenburg.


July 4


OF JULY PARADE, 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Street dance, barbecue, kids games. Everyone

is welcome to participate in the


July 4

Annual Family Fun Run in Cuchara

Cuchara Valley Rec

July 4-- July 5

Independence Week Festivities in

Trinidad at Central Park

July 5 - July 6

CONCERT: Spanish Peaks Music Festival

The Spanish Peaks Music Festival comes

to La Veta for two days each July and

features a solid lineup of awesome

country music

July 6


@ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Parade on Main Street. Floats by Individuals,

organizations, agencies, civic,

church, and school groups are welcome.

July 20

FUN RUN: Spanish Peaks Striders: Francisco

Ft. Days 10K & 5K @ 8:30 am -

10:00 am. Spend an hour Saturday

morning on a 5K fun run/walk or 10K

run through La Veta, located in the Cuchara

Valley at the base of the Spanish


July 27


@ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm tickets| $15

At Deerprint Wine in La Veta


August 1


8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

tickets $10 – $15

Lucas Bohn is energetic with an edge.

Fox Theatre Walsenburg

August 3


2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

the Gardner ChuckWagon Dinner will be

held in the yard behind the Methodist



LAR 125TH ANNIVERSARY 12.5K 8:00 am

- 10:00 am

CULTURAL FESTIVAL: August 3, 2019, marks

the 125th anniversary for the Town of

Aguilar, CO

August 7-11

Huerfano County 4-H Fair

August 10


Stonewall Century Ride

The Stonewall Century is a challenging

road bike ride along one of Colorado’s

most beautiful scenic highways.

August 10


6:00 pm - 8:00 pm Fort Worth, Texasbased

solo acoustic guitar master

At Deerprint Wine in La Veta

August 23

Trinidaddio Blues Prefest Party

Downtown Trinidad

August 24

CONCERT: Trinidaddio Blues Fest

2019 headliner - The Sugaray Rayford


August 25



8:00 am - 10:00 am

For more events

There are many more events happening

in the area than can be listed here. Be

sure to check out the following websites

for current event dates.

Colorado State parks



Cuchara Valley Recreation


Deerprint Wine


Fox Theatre, Walsenburg


Francisco Center for Performing Arts


La Veta Mercantile

events all year long -on Facebook page

Museum of Friends


Sonic Bloom


Spanish Peaks Country


Spanish Peaks Arts Council


Spanish Peaks Intertional Celtic Music



Stonewall Century Ride



Artocade Parade


Santa Fe Trail Days


Trinidaddio Blues Fest


Trinidad Historic MainStreet Facebook

Trinidad Triggers Baseball


Trinidad Tourism


World Journal 2019 Summer Guide page 11

Go Fishing

Fishing Holes:

Lathrop State Park

Offering two lakes, Martin (all motorboats) and Horseshoe

(wakeless) Lakes. Two miles west of Walsenburg

on Hwy. 160.

Wahatoya State Wildlife Area

Wahatoya Lake and Daigre Reservoir. One mile east of

La Veta on Moore St.

Blue Lake and Bear Lake

Three miles south of Cuchara on Hwy. 12.

(See information below)

Monument Lake

100-acre lake stocked with browns, cutthroats, rainbows,

kokanee salmon and splake.

On Hwy. 12—37 miles west of Trinidad or 17 miles

south of Cuchara.

photo by

Rachelle Andreatta

North Lake

Famous for being home to four species of trout, cutthroat, rainbow, kokanee and

brown. Thirteen miles south of Cuchara on Hwy. 12. Fishing only by artificial flies or


Trinidad Lake State Park

Five miles west of Trinidad on Hwy. 12.

Bosque del Oso State Wildlife Area

Stream fishing when running. 21 miles

west of Trinidad on Colorado Hwy. 12.

Lily Lake

Strenuous hike to pristine lake in upper

Huerfano River area. Coldwater stream. 13

miles west of Gardner on County Road 580.

State Fishing Licenses are required in Colorado and are available at many local

stores and Lathrop State Park Visitor Center.

Blue and Bear


Recreation at 10,500’

Whether you are looking for overnight

camping or just a day in the great outdoors,

Blue Lake and Bear Lake are great destinations.

The U.S. Forest Service operates the two facilities

that are enjoyed for picnics, hiking, fishing

and camping.

Blue Lake is a lake located at 10,480’ elevation.

The campground has 15 official sites. There are rest rooms and drinking water

photo by Renee Rinehart

available. The fishing is excellent and there are several trailheads leading into the Sangre

de Cristo Mountains nearby. There is a crossroad at the campground and if you take the

left, you’ll be starting up the hill to Trinchera Peak. Up about a mile-and-a-half is the

northern end of the North Fork Trail.

Bear Lake is about one mile further up the road. Bear Lake Campground is located

at 10,500’ elevation and has 14 official campsites. There are rest rooms and drinking water

available. Camping, picnicking, fishing, and parking are fee activities. There are also several

hiking trailheads nearby.

Directions: From Highway 12 at Mile Marker 20, hairpin turn, is the road to Blue

and Bear Lake and the entrance to the Cucharas River Recreation Area. Blue Lake is four

miles in, and the campground is up the hill above the lake. Bear Lake is one mile further

up the dirt road.

Page 12 2019 Summer Guide World Journal

La Veta Trails: Find Your Trail

courtesy marilyn russell, la Veta trails

The pristine beauty of the Spanish Peaks region offers 130+ miles of multiuse

trails for you to experience a variety of mountain, community, prairie and

wetland environments. Whether you prefer to gravel, mountain or road bike,

hike, ride a horse or a motor bike, fish, view wildlife, or simply want an easy

trail to walk with your children, the Spanish Peaks has trails for you.

A variety of recreational activities are available for you to experience on

the trails in La Veta and Walsenburg. These trails connect you to businesses,

recreational facilities, and other activity centers, as well as parks and open

spaces. The icons inform you of the uses allowed or amenities available on

each trail.

Go to www.lavetatrails.org to find links to trails and useful information

about each. The links are searchable so you can find the special trails that suit

you – dog-friendly, picnic area, difficulty level, and even trails with rest rooms.

Trail descriptions cover directions to the trailhead, distance, elevation gain, connections

to other trails, and much more.

After a day on the trail, visit La Veta, Walsenburg, Cuchara, or Gardner to

have a meal, a latte, an ice cream cone, pizza, freshly baked bread, or local barbeque.

Shop at the many galleries for original works of art, pottery and jewelry

made by local artists. Top off your day with a play, live music event, or a movie.

Go to spanishpeakscountry.com and lavetacucharachamber.com to find links to

lodging, dining, shops and galleries. Visit the La Veta Public Library website for

a link to things to do for all ages and interests and a community calendar


trail maps and information

San Isabel National Forest Trails - Maps and information can be found at the

San Isabel National Forest La Veta Work Center, 103 E. Field St., La Veta, CO

81055. (719) 742-3681. Alternatively, contact the San Carlos Ranger District Office

in Canon City at (719) 269-8500.

La Veta Trails – www.lavetatrails.org. Trail maps can be printed from the website.

La Veta/Cuchara Chamber Information Center is located at Paradise Coffee,

305 S. Main St., La Veta. Hours Thursday-Monday, 6:30-2:00.

Spanish Peaks Country:

Over 130 miles of mountain, prairie,

wetland, and community multi-use trails.

World Journal 2019 Summer Guide page 13

Hike-Bike-ATV Trails

Gentle Hikes

cuerno Verde & hogback nature trails

Both are located within Lathrop State Park on Highway 160, two miles west of Walsenburg.

Mostly flat and paved trails that circle the two lakes, and provide exceptional

views of the Spanish Peaks, Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range, and Greenhorn Mountain.

The Visitors Center can provide detail on the hikes.

Blue and Bear lakes

Four miles off of Highway 12, south of Cuchara. From La Veta take CO Highway 12

south 14.2 miles to Bear Lake/Blue Lake Campground sign (Forest Road 422). Turn right

onto FR 422 (dirt) and drive for 5 miles to the Bear Lake Day-use Area on the right. Hiking

around and between the lakes provides a taste of the surrounding wilderness at high elevation.

Elevation of Trail: 10,480’

Daigre reservoir trail - Wahatoya State Wildlife area

This one mile trail is an easy to moderate hike, looping the Daigre Reservoir. The

gravel surface trail traverses on the top of a berm on the south side and through woods on

the north side with stunning views of the Spanish Peaks and Mt. Maestas. Parking is available

at the entrance to Daigre Reservoir. Drive east on Moore Ave. for about one mile to

the parking area on the left.

Farley overlook

This is a short interpretive trail of flowers provided by the Farley Foundation. Parking

is available; trail is bordered by a split rail fence. A stone monument is in place with a

bronze plaque dedicated to John B. Farley. From La Veta take CO Highway 12 to Cucharas

Pass, turn left on County Road 46.

Trail Length: 100 feet

Elevation: 10,000’

Fiesta park/cucharas river trail

This nature trail follows the Cucharas River, starting at the stone wall behind the

Huerfano County Community Center in Walsenburg in Fiesta Park at 10th and Russell. It

is an easy hike at a .61 mile distance. Parking is available at the community center.

School nature trail

Located just east of La Veta Schools, this is a .25 mile interpretive loop trail with stone

dust surface. Slight rise to the painted benches. The trail passes information kiosks and

plant identification markers. There is a beautiful view of Mt. Maestas. Great for families.

Dogs on leased are welcome. Parking is available on the southeast corner of E. Garland St.

and Birch St. east of the school.

Second Street trail

This 2 mile, gravel surface trail starts at 2nd Street in Walsenburg and ends at the Walsenburg

Golf Course. The trail meanders through pasture land and open range.

Trail Connection: Lathrop State Park. To access this trail, go north on 2nd Street in

Walsenburg to off street parking at cattle guards.

Wahatoya State Wildlife area

One mile east of La Veta on Moore Street with parking area on the right. Two lakes,

Wahatoya and Daigre provide an opportunity for a picturesque stroll near town. Both are

easy to moderate walks with loop trails around each reservoir that are about one mile in


Moderate Hikes

apishapa trail

Turn off Highway 12 at the top of Cucharas Pass onto the Cordova Pass Road. It’s

about 12 miles to the trailhead. This trail ties into both the Wahatoya and West Peak Trails

providing multiple options from one trailhead.

Trail Length: 3.5 miles

Elevation at Trailhead: 9,800’ Elevation at Summit: 10,400’ (Elevation Gain 600’)

Dike trail

From the village of Cuchara hikers can access the Dike Trail by walking up Oak Street

to its terminus. Although you will not be able to see the dikes, this trail climbs, then traverses

the slope that separates the White Creek and Cucharas River.

Trail Length: 3.4 miles

Elevation at Trailhead: 8,500’’ Elevation at Summit: 8,800’ (Elevation Gain 300’)

indian creek trail

The Indian Creek Trail is a 13-mile trail from Bear Lake to Sulphur Springs off County

Road 421. It has multiple access points, so shorter sections can be achieved in a day or halfday

hike. This trail offers views of Cuchara Valley and the old Cuchara Ski Resort.

Trail Length: 13 miles

Elevation at Trailhead: 8,600 Elevation at Summit: 10,400 (Elevation Gain 1,800)

rainbow trail

Located on the Huerfano and Custer County border, this trail can be accessed from

Highway 69, five miles south of Westcliffe and then 10 miles south on Custer County Road


Spring creek trail

Spring Creek Trail begins next to Cuchara Sanitation and Water District offices on

Highway 12 in Cuchara. From the trailhead, it is a moderate 1.5 mile walk to Aspen

Meadows, a wide-open space perfect for a picnic. Just above the meadow hikers can access

the Dodgeton Loop to the north, or Baker Creek trail to the south. Both of these options

lead up to Indian Creek Trail.

Difficult Hikes

lily lake

Take Hwy. 69 to Gardner. Go west from Gardner on CR 550. Turn onto CR 580 at Red

Wing and follow the road to the traihead. The trail ebgins at about 10,000’ and the lake is

at 12,900’.

Wahatoya trail

From La Veta take County Road 360 for six miles to the intersection with Forest Service

Road 442. Four-wheel drive advised for the last two miles to the trailhead. The trail crosses

the saddle between West Spanish Peak and East Spanish Peak. It offers splendid views of

the plains to the north, Wet Mountains and Greenhorn Mountains.

Elevation at Trailhead: 8,400’ Elevation at Summit: 9,800’ (Elevation gain 1,400’)

West Spanish peak trail

Take Highway 12 to the top of Cucharas Pass, turn east on County Rd. 46 and continue

on dirt road for 6 miles to the Cordova Pass Summit and trailhead to West Peak. Hike

2 miles to timber line, and from there it is another 3/4 mile to the summit of West Peak.

Start early to get off the peak before afternoon weather develops.

Elevation at Trailhead: 11,248’ Elevation at Summit: 13,600’ (Elevation gain 2,352’)

16th Annual




Saturday, August 10

102-mile ride from

La Veta to Segundo

on The Scenic

Highway of Legends.

Out and back ride at

7,500 ft. elevation.

Hosted by

Spanish Peaks Cycling





Page 14 2019 Summer Guide World Journal

Be Bear Aware

one man’S traSh iS

another Bear’S Snack

What do bears do when these food sources are

absent? They search for substitute foods by following

their incredibly efficient sense of smell. They

are drawn to people’s yards when they smell trash,

pet foods, fruiting trees, and other enticing aromas.

They may also be attracted to chicken coops

or bee hives. Some people will call these bears a

nuisance; a word Holder says he will never use to

describe bears.

They don’t do it to bother you, they’re just

doing what they have to. It therefore becomes our

responsibility to discourage hungry bears from

perceiving our environs as food sources.

How do we do this? We can start by keeping

our yards free from temptations. We can use bearproof

trash receptacles, or if that is not doable, we

can avoid putting out aromatic trash until it’s time

to be picked up by the collectors. Where bears are

attracted to bird feeders, remove the temptation by

not feeding birds during the fall (birds should be

able to find alternate foods); avoid feeding pets

outdoors, or bring their dishes indoors after

they’ve eaten; burn food off barbeque grills and

clean up after each use. Also, electric fencing can

be erected around chicken coops and bee-hives,

goat or pig pens, and rabbit hutches to discourage

hungry bears. Look on the CPW website for fencing

suggestions, diagrams and pamphlets on how

to avoid conflicts with wildlife.

by tom macedo

The signs of spring are all around us. Buds are

forming on trees, perennials are popping up

through the soil, songbirds are appearing and singing,

and, bears are coming out of their winter

slumber. It’s these bears that increasingly need our

understanding and attention. Poor wild berry and

acorn crops in recent years have created an environment

in which bear-human encounters are

more prevalent. Generally, bears will den in the

higher, wilder country in Las Animas and Huerfano

Counties, but those seeking food have

brought them into areas where people live. Since

there have been more bears in and around our

towns in southern Colorado, chances are that some

are denning close to you.

Many of us feel fortunate to be living in a region

where we can observe wildlife. But unless we understand

our wild neighbors, we may pose a threat

to their existence. Helping people to understand

bear behaviors has been an important mission for

veteran District Wildlife Manager Bob Holder.

Holder has been working in Southern Colorado for

43 years (and counting). He believes bears deserve

our understanding and respect as they are highly

intelligent, industrious, and not intrinsically any

more dangerous than any other wild animal.

Sun’S out, tonGueS out

As bears come out of hibernations, they need

to kick-start their digestive systems. They do this

in large part by gorging on grasses and forbs. They

are not thinking about prey, and can be observed

in the spring grazing alongside deer and cows. As

a matter of fact, science has shown that up to 90%

(or more), of a bear’s diet is vegetation. This includes

acorns, berries, wild cherries, and nuts. The

animals that they do eat are mostly grubs and ants;

which is not to say they won’t eat a young deer

during fawning season — they do — as well as rabbits,

hares and ground squirrels and other small

mammals. But they are not the terrible predators

that some folks deem them to be.

When it comes to understanding bears, Holder

says that just because we might come upon a bear

feeding on a cow, or a sheep, or a deer carcass,

doesn’t that the bear killed the animal. He teaches

that these omnivores are first and foremost opportunistic

feeders, which unfortunately has been the

cause of unpleasant human-bear interactions.

Holder says that bears think with their stomachs...

stomachs that in some recent years are empty and

growling at the very time of the year when they

need to bulk up.

Every fall a bear will go through a period of hyperphagia,

a time when they ingest between 10,000

and 20,000 calories a day. This they must do as a

matter of survival as they will lose about 30% of

their body weight during winter hibernation. The

calorie rich foods they require for this bulk up

(berries, seeds, and nuts) are some years in short


“the Fault, Dear BruinS, iS not in our

traSh canS, But in ourSelVeS”

~Shakespeare, sorta

Officer Holder says that people need to be

aware that their actions could cause the demise of

these intelligent animals. When a bear believes it’s

found a reliable food source in your yard, it will return,

and you may call your local wildlife officer to

report it. If the officer has to remove the bear, it will

be double ear-tagged; if the bear is caught again for

ANY reason (pet food out or bird feeders beckoning,

or easily accessed trash) regardless of the time

frame between captures, that tagged bear will be


It seems unfair, and it is, when you consider

that all the bear was doing was trying to fulfill a

natural need. But, when a bear loses its fear of humans

and their surroundings, things quickly go

badly for them. Last year, due to regional late

spring frosts, the subsequent autumn crops were

unavailable to the hungry bruins, and they did

spread out into our communities in search of desperately

needed calories, and they did find what

they were seeking, and ultimately bears had to be

destroyed in numbers that I think would make

many of us more than uncomfortable to realize.

And, if you think wildlife officers — who took an

oath to protect wildlife — have no problem euthanizing

these creatures, you’re wrong. They do not

want to destroy a bear whose only crime was to

seek a meal.

conStant ViGilance!

It’s a fact that more and more people are moving

into our area; in some instances, from places

where they had never had to consider living near

bears. It’s important for the new arrivals to learn

about bear-proofing their yards, their homes and

their vehicles, just as it is for the long-term residents

to reconsider their habits, if bears are to be

protected. Learn about bears; there is good information

online and at your local state parks, or contact

your local District Wildlife Manager. Attend

one of Bob Holder’s State Park or school presentations.

And once again, seriously assess what you

might be doing that could ultimately hurt a bear.

Consider this a heads-up; we have until autumn to

get it right.

World Journal 2019 Summer Guide page 15

Oldies rock tours

by ruth orr

Okay, so maybe there aren’t any guitars, keyboards,

or crazy haired men in tight leather, but the

rock tours outlined here are worth screaming for anyway.

We are lucky to live in an incredibly geologically

diverse and historically rich area of the country. From

the tops of our mountains and mesas to the bottoms

of our valleys, we can read the history of our land in

the rocks. Now, with the help of these trips, you can

travel through time and see the processes that made

our counties what they are today

Red remnants of a long gone range

The geologic history of the area is ancient. Between

one and two billion years ago, huge beds of granite

formed all over the area. A range of mountains

known as the Ancestral Rockies uplifted in the same

place the current Rocky Mountains are today. As they

eroded, huge amounts of sediments were dropped in

the low areas near the mountains. As they hardened,

they formed the thick beds of red rock that gave Colorado

its name. You can see these rocks if you drive

along Highway 69 from Walsenburg to Gardner and

look right, at the base of Greenhorn Mountain. They

are also visible if you want to get out of the car and

hike a bit. (For more info see the Red Rocks on the Cucharas

Trip. )

As you drive along Highway 69, keep an eye out

for the Gardner Butte on the right hand side of the

road before you reach Gardner. About 27 million

years ago, the Sangre de Cristo mountains were thrust

upward, and the faulting caused breaks and cracks in

the surrounding rock. Bubbles of magma pushed up,

but failed to reach the surface. They slowly hardened

into the Spanish Peaks, Mount Maestas, Silver Mountain,

and the Sheep Mountains. Around the same

time, smaller cracks in the rock allowed for Gardner

Butte, Huerfano Butte, and the world-famous dikes

around the new mountain systems. All the buttes are

volcanic pugs, essentially magma blocks that hardned

underground before they could successfully explode

out onto the surface. The softer rock around them

slowly eroded away, finally exposing the rock to the


Pass Creek Pass divides geologic eras

Once you’re in Gardner, start looking off to your

left for Co Rd 550. Be aware that this is a dirt road

heading up into the mountains with no real amenities

along it, so excercise caution. Once on Co Rd 550,

drive for about five miles, then turn left onto Co Rd

570. Stay on that road for about 3.6 miles, it will turn

into Cross Creek Road. Stay on that, turn slightly left,

onto Co Rd 572, and you will be on Pass Creek Road.

Follow Pass Creek Road through the mountains for

stunning views of the 25 million year old intrusions

on the east side, and 1.7 billion year old mountains on

the west side. As you come down over the pass, hang

a left at the fork in the road (should be about 17 miles

on the Pass Creek Road) and keep driving until you

reach Highway 160. Turn left again, heading east, and

follow the highway back to Walsenburg. If you miss

the fork, don’t worry, follow the loop and merge going

left, then stay on the right branch, turn right, and follow

the road back out to Highway 160.

Table top mountains...what’s the deal?

Another trip option is to start out in Trinidad.

Visit the Louden-Henritze Museum, located at 600

Prospect Sreet within Trinidad State Junior College.

Admission is free, so take the chance to head in and

learn about the history of the area from the dinosaurs

through the paleolithic people of the area. From Trinidad,

drive south along I-25 to head past Fisher’s Peak

and over Raton Pass.

Fishers Peak is part of Raton Mesa, a broad overarching

group of mesas in the area. Their formation

is credited to more igneous activity in the region from

about the same time period as the mountains and

buttes a bit further north. As mountain ranges lifted

up, the Rio Grande Rift began tearing a hole in the

continent to the west (the rift has since healed and is

known as the San Luis Valley). Not all of the magma

was trapped below the surface however, and some of

it reached the top to spill out over the landscape. It

cooled into hard basalt, resting in patches on top of

softer rock below. Over time, the areas not capped by

basalt eroded down, but the basalt protected the underlying

rock and kept it standing up taller above the

valleys below. You can see the flat tops protecting the

towers beneath as you drive through the pass and

look out south across the landscape.

Everything is dead (almost)

Once you’re in Raton, you’re in a prime position

to see one of the most dramatic events in world history:

The K-T mass extinction. Sixty-five million years

ago, more than three quarters of all life on earth died.

This was the end of the dinosaurs, and the event

marks the boundary between the Tertiary and Cretaceous

time periods. To witness it for yourself, head

west on Moulton Avenue in Raton , then turn left onto

Hill Street. Drive up to the intersection, then turn

right onto the scenic highway. Follow that to the KT

Boundary Trail parking lot, then follow signs for a

short hike to the boundary. For such a huge event, the

boundary can be hard to see: a thin layer of Iridium is

all there is to mark it. There are signs in the area telling

you where to look. Head back to the parking lot,

turn left, and follow the scenic highway past the Hill

Street turn off to the top of Goat Hill for some spectacular

views of the region.

Gateway to the Spanish Peaks...

and awesome views

For the more adventurous spirits who want great

views and awesome rocks away from tourists, consider

this loop. Start in Trinidad (or anywhere south

of Aguilar), make sure your gas tank is full, and drive

north along I-25 until you reach exit 30, then follow

County Road 63.1 in to the town of Aguilar. If you’re

coming from the north, there is an exit at mile marker

34, but the views of the mountains are far more stunning

coming in from the south. While in Aguilar, if

it’s summertime, check out the Apishapa Valley Heritage

Center at 151 Main Street. A small number of

volunteers man the museum, but can’t be there all the

time, so before you get into town, be sure to contact

them ahead of time for an appointment.

Email apishipahistorical@gmail.com or call Pat

Romero 719-680-1393. The museum houses archaeological

items, newspaper articles, old photos, school

memorabilia, and more.

Off the tourist trail

When you’re done with the museum, get ready to

head up the road and into the wilderness. Drive west

through Aguilar along Main Street until you get to the

end of town, then hang a left on South San Antonio

Avenue to follow the road around the corner and out

of town. Enjoy your views of the Apishapa Valley as

you drive, with the Spanish Peaks in the background.

Keep an eye out for your turn: on the left side of the

road is a rundown shack, directly across the road is

County Road 54.2. It should be about 3.5 miles from

Aguilar. Turn right onto the dirt road. From here out,

most of the land around you is private property and

open range, so there won’t be fences and there may be

cows on or near the road. The second half of this loop

involves lots of hills, so if it’s been rainy lately, consider

rescheduling. There is almost no cell reception.

Water, water, everywhere, but not a

drop in sight

As you drive, keep an eye out for local wildlife,

and watch for the brilliant sandstone formations and

rock dikes all along the sides.

The sandstone is ancient and has a history most

people don’t expect when looking at the high arid

mountain environment it is found in. After the Ancestral

Rockies eroded away, a shallow inland sea

crossed across the heart of the continent and our entire

region was underwater. Thousands of feet of sand,

silt, mud, clay, and marine fossils settled on the floor

of the ocean, and over time gravity cemented them together

into stone. It was this stone that was cracked

open when the Spanish Peaks and their dikes came

bubbling up from the mantle. Much of the stone has

eroded away through the years, but outcroppings and

boulders can be seen all along this drive.

Mountains and meadows

Continue following County Road 54.2 until there

is a fork in the road. Stay right and turn onto County

Rd 41.4, which turns into Co Road 313. Stay on 313

for another few miles. From the turnoff onto the dirt

road until your next major turn onto Co Rd 312 should

be about ten miles. The signal to turn is a rundown

one-room schoolhouse at a fork in the road. Take a

right hand turn onto Co Rd 312, and follow it up.

Keep your eyes peeled for incredible views of the Spanish

Peaks, the Wet Mountain Range, and Greenhorn

Mountain as you drive down. Remember, this is all

private property, so don’t go wandering off even if

there isn’t a fence near the road. Stay on Co Rd 312,

also known as Rouse Road, until you come to an intersection

with Co Rd 310. Stay right and continue

heading down out of the mountains on 310. Don’t

turn off 310 and it will take you all the way back to I-

25. You can turn left for Walsenburg or right to head

back to Trinidad from there.



Local professional artists as instructors

2019 FFF Classes

Painting Yourself June 14

Maggie MacIndoe

Clay for All

June 21 9-noon

Nicold Copoel

Totem Building July 5

Kate McCabe

Painting with Tools July 19

Peggy Zehring

Steampunk Art July 26

Sharona Nova-Whitley

Navajo Sandpainting Aug 2

Sharona Nova-Whitley

Encaustic Aug 9

Tanya White

Drawing with Tools Aug 16

Lana Thomas Wachterman

Doodling with line and color Aug 23

Becky Myers

105 Ryus Ave

PO Box 33

La Veta, CO





Apparel Glass Jewelry Pottery Woodwork

Local Artisan Gifts

205 s. main st. la veta

www.craftedincolorado.com 719.742.3900

Page 18 2019 Summer Guide World Journal

Please don’t pet the wildlife...

These tips will help keep you and the wildlife safe as you explore and enjoy the great outdoors in Huerfano County

by travis Sauder

colorado parks and Wildlife

WalSenBurG– Summer brings a noticeable

change to Huerfano County.

Snow melts out of the high country, revealing

lush green meadows punctuated

by colorful wildflowers. Lakes and

streams are filled with beautiful, clear

water and hot days paired with warm

evenings draw people outdoors.

Summertime also means an influx

of visitors to Colorado, both those coming

“home” to their vacation properties

and those who come to camp, fish and

recreate in the natural playground that

surrounds us.

The influx of people also coincides

with an increase of wildlife activity and

that can create some problems.

Whether you are a year-round Coloradoan,

a summer resident, or simply

spending a day with us, you have an

important role to play in protecting the

wildlife you encounter. By following a

few simple rules, you can protect both

the wildlife and yourself while helping

ensure all our wild creatures remain for

future generations to enjoy.

rule no. 1:

Don’t feed the wildlife

You’ve probably seen this and

other slogans. I’m afraid they are somewhat

ineffective as deterrents because

they don’t answer a key question: why.

Why not hand out apples or corn to

deer? Why not hang hummingbird

feeders? Or put out piles of bird seed

for bears? Some may think these are

harmless. But they often have horrible,

unintended consequences.

Deer are ruminants with very specialized

dietary systems. Their stomachs

are designed to digest natural

forage, such as grasses and shrubs.

Providing them food that doesn’t

occur naturally in the area, such as apples

and corn, can cause severe damage

to their stomachs. Often, the damage is

so severe the deer dies. What was

meant to help ends up in a painful

death for the animal.

Then there are bird feeders. I understand

people like to attract birds.

They enjoy seeing different species

with their wild colors and unique

chirping. But birds don’t need supplemental

food. And hanging bird feeders

is like ringing a dinner bell for bears.

That pound of seed you hung for the

chickadees is a calorie smorgasbord to

a bear looking to build up fat reserves

for winter.

Hummingbird feeders filled with

sugar water are even worse. If you

want to attract birds, try using a bird

bath (a floating, solar-powered fountain

really helps) or dust bath to entice

our avian friends without unwittingly

luring our resident bears.

If you absolutely must put out a

feeder, make sure to put it out well after

sunrise and bring it in well before sunset,

the times when bears are most active.

Speaking of bears, they are often

the subject of slogans, such as “Garbage

kills bears” and “A fed bear is a dead

bear.” Unfortunately, the slogans are

true, even if most fed bears are fed unintentionally.

Often it is trash left unsecured and

outside overnight. This is easily solved

by putting all trash into a bear-proof

container or locking trash in a garage or

shed until the morning of trash pickup.

If you are camping, make sure to

store all food in a hard-sided vehicle,

lock the doors and throw a blanket over

it (some really smart bears seem to

visually relate a cooler with food).

Never eat or cook inside your tent.

Just last year a bear broke into an

unoccupied tent and discovered food.

He returned the next day, twice, taking

advantage of food left on a picnic table

and a bird feeder a camper had hung.

On the bear’s third visit to the campground,

I was called and ultimately

had to euthanize the bear for human


You want to talk about a bad day

Pronghorn graze as smoke from the Spring Fire helped create a dramatic sunset. Photo courtesy Colorado Parks

and Wildlife / Travis Sauder

on the job? Killing a bear that was

simply following its natural instincts

tops my list. Taking the extra effort to

lock up trash and keep a clean campsite

isn’t just a good idea, it can literally

save a bear’s life.

rule no. 2:

look, but don’t touch

Watching and photographing wildlife

is a huge reason people love living

here and visiting. Deer, elk and pronghorn

roam the county. Bighorn sheep

live in the high country and rocky

ledges in the western part of the county.

Birds of every shape and size exploit

the various habitats. Lizards and rattlesnakes

can be seen sunning themselves

on rocks.

While the deer, in particular, can

seem tame, it’s important to remember

these are all wild animals. In June,

when the does (female deer) have their

fawns, like any mother, they can be

very defensive of their young. This also

raises a good point: if you find young

wildlife, leave them be.

Many wild animals will leave their

young alone for extended periods of

time, relying on the built-in camouflage

of the babies’ fur to hide them while the

mother goes off to feed.

Keep your distance. How close is

too close? A simple rule of thumb is

this: if your presence causes the animal

to change its behavior, you are too


A bedded deer standing up while

watching you, a bird flying off its nest,

or any animal running off are all signs

you are too close. A bear in a tree may

look relaxed, but if it makes a groaning

sound, huffs and clacks its jaws, it is

showing you it is stressed by your presence.

Keeping a respectful distance from

wildlife and not handling young animals

are some simple steps we can all

follow to increase our enjoyment of

them while making sure the encounter

doesn’t negatively impact them.

rule no. 3:

know your surroundings

Almost everyone has heard of the

jogger near Fort Collins who was attacked

by a young mountain lion. No

doubt it made many worry that wild

carnivores like mountain lions and

bears are hiding behind every tree waiting

to pounce.

The good news is this simply isn’t

true. It’s actually quite rare for wild animals

to attack people. Almost every

animal is going to choose to avoid contact

with people. But you should take

certain precautions when venturing


Mountain lions and bears are most

active at dawn and dusk, so being extra

vigilant during these times is a must.

Making noise while out hiking

alerts animals to your presence and

gives them a chance to run away. You

don’t want to startle them. Avoiding

areas with lots of dense brush also reduces

the chance of a surprise encounter.

If you do spot a mountain lion or

bear, back away slowly while talking in

a firm, loud voice. Raise your arms over

your head to make yourself appear

larger. Never turn your back or run, as

this can trigger a predator/prey instinct.

Also, don’t climb a tree. Both

mountain lions and black bears can

climb much better than we can.

If you are attacked, fight back with

everything you have. Use sticks, stones,

or anything you can find. Hit the animal

in the face, eyes and nose. I recommend

carrying a can of bear spray.

Numerous studies have proven that

handguns are an ineffective deterrent

against a charging animal while bear

spray is extremely effective.

Besides bears and lions, there are

other dangers to keep in mind. Rattlesnakes

can be found in just about every

part of the county. Watch for them in

rocky areas during warm days. If

bitten, seek immediate medical attention.

Lightning is another danger. If

you are out hiking, be aware of the

weather. Afternoon lightning storms

are common, especially above timberline.

And they are deadly.

Hike early, get off the mountain as

soon as storms start building, and tell

someone where you are going. Carrying

a GPS device, basic survival gear,

multiple layers and a first aid kit are all

good ideas when recreating in the


rule no. 4:

Get out and enjoy it!

We are blessed with an abundance

of wildlife and a huge variety of

species. By engaging with these wild

creatures both wisely and safely, we can

reduce the stress they experience while

maximizing our enjoyment of them.

Whether it’s watching them in our

backyard, viewing them through a

camera lens or binoculars, or from opposite

ends of a fishing pole, we must

each intentionally choose to protect

and care for our wildlife.

As your wildlife officer, I appreciate

your efforts. And if they could talk,

I think the animals would say thank

you, as well.

A buck in velvet rests among charred trees after the Spring Fire.

Photo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife / Travis Sauder

World Journal 2019 Summer Guide page 21

"Colorado's Mystic Mountain"

"Huajatolla" is the Ute Indian name for the majestic and mystical twin peaks rising up out of the prairie in southern Colorado.

Pronounced "Wa-ha-toy-a", it means "Breasts of the Earth". Copies of the legendary Huajatolla 1916 print available at the World

Journal office at 508 Main St. in Walsenburg, or from our website; www.WorldJournalNewspaper.com

Page 22 2019 Summer Guide World Journal


by ruth orr

When people think of our area, they tend to

think of pristine natural beauty- unspoiled national

forests, dramatic mountains and rock formations,

wild animals roaming the plains and through the

trees. While we do have all that, we also have

something that may be a bit more surprising to

those who don’t know:

Music. Music for all ages across a wide

number of genres, from single evening concerts to

multi-day festivals; from traditional Celtic to Bluegrass

to Electronica to Country to Blues, we have

it all, spread across our territory.

Perhaps the longest running music festival and

concert series in the area is the Spanish Peaks International

Celtic Music Festival. Now in its 15th

year, the festival has grown from an afternoon

backyard party to four days of workshops, classes,

demonstrations, talks, and concerts, happening all

over Huerfano County.

The SPICMF has brought in internationally renowned

artists, from countries ranging from Argentina

to Spain and from Canada to the British

Isles, a well as superstars from the United States of


Taking place the third weekend of September

every year, the festival officially kicks off with an

evening concert in the town of Gardner before

launching into a full weekend of fun and music in

La Veta and Cuchara, with evening concerts in

Walsenburg. This year’s lineup will include internationally

famous and local favorites The Old

Blind Dogs, as well as several up and coming hot

bands from Ireland, plus a host of other artists,

some new to the festival, some back by popular demand.

To see the schedule, check out who is coming,

and buy tickets, go to celticmusicfest.com.

There is another celtic harp concert the following


If Celtic music isn’t your cup of tea, there are

loads of other musical events to pique your interest.

Trinidad has its own Blues festival, Trinidaddio,

which takes place in August and dominates

the town with funky music and awesome people

(trinidaddiobluesfest.com). See page 31 for more

The High Kings, who tour the world and previously played at the LIbrary of Congress in Washington,

D.C., came to Huerfano County in 2016. In addition to their other concerts, they took

the stage along with the local high school choir for one of the many free shows and events the

SPICMF hosts over the course of the weekend.

Triniddadio information.

Sonic Bloom is another multi-day music festival

that happens in June (sonicbloomfestival.com)

that attracts a couple thousand people each year.

The Spanish Peaks Music Festival in July

brings Country music stars to play in La Veta (spanishpeaksmusicfestival.com).

Deerprint Wine and The La Veta Mercantile

(both in La Veta) and La Plaza Inn, Daily Perks,

Walsenburg Pizza, and the Fox Theatre in Walsenburg

host concerts regularly all summer long, as do

other locations around the county, such as the Dog

Bar in Cuchara, so keep your eyes on the World

Journal for upcoming events so you don’t miss out!

There’s more music just over the border in Colfax

County, New Mexico too, so branch out and

enjoy! Whatever your interests are, you’ll find

something for them here.

World Journal 2019 Summer Guide page 23

High Altitude Sickness

The ups and downs of visiting the mountains

Many visitors traveling

to our area who live at

lower elevations may experience

altitude sickness.

People who normally live


at or near sea level are

more prone to acute

mountain sickness, especially

upon exertion.

Acute mountain sickness

is brought on by the

combination of reduced

air pressure and lower oxygen

concentration that

occur at high altitudes.

Symptoms can range

from mild to life-threatening.

In most cases the

symptoms are mild.

Approximately 20

percent of people will develop

mild symptoms at

altitudes between 6,300 to

9,700 feet.

Symptoms generally

associated with mild to

moderate altitude illness


• Difficulty sleeping

• Dizziness or light-headedness

• Fatigue

• Headache

• Loss of appetite

• Nausea or vomiting

• Rapid pulse (heart rate)

• Shortness of breath with exertion

People with anemia have a reduced

red blood cell count, and therefore have a

lower amount of oxygen carried in the

blood. Those prone to anemia should

What’s the



Walsenburg 6,171’

Gardner 6,969’

La Veta 7,037’

Cuchara 8,468’

La Veta Pass 9,413’

Bear Lake 10,480’

Blue Lake 10,500’

Cordova Pass 11,243’


Mountain 12,347’

E. Spanish Peak 12,683’

W. Spanish Peak 13,626’

Mt. Blanca 14,345’

consult a doctor regarding

an iron supplement.

Drink plenty of

fluids, especially

water, avoid alcohol,

and eat regularly.

Foods should be relatively

high in carbohydrates.

People with underlying

heart or lung

diseases should avoid

high altitudes.

Early diagnosis is

important. Acute

mountain sickness is

easier to treat in early


The main treatment

for all forms of

mountain sickness is

to descend to a lower

altitude as rapidly and

safely as possible. You

should not continue

climbing if you develop


Extra oxygen should be

given, if available. People with severe

mountain sickness may need to be

admitted to a hospital.

Call 911 or seek emergency medical

assistance if severe difficulty

breathing develops, or if you notice a

lower level of alertness, or other severe

symptoms such as confusion,

coughing up blood, or shortness of

breath at rest.

Enjoy your visit to our valley.

La Veta Fire Protection District

Some common-sense tips to stay flash-flood safe

by mark craddock

It's an undeniable fact: The

Spring Fire of 2018 was the thirdlargest

in Colorado history, burning

more than 108,000 acres of forest in

Huerfano and Costilla County. But

there is still plenty of pristine backcountry

waiting to be explored, miles

of trout streams waiting to be fished,

thousands of campsites where one

can sleep among the stars in quiet isolation.

There is, however, another undeniable

fact. Flash floods have always

been a possibility in southern Colorado

— indeed, much of the West —

and the Spring Fire has increased the

chances that they will occur locally

over the next several years.

Back country enthusiasts would

be wise to keep an eye on the sky and

plan their adventures around the possibility

of quick escape if conditions

rapidly change. Late-day thunderstorms,

common throughout the

summer and early fall, are not a

hiker's friend.

Like most wilderness dangers,

however, a little common sense will

go a long way toward ensuring a safe,

memorable experience in our slice of

the Rockies.

A July, 2010, U.S. Forest Service

publication provides the following

tips for staying flood-safe:

• Know your area's flood risks.

Monitor the NOAA weather radio for

all hazards bulletins, or your local

news stations for vital weather information.

You can visit www.noaa.gov

for weather updates and for flood

safety driving tips:


• When possible, carry a NOAA

weather radio. There are many portable,

battery operated models which

will slip easily into a backpack or

back pocket.

• Stay alert for signs of heavy rain

(thunder and lightning), both where

you are and upstream. Watch for rising

water levels.

• If flooding occurs, get to higher

ground. Leave low-lying areas immediately.

• Do not try to outrun a flash flood

in your car. Climb to safety immediately.

• Avoid areas already flooded,

especially if the water is flowing fast.

Do not attempt to cross flowing

streams. Remember: turn around;

don’t drown.

• Don't try to swim to safety; wait

for rescuers to come to you. Do not

camp or park your vehicle along

streams and rivers, particularly during

threatening conditions.

• Be especially cautious at night,

when it is harder to recognize and respond

to danger.

Locally, the risk of flash flooding

is greatest in streams that are

fed by runoff from burn-scarred

hillsides, which are less able to absorb

and retain water. Hikers

should be particularly careful in the

regions along Pass Creek, Spring

Creek, Middle Creek, Indian Creek,

North Abeyta Creek, South Abeyta

Creek and the Huerfano and Cucharas


Page 24 2019 Summer Guide World Journal

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World Journal 2019 Summer Guide page 25

‘Cuchara River Estates’ River and Views are breathtaking

on these adjoining acreages

Tract 7A Tract 7B

39.45 acres 35.08 acres

Page 26 2019 Summer Guide World Journal

Tour the

Scenic Highway

of Legends

The Ten Essentials of backcountry hiking:

How to stay safe when you’re out in the mountains

by ruth orr

aBoVe treeline near you —

Everyone knows that Colorado’s

mountains are beautiful, and some of

the best views in the state are above

treeline. However, going out into the

wilderness, especially into the back

country, has its risks. If you’re not prepared,

you could get into a lot of trouble.

the “10 essentials” are things that

everyone venturing into the back

country needs to bring/do in order to

be safe and prepared in the event of an

emergency. The list includes:

• Water. You get dehydrated

really quickly at high elevations, so

take way more than you think you

need. If your head starts to hurt, that’s

a good sign you need to drink more


•nutrition (extra food) and make

sure it’s actually nutritious! Sugary

snacks won’t tide you over.

•insulation (extra in case of having

to stay out overnight). Try to bring

something waterproof in case of rain.

Don’t go with something dark or

camo– the brighter your color scheme,

the easier you’ll be to spot.

•navigation (map and compass).

Try to figure out where you’re going in

advance so you don’t end up lost.

Look for landmarks on the trail so you

can keep an eye out for them when

you’re actually on it. If you have a SAT

phone, or can rent/borrow one, take it

along. As you hike, turn and look back

often so the trail looks familiar to you

going both ways.

•illumination (headlamp with

extra batteries). The stronger the beam

the better. It will help you see, and can

be used to signal for help if you get

lost. Know the code for SOS!

•First aid kit. Bandaids are a

good start, but make sure your kit includes

material to wrap twisted ankles,

disinfectant wipes, moleskin, and

painkillers. Bandanas can make excellent

impromptu slings. You should

also carry a loud whistle in your kit.

•Fire (waterproof matches and fire

starter). Fire is extremely useful, for

keeping yourself warm, keeping animals

away, and for signaling to rescuers

where you are.

•repair kit (knife or leatherman,

sewing kit, etc.). If your gear breaks

down on the trail, be able to fix it!

•emergency Shelter (space blanket,

bivy sack, tarp). If you’re not carrying

a tent, make sure you have

something you can put together to

keep yourself warm and dry if weather

conditions go bad.

•tell people where you’re going!

Don’t set off on your own without telling

someone your plan and how long

you think you’ll be out. If you get lost,

that will help rescuers figure out where

and when to start looking.

When you’re up in the mountains,

especially above treeline, pay attention

to the weather. It can change really

quickly, and you can get into real

danger if you get caught out in it.

Lightning will usually strike the tallest

thing around, so it’s best to get off the

mountain before afternoon thunderstorms

roll in.

If you do get caught out in a storm,

don’t panic. Try to move downhill, but

if the storm is on top of you, it may be

best to wait it out rather than make

yourself a target by standing up.

To minimize the chance of being

hit by lightning, crouch low and space

out from fellow hikers. Try to balance

on the balls of your feet; the less of you

that touches the ground, the better, and

wrap your arms around your knees.

If you cannot squat and balance on

the balls of your feet, sit down, preferably

on an insulated object like a foam

pad or soft pack full of clothes, ball up

and wrap your arms around your


In both cases, keep your feet together

to remove potential for current

to flow in one foot and out the other.

Don’t touch metallic objects like

backpacks with metal frames.

Hiding under a tree won’t help

you either, if the tree is struck the electricity

may jump to you.

how Search and rescue

responds to emergenciesnot

so fast

Few people really understand how

Search And Rescue (SAR) responds to

emergencies. The first rule of a rescuer

is “don’t become a victim,” so the SAR

team will not put themselves in a situation

that presents unreasonable risk.

If you’re out in bad weather, you’re

going to be there until it’s safe for

someone to come fetch you.

Many of the calls for help come

late in the day, which means the SAR

team will spend the afternoon and

evening assembling and preparing for

the rescue, but will not be able to begin

operations until the following morning.

Be prepared to spend a night (or

two, in rare circumstances) in the

mountains waiting for assistance.

In case something goes wrong, you

get hurt, or even just lost, follow the

STOP rule:

Stop– As soon as you realise you

may be lost, stop, stay calm and stay

put. If you keep going you are likely

to get even more lost. Sit down, drink

some water, and eat something.

think– How did you get to where

you are? What landmarks should you

be able to see? Were you heading

North or West? Where were you when

you were last sure you knew where

you were?

observe– What can you see?

Where on the map is it? Where is the

sun in the sky? Roughly how long

until sunset? What does the weather

Numbered Route


on pages 18-21

look like it is going to be? What

supplies do you have? How long will

they last?

plan– Never move until you have

a plan. Based on your thinking and

observations, come up with some possible

plans and then act on the best


Check for phone coverage. If you

have some then you can call for help.

They may be able to explain how to get

home or they may come to get you.

Use your whistle to try and attract

attention. Three blasts is the universal

signal for help.

If you have any bright items get

them out and hang them on trees

around you or spread them on the

ground in a clearing. The colors will

make it easier for a rescuer to find you.

If you are confident enough you

may wish to try and retrace your steps

to find the path you were on earlier.

Sometimes your best plan is to stay

put. If you are truly lost, and can’t remember

how to get back, don’t try.

Find a sheltered spot for the evening,

under a tree or behind a boulder out of

the wind. Don’t sleep next to the

water, the sound may keep you from

hearing a rescuer and vice versa.

Layer on as much as you can, and start

a small fire. You don’t need a huge

blaze to alert people to where you are,

and if it gets out of hand you could get

yourself into an even more dangerous


Most importantly, stay calm. Panicking

will only make it more likely

you’ll be hurt. Help will come.

If done right, backcountry hiking

can be an incredibly beautiful and rewarding

expereience. With proper

planning and safety gear, you should

be good to go. Always check the

weather before you head out, and

make smart choices while on the


Stay safe and happy hiking!

World Journal 2019 Summer Guide page 27

Scenic Highway of Legends

colorado highway 12 Scenic Byway

The Scenic Highway of Legends (Hwy. 12) provides something for everyone: great opportunities to hike, fish, picnic, shop, golf are found

along the way. Drive the entire 80-mile loop around the Spanish Peaks in a half-day, or make stops along the way to fill the day. See route

map on page 23.

1. Mile Marker 70 – Trinidad. Spanish for “trinity” Trinidad

was first settled in 1859 along the Mountain Route of the

Santa Fe Trail. George Simpson, a scout, trader, explorer and early

Trinidad resident is credited with saving the town from a Ute Indian

attack. Simpson climbed a sandstone bluff on the north side of

town and taunted the Indians until they followed him out of town. He

spent days hiding in caves atop the bluff, keeping the Utes busy.

It is said the Simpson died in St. Louis, but his wishes were to be

buried atop the bluff north of Trinidad. His body was shipped back to

Trinidad and was buried on the bluff now known as Simpson’s Rest.

2. Mile Marker 67 – Trinidad Lake State Park. The U.S. Army Corps of

Engineers completed construction of the dam on the Purgatoire River in 1977. The

river was named many years ago after Spanish conquistadors explored the area

in 1594. The leaders of the expedition, Juan Hermana and Francisco Bonilla argued

resulting in Hermana slaying Bonilla. The priest who had accompanied the expedition

refused to follow a murderer and returned to Mexico. Hermana and the rest

of the group continued on – but were never seen alive again. Their bones and

armor were found along the river bank, possible victims of an indian attack. Since

they died without the benefit of a priest, and thus last rites, they were said to be

in Purgatory ad the river was named “El Rio de Las Animas Perdidas en Purgatorio”

or The River of Souls Lost in Purgatory.

3. Mile Marker 63 – Cokedale. The arc of the coke ovens is a vivid reminder

of the coal industry and its history in Huerfano and Las Animas counties.

Coke, which is coal with the moisture, sulphur and phosphorous removed, was

the preferred fuel when smelting iron because it burned with intense heat and was

free of foreign substances. The American Smelting and Refining Company began

building the mining camp of Cokedale in 1907 and closed in 1947.

4. Mile Marker 55 – Segundo. The mining town of Segundo was built in

the early 1900’s. At the time, Segundo was the largest coal processing plant west

of Chicago – with 800 coke ovens. A number of mines were opened by the Colorado

Fuel and Iron Company in the early 1900’s. The names of these mining and

coking camps, Primero, Segundo, Tercio, Cuatro, Quinto and Sexto were named

in the order they were built.

5. Mile Marker 50.8 Cordova Plaza The Cordova Chapel, built in 1871,

still sits south of the highway. It was still in use in the 1940s. It’s an example of a

plaza where local families would spread out along the river forming familyoriented

villages called plazas.

6. Mile Marker 49 – Weston. The town of Weston was originally named Los

Sisneros, after Juan Sisneros, a rancher who settled here in the 1880’s. The name

was changed in 1889 after the first post office was established with a new postmaster

named Bert Weston.

7. Mile Marker 42 – Vigil. Juan Vigil and his family founded Vigil in the

early 1860’s. The town of Vigil was incorporated and had a post office from 1890

until the early 1920’s. Across the highway is the “House on a Bridge.” The bridge

was part of the original road between Stonewall and Trinidad.

8. Mile Marker 41 – New Elk Mine. This mining site is one of the more recent

ones to be developed. It was first opened in 1946 and called Apache Prospect. Five

years later it was purchased by CF & I and renamed the Allen Mine. In 1991 it was

purchased by Basin resources, Inc. and renamed the New Elk, in 2008 it was purchased

by Canadian based Cline Mining Corp. The New Elk site was a processing

plant, where the coal was washed and prepared for shipping. The large pipe crossing

above Highway 12 at Mile 29.4 carried refuse from the washed coal to a dumpsite.

9. Mile Marker 38 – Stonewall. The large rock wall rising 250 feet above

Stonewall is part of the Dakota Sandstone Formation, created millions of years

ago. Once lying at the bottom of the ocean, it was pushed vertical at the time the

mountains were formed.

#7. Mile Marker 42 – House on a Bridge

Just off Highway 12 in Vigil you can still see the “House on a Bridge”. The old bridge linked

Stonewall and Trinidad.

In the early 1800s, Spain and Mexico granted ownership of thousands of acres

to individuals who promised to colonize it. In 1841, Beaubien and Miranda were

awarded a grant of 1,700,000 acres. Later, the grant was inherited by Lucian Maxwell,

and became known as the Maxwell Land Grant. In the 1880s, Maxwell Grant

representatives claimed that the Stonewall Valley was part of the grant, and that

settlers in the area must pay for their homesteads or leave. They sent armed guards

into the valley. Contending the boundary markers had been moved north by Grant

representatives, the settlers vowed not to leave without a fight. Richard Russell,

one of Stonewall’s earliest settlers, went under a white flag to the Stonewall Hotel

to confront the Grant deputies. Armed settlers surrounded the hotel, and in the

confusion, Russell was shot and later died. Despite pleas from the settlers, the U.S.

government upheld the Maxwell Land Grant claims, and the settlers found themselves

paying for property on which they had lived for years.

10. Mile Marker 33 – Monument Lake. In the center of the lake a rock

formation used to rise 15 feet above the water (it collapsed in 1999) and was the

namesake. The monument is said to represent two Indian chiefs. At the time of the

volcanoes, the water disappeared from the mountains. The Indians started to die

of thirst. A chief from the northern tribes traveled south to find water. At the same

time a chief from the southern tribes traveled north. When they met they hugged

in friendship. Then, realizing that neither one had found water, they began to cry.

Their tears formed a lake at their feet. Suddenly one of the volcanoes blew smoke

and lava into the air. The two chiefs, still hugging, were covered by lava and turned

to stone. The lake remained, encircling the chiefs. Their tears had caused the volcanoes

to stop and the water to return and flow forever for their people.

11. Mile Marker 29 - North Lake. Constructed in 1907, North Lake was

created to supply water to the City of Trinidad. The lake is home to four species of

trout: Cutthroat, Rainbow, Kokanee and Brown.

12. Mile Marker 22 – Cucharas Pass. Long before the road appeared,

Native Americans gathered at the top of Cuchara Pass to share stories of brave

deeds. Each warrior would make up a dance telling of his bravery and the winner

was given a large feather to wear as he repeated his dance. As he circled the fire,

he would begin to rise until he was high as the top of the trees. Then he and the

rising spiral of his dance would be turned into a spruce tree. As the years passed,

a forest of spruce trees was formed.

Page 28 2019 Summer Guide World Journal

Scenic Highway of Legends

colorado highway 12 Scenic Byway

#16. Mile Marker 11 – Devil’s Stairsteps.

Eons ago, when the earth was new, the Devil was allowed out of his fiery domain to survey the world. He chose the Cuchara Valley as his entrance. He would climb the steps and sit on the

twin mountains. Surveying the world, he plotted to make it his own. God learned of the Devil’s plot, and noticing the beauty of the mountains and valley took it as his own – forever

banishing the devil. However, his stairs remain.

13. Mile Marker 19.9 Cuchara River Recreation Area. This is the turn

to visit Bear and Blue Lakes. Legend has it that the first U.S. Forest Ranger for the

San Isabel national Forest, Asa Arnold, trapped a bear near Blue Lake. The bear

was able to drag the trap and the log it was secured to into the nearby lake before

drowning. Arnold used his horse and pack horse to pull the bear out of the lake,

but the lake has been called Bear Lake ever since.

14. Mile Marker 16 – Cuchara. Cuchara is Spanish for spoon. Some say

that the valley was given the name because of it’s spoon shape. It got this shape

when the giants roamed the earth and one left his spoon on the side of the mountain

in a heavy rain – thus leaving an impression in the side of the mountain.

15. Mile Marker 14 – Dakota Wall, ”The Gap”. The wall is the same

formation as that at Stonewall south of Cuchara Pass (#9). The wall formed millions

of years ago as sand settled to the bottom of an ancient lake and became rock.

The earth was then upthrust and pushed vertical. The gap was created over the

years by the Cuchara River.

16. Mile Marker 11 – Devil’s Stairsteps is one of the grandest dikes in the

area. Over 400 dikes radiate out from the Spanish Peaks like spokes on a wheel,

and continue either above or below ground for as far as 25 miles. These geological

formations are unique to this area. The dikes were formed during the time of the

volcanoes. Igneous rock, molten and flowing, forced its way into fractures in sedimentary

rocks and hrdened. Over the years, the softer sedimentary material

eroded away, leaving the igneous dikes exposed.

17. Mile Marker 9 – Profile Rock. For those with a sharp eye, the profiles of

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson can be seen (face up). There is also a

train on a trestle.

18. Mile Marker 4.8 Town of La Veta

Around 1862 Colonel John M. Francisco and his partner Henry Daigre began

construction of what is now known as Francisco Fort. The fort was used for commerce

and protection. Today, the town sits as the gateway to the Spanish Peaks


19. Mile Marker 0 – Junction of Highways 12 & 160. Rising abruptly

from the plains, the Spanish Peaks are two masses of igneous rock, formed during

the time of volcanoes. Over the years, the peaks have served as guideposts for

those crossing into the southern mountains. The peaks have been known by several

names, including; Las Cumbres Españolas (The Spanish Peaks), The Mexican

Mountains, Dos Hermanos (two brothers), Twin Peaks and Huajatolla (or Wahatoya

or Huajatolla). Huajatolla is an Indian word meaning “breasts of the earth.”

20. Lathrop State Park. Lathrop is the oldest State Park in Colorado. It contains

two lakes for fishing and water sports, a well stocked Visitors Center and is

home to Walsenburg Golf Course.

21. Walsenburg. “The City Build on Coal” was originally founded by Don

Miguel Antonio Leon and was named La Plaza De Los Leones. Fred Walsen came

to town in 1870 and opened a general store. He was an active community member.

Town folk and the new U.S. Post Office thought it an appropriate tribute to rename

the town Walsenburg.

22.-25. Cordova Pass

Cordova Pass Road crosses the Spanish Peaks and can be accessed from Highway

12 at the top of Cucharas Pass (mile marker 22), or from the town of Aguilar

on the east side.

The high point on the Cordova Pass Road tops out at 11,248 feet on the West

Spanish Peak. The Ute Indians say mankind first emerged from the Earth

through the Spanish Peaks. The Pueblo referred to the peaks as “Wahatoya”—

meaning breasts of the world. The peaks have served as guideposts for explorers

of the southern mountains for centuries.

The road passes through the Apishapa Arch, which was built by the Civilian

Conservation Corps in 1934.

Ludlow Massacre Memorial

World Journal 2019 Summer Guide page 29

Apishapa Arch: When the Civilian Conservation Corps built the Cordova Pass Road in 1933 & 1934, they tunneled through one of the many dikes – and built a masonry arch for support.

The road continues into terrain that gets more rugged, with deep canyons cut in the layers of sandstone and amazing rock formations carved over the millennia by wind and rain.

Long before the road appeared, Native Americans gathered at the top of

Cuchara Pass to tell stories of brave deeds. They would feast and dance

around the campfire. Each warrior would make up a dance telling the story

of his bravery.

travel tip: Best to travel only in the summer months. Dirt road can be steep

and may be muddy and rutted, so 4-wheel drive is recommended.


9 Art Cartopia Art Car Museum

and Art Gallery

15 Bear’s Den at Cuchara gifts

11 Big R Store

Western Wear and more

14 Book Nook

15 Crafted in Colorado

8 Dakota Duke’s

2 First Choice Market

21 Huajatolla 1916 Art Print

5 La Veta Gallery on Main

15 La Veta Liquors

27 La Veta Mercantile

5 Painted Horse Gallery

and Studio

5 Shalawalla Gallery & Gifts

5 Spanish Peaks Art Council

(SPACe Gallery & Gift Shop)

21 SpanishPeaks Outfitters

outdoor gear shop



27 Alys’ Restaurant

13 Bugling Bull

11 Deerprint Wine & Bistro

2 First Choice Market

14 George’s Drive-Inn

27 La Veta Mercantile

11 Paradise Coffee

3 Sammie’s Restaurant


3 Sammie’s Motel & RV Park

8 Yellow Pine Guest Ranch

Advertiser Index


9 Art Cartopia Art Car Museum

and Art Gallery

15 Bear’s Den mini golf

12 Cuchara Chapel

19 Francisco Fort Museum

15 Fridays for Fun

19 Huerfano Heritage Center

21 La Veta Art Walk

15 La Veta School of the Arts

12 La Veta Trails

30 Spanish Peaks Country

13 Stonewall Century Ride

22 Spanish Peaks International

Celtic Music Festival

31 Trinidaddio Blues Fest

8 Two Peaks Fitness

19 Walsenburg Mining Museum

8 Yellow Pine Guest Ranch


24 - 25 All Seasons Real Estate

32 Bachman & Associates

16 - 17 Capture Colorado

7 Code of the West

9 Jerry Henson,

Bachman & Associates

4 Spanish Peaks Land

Company, Inc.


23First National Bank of

Trinidad, Huerfano County


30 Huerfano County Tourism

3 La Veta-Cuchara

Chamber of Commerce

21 Rio Cucharas Veterinary

14 Shapiro Acupuncture

8 State Farm Insurance

29 Spanish Peaks Regional

Health Center

Page 30 2019 Summer Guide World Journal


La Veta


la Veta:

paradise coffee

305 S. main St.

u.S. Forest


103 e. Field

(at main St.)


Depot Bldg.

at main St. & 4th St.

lathrop State park

Visitor center

hwy 160 west of Walsenburg

cuchara: Dakota Duke’s





15 minutes to La Veta





Water Dist.








Cucharas River





Bear Lake

Blue Lake

CO Rd 422

Trinidad via Hwy of Legends

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