Saturday, September 19, 2009

Old Spanish Trail, Finale

old16 On Thursday morning it was decided that since we weren’t finding much of importance in the root cellar we should stop excavating and backfill the two holes. Archaeologists always fill in the holes they dig and it brought back memories of the Army…dig a hole, fill a hole. The good news was that after I filled in the holes my next project was to take my metal detector and search for signs of the Old Spanish Trail that went through this area. This search was done about 12 miles from the stage stop at the base of Cochetopa Pass.

old14 It was a fantastic two days. The weather was perfect, blue skies, temps in the high 60’s, aspen leaves turning gold, life is good!

Part of the search was in an aspen grove (pictured left). Most of what was uncovered here was more modern stuff, cans and late model rifle cartridges, but we did find some old (1880’s) rifle cartridges and old horse shoes. We also found some aspen graffiti the oldest of which was 1934. One piece of graffiti, dated 1964 stated that Don Fricklin was here on a cattle drive. It was kind of surreal…finding tangible evidence of people that walked down this trail between 1880 and today. old15

Not far from where the picture above was taken we came upon a small ghost town of four or five tumbled down log cabins. This was a mining community of some type because we could see the prospect holes on the hills surrounding the cabins. As much as we wanted to investigate this place, we had to move on. This was not our task for this trip.

Down the mountain from the mining camp old11the terrain opened up and you could see where wagons had climbed the next hill. The trail had been used for a long while judging from the items we discovered, old horse shoes, a suspender stay, early spent cartridges, glass fragments and the trigger of an old revolver.

The two days passed too quickly. I think this was my favorite part of the project. It was really easy to look around and picture pioneers travelling through the area in covered wagons, especially when you held in you hand, an item they held in their hand.

The project closed down at about 2pm on Friday and I drove to Alamosa, CO to spend the night in a KOA campground. Laundry was done and I took a long hot shower. This morning I left Alamosa and headed for Trinidad, CO. Along the way I stopped at Ft. Garland. I have visited this state historical site before but it’s always fun to tour through an authentic cavalry post.old13

I arrived in Trinidad about noon and am camped at the Budget Host Motel and RV Park. Not the nicest campground I’ve ever stayed in but it has electricity, cable TV, a shower and sewer connections. All of my waste tanks are full and the water tank is empty so the first order of business is to dump tanks and fill the fresh water tank.

Tomorrow I will head for Carrizo Canyon where the next PIT project begins. I’ll be out of all contact until next Saturday but check back then because I’ll have some more good stories to tell.

Thanks for visiting.

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