Along Ancient Trails

By Ron Sering

Ken Frye, retired archaeologist with the National Forest Service, gestured to the vast expanse of the San Luis Valley. “We think the Old Spanish Trail went through not far from here,” he said. We were in the La Garita Store, fortifying ourselves with green chili burgers for a tour of rock art sites in the area.

“It’s an ancient trail,” he explained. The Old Spanish Trail was named for the Spanish traders and missionaries who journeyed it between Santa Fe and Los Angeles, but its origins lie centuries beyond that, possibly longer, as a network of foot trails used by Native Americans. “We think people went through here, maybe a thousand years ago.”

Read more

The Cora Connection: The life of indigenous Mexicans in Colorado’s mountains

Cora Tribe

Story and photos by Will Shoemaker

The similarities in topography alone are striking. Rugged, mountainous terrain, where eking out a living can be arduous, is nothing new for the Cora Indians of Mexico who have found a new home in the Gunnison Valley.

Natives of the Sierra Madre Mountains of the state of Nayarit in western Mexico, the Cora are people of the mountains through and through – independent, strong, thick-skinned and capable of overcoming most any adversity thrown their way.

Read more