Photo of the fire plume taken on July 10 at 7:20 p.m. looking east from Salida. Photo by P.T. Wood.
Photo of the fire plume taken on July 10 at 7:20 p.m. looking east from Salida. Photo by P.T. Wood.

By Mike Rosso

It was first reported by a San Luis Valley resident on Friday, July 8. Apparently a fierce lightning storm had been swirling around the Hayden Pass area, high in the Sangre De Cristo mountains. The witness observed a strike and then a plume of smoke rising from atop the pass.

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La Caverna del Oro (The Cave of Gold)

by Kathy Weiser-Alexander Long before the white man came to the United States, the legend of La Caverna del Oro, the Cave of Gold, was passed down from generation to generation by the Native Americans. When the Spanish explorers arrived in the 15th century, monks translated the legend and the storied gold was eagerly sought …

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Hal Walter – Packing it in

This story is an excerpt from Hal Walter’s forthcoming book, “Wild Burro Tales.” The book includes pen-and-ink sketches by Westcliffe artist Lorie Merfeld-Batson, and should be available in May through local booksellers and amazon.com. Check out www.hardscrabbletimes.com for news about the book’s release.

Early day prospectors combed the West looking to strike it rich. I would venture many also were searching for something other than monetary reward — intangible things like freedom, independence, and a close bond with the land. Matching strides with these adventurers were trusty pack burros carrying their gear and food, and providing invaluable companionship.

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