Thursday TravelsPosted: April 26, 2012
One of my goals this year is to sort through photos from our trips to Colorado in 2009 and 2010. Many of them have not seen the light of day since they were taken, and that means they haven’t appeared on my blog or been seen in print.
There is an expression — walking with beauty. And I believe that this endless search for beauty in surroundings, in people and one’s personal life, is the headstone of travel.
~ Juliette De Bairacli Levy, 1979
I started to show and tell about the Paint Mines in this post back in February, and then forgot about it. I am hoping my memory will be good enough to allow me to make some of my travel photos a regular (semi-regular?) Thursday feature.
I came across this description of the Paint Mines at SummitPost.org:
In stark contrast to the rolling high plains of eastern El Paso County, the Paint Mines rip the prairies open in a shocking display of hoodos, caprock canyons and brightly-colored clay.
It was one of the best descriptions I’ve seen in my travels around the internet to research the Paint Mines. You can read more here.
The photos in this post were all taken from above the mines, before we walked down into them. Unfortunately, there is nothing to give you a sense of the size. There were only two other people there that day, another photographer and her model. I suspect they were taking high school pictures as the model was a teen-age girl who looked to be about the right age for senior portraits.
Another good reason for making my travel photos a Thursday feature is that Thursday tends to be my errand day. Going back through Ye Olde Archives allows me to schedule a post, thereby giving me a break during the week to get caught up once I finish running my errands. This post, by the way, is not scheduled because I didn’t think of it until today.
The clay in the Paint Mines has been used for ceremonial paints and pottery by prehistoric and historic Native Americans. Settlers mined the area to make bricks. The colors are caused by oxidized iron in the clay. The formations are delicate so climbing on them is prohibited. Judging from some of the photos I’ve seen, some people don’t seem to care, climbing around on them for that great photo-op.
The hiking here is easy. One description I read says to pick a trail, any trail, as they all intersect at some point. We were there in August on a day when storms moved in and out and, as I think I’ve mentioned before, the mosquitoes were fierce on the trails above the mines.
The Calhan Paint Mines Interpretive Park is one of those places I’d love to go back and explore during the different seasons. There were some wildflowers blooming in the prairie when we were there. I’ve read that the colors from the flowers are magnificent in May and June.
Today’s weather here in the Bogs is gray and foggy with the occasional rain shower. My rain dance must have worked. We’ve had some nice, gentle showers throughout the morning and early afternoon.
Thanks for stopping by today and traveling back in time with me. I hope you don’t mind the occasional forays into the past. I’m all for living in the present, but it seems a shame to leave some of these photos languishing in the archives.
P.S. Today’s view of the pond: