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Mosca in Alamosa County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Lt. Zebulon Pike's Southwestern Expedition

1806-7

 
 
Lt. Zebulon Pike's Southwestern Expedition Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 15, 2020
1. Lt. Zebulon Pike's Southwestern Expedition Marker
Inscription.  

Travel the route of these explorers and read Lt. Pike’s own words from his journal.

U.S. Army Expedition to explore the United States new southwest boundary with New Spain.

The men:
Lt. Zebulon M. Pike
Dr. John H. Robinson
Sgt. William Meek
Corp. Jeremiah Jackson
privates:
John Brown
Jacob Carter
William Gordon
Theodore Miller
John Mountjoy
Alexander Roy
Freegift Stout

From the careful logbooks by early explorers like Lewis & Clark and Zebulon Pike, the mapmakers of Washington were kept busy creating new images of the mostly unknown Rocky Mountains. This original map was published in 1807.

November 27th:
“The unbounded prairie was overhung with clouds, which appeared like the ocean in a storm ... the thermometer ... here fell to 4° below 0.”
1806 (Pike)

December 25th:
“800 miles from the frontiers of our country, in the most inclement season of the year, not one person clothed for the winter, many without blankets, ...”
1806 (Pike)

The Expedition:
28th January: 1807 (Pike)
“We discovered

Lt. Zebulon Pike's Southwestern Expedition Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 15, 2020
2. Lt. Zebulon Pike's Southwestern Expedition Marker
Looking ENE toward Great Sand Dunes National Park in distance
through the lengthy vista..., another chain of mountains... the prairie between the two mountains bore nearly north to south. I returned to camp with the news of my discovery. The sand hills extending up and down the White mountains, about fifteen miles, and appeared to be about five miles in width."
(Actual size is approximately 6x5 miles, or 30 square miles)

Site of this sign:
Facing east, one can see the deep notch in the mountains above the Great Sand Dunes. This is the likely route of Pike and his men as they crossed this majestic mountain range. As the valley was settled, agriculture became the leading industry and still is today. One can see the center pivot sprinklers irrigating crops such as potatoes, barley, hay and alfalfa.

[Bottom center map caption reads]
The route Pike followed to Medano Pass was not a frequently used pathway. However, it joined another from the Huerfano Valley which was doubtlessly the main track from the upper Arkansas to Taos via the San Luis Valley

[Bottom right Great Sand Dunes photo caption reads]
"Like the sea in a storm". 1807 (Pike)

For further reading:
"The Southwest Journals of Zebulon Pike - 1806-1807"
Hart, Hulbert, & Gardner
U of New Mexico Press 2006
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Environment

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Location. 37° 39.765′ N, 105° 52.212′ W. Marker is in Mosca, Colorado, in Alamosa County. Marker is on Lane 6N east of State Highway 17, on the left when traveling east. Marker is at a roadside pulloff. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Mosca CO 81146, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Welcome "Caminante" to... (a few steps from this marker); Los Caminos Antiguos (a few steps from this marker); Great Risk for Great Reward (a few steps from this marker); Who Owns This Land? (a few steps from this marker); "Old Mose" (approx. 13.1 miles away); 1988 NAIA Division 1 National Championship Runner-Up (approx. 13.1 miles away); Millstone, c. 1845 (approx. 13.3 miles away); Alamosa (approx. 13.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mosca.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Other Pike Expedition Markers
 
Also see . . .
1. Zebulon Pike: Hard Luck. (Submitted on November 22, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Zebulon Pike's Expedition To The Southwest 1806-1807. (Submitted on November 22, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 22, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 22, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 48 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 22, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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Mar. 2, 2021