Near Mosca in Alamosa County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
Sounds of Silence
Pike and his men enter New Spain through Medano Pass
On January 27, 1807, U.S. Army Lt. Zebulon Pike and nine soldiers (affectionally called "Dam'd Set of Rascals" by Pike) crossed the Sangre de Cristo Mountains over Medano Pass to enter the territory of New Spain. On orders of his commander, Pike's mission was to perform a reconnaissance of the Spanish borders of the Province of New Mexico.
Since the day's march had been severe, involving a steep ascent through three feet of snow carrying weighty packs, camp was made in the first timber encountered. The next day they discovered the San Luis Valley and camped at the foot of the Great Sand Dunes. On the 29th, just before reaching Zapata Creek and camp, Pike and his men paused to look back and silently reflect upon their ordeal and accomplishment.
You are invited to share this timeless moment and ponder what thoughts this ragtag group possessed. The high snow filled pass; the amazing and unexpected sand dunes; and the immense valley with a jagged mountain crest boundary remains virtually unchanged today. As you contemplate, what are your thoughts?
Erected by National Park Service
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Exploration • Patriots & Patriotism.
Location. 37° 39.74′ N, 105° 36.089′ W. Marker is near Mosca, Colorado, in Alamosa County. Marker is on Lane 6N 1.2 miles west of State Highway 150, on the left when traveling west. Marker is at a scenic overlook, a short walk from 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 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Understanding the Great Sand Dunes System: the Sand Sheet (here, next to this marker); L.B. "Bill" Casselman (here, next to this marker); Understanding the Great Sand Dunes System: the Sabkha (here, next to this marker); Evidence of a Changing World (here, next to this marker); Pike and Southwest Commerce (approx. 1.8 miles away); "Totally Unique and Unexpected" (approx. 3.8 miles away); A Landmark for People (approx. 4.7 miles away); Zebulon Pike's "sand-hills" (approx. 6.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mosca.
More about this marker. The marker is heavily deteriorated.
Also see . . .
1. Zebulon Pike's Expedition To The Southwest 1806-1807. (Submitted on November 22, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Zebulon Pike: Hard Luck. (Submitted on November 22, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 19, 2021. 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 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 22, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.