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

"The Magic Dog"

Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic & Historic Byway

 
 
"The Magic Dog" Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., October 15, 2020
1. "The Magic Dog" Marker
Present marker, as of 2020
Inscription.  The Utes called this valley “Tavi-we-a-gat” or Big Valley. They came here following in the footsteps of their ancestors along this Camino; their dogs pulled their belongings along the now paved byway. This fertile valley provided hunting grounds rich in buffalo, elk, mule deer, fish and plants.

The Utes of Colorado, lived in semi-isolation among the San Luis Valley’s most spectacular scenery, until Spanish explorers entered the valley in 1596. The Utes encountered the Spaniards riding the “magic dog”, or horse.

Possession of horses opened new territories and hunting grounds for the Utes to explore. Ute warriors rode with great skill, arousing fear in their opponents. Good horsemanship allowed the Utes to defend their hunting grounds from intruders. In fact, no permanent settlements were made in the San Luis Valley between 1596 and 1851. With the aid of the horse, the Utes resisted European conquest until the eve of the twentieth century.

"We believe that all living things have a spirit or soul and should be respected like people of the universe. Only when necessary were plants harvested and animals

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kiled. Animals, too, went to the Happy Hunting Ground.”
-People of the Shining Mountains
“The Utes of Colorado”

[Background photo caption reads]
When the Spanish arrived here, they found a valley floor covered with numerous wetlands and swamps. They called this place “la ciénega de San Luis”, the marsh of the San Luis Valley.

[Lower left photo caption reads]
Historic 1869 Map of San Luis Parc of Colorado and Northern New Mexico by Brayer W. Blackmore. "Sawatch Lake" to the west of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range reveals the abundance of water in the San Luis Valley in the 1800s compared to present day. Indications are that in earlier times the entire valley floor was covered by an even larger lake.

[Lower right photo caption reads]
The wetlands of this valley host an abundance of species, including 20,000 sandhill cranes during spring and fall migrations.
 
Erected by Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Native Americans. A significant historical year for this entry is 1598.
 
Location. 37° 28.654′ N, 105° 36.124′ W. Marker is near Blanca, Colorado, in Alamosa County. Marker is on State Highway 150, 0.2 miles north of U.S. 160, on the right when traveling

"The Magic Dog" Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, October 9, 2010
2. "The Magic Dog" Marker
Former marker, now replaced
north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Alamosa CO 81101, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. On Sacred Ground (here, next to this marker); Welcome "Caminante" to ... (here, next to this marker); Los Caminos Antiguos (here, next to this marker); Lt. Zebulon Pike's Southwestern Expedition (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Garland / Buffalo Soldiers (approx. 10.1 miles away); Costilla County Veterans Memorial (approx. 10.6 miles away); Pike and Southwest Commerce (approx. 11.1 miles away); Evidence of a Changing World (approx. 12.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Blanca.
 
"The Magic Dog" Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Fischer, Jr., October 15, 2020
3. "The Magic Dog" Marker
New markers, looking south toward US 160
"The Magic Dog" Marker image. Click for full size.
Google Street View (©2014 Google), October 9, 2010
4. "The Magic Dog" Marker
Marker is located on the right side of the pull-out
View to north along State Route 150
Blanca Peak image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane Hall, October 9, 2010
5. Blanca Peak
View to northeast from the marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 23, 2020. It was originally submitted on February 19, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 921 times since then and 68 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on November 23, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   2. submitted on February 19, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.   3. submitted on November 23, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   4, 5. submitted on February 19, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.

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Jul. 14, 2024