“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Alamosa in Alamosa County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)

“The Magic Dog”

"The Magic Dog" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 9, 2010
1. "The Magic Dog" Marker
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 1598. 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 1598 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 kiled. Animals, too, went to the Happy Hunting Ground.”
People of the Shining Mountains
“The Utes of Colorado”
Charles Marsh

"The Magic Dog" Marker image. Click for full size.
Google Street View (©2014 Google), October 9, 2010
2. "The Magic Dog" Marker
Marker is located on the right side of the pull-out
View to north along State Route 150
Left Photo Caption)

The Utes, who hunted with bow and steel-tipped arrows, were descendants of early Shoshonean people.

(Upper Right Photo Caption)
Ute petroglyphs in the area depic figures on the “magic dog” or horse.

(Lower Left Photo Caption)
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 Right Photo Caption)
The wetlands of this valley host an abundance of species, including 20,000 sandhill cranes during spring and fall migrations.
Location. 37° 28.654′ N, 105° 36.124′ W. Marker is near Alamosa, Colorado, in Alamosa County. Marker is on State Highway 150 0.2 miles north of U.S. 160, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Alamosa CO 81101, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 11 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 Scenic & Historic Byway (here, next to this marker); Lt. Zebulon Pike's Southwestern Expedition
Blanca Peak image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, October 9, 2010
3. Blanca Peak
View to northeast from the marker
(within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Garland (approx. 10.1 miles away); Fort Garland / Buffalo Soldiers (approx. 10.1 miles away); Costilla County Veterans Memorial (approx. 10.6 miles away).
More about this marker. Marker is part of an interpretive site on the Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic & Historic Byway.
Categories. Native Americans
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 19, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 543 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 19, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photo of wide-view of marker and surroundings. • Can you help?
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