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DAVID O. MCKAY LIBRARY
3 1404 00699 9517
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2012 with funding from
Brigham Young University-Idaho
Sunset Over the Lariat Trail,
Denver Mountain Parks.
Legendary and Historical Tales and Events
Gleaned Along Moccasin-Winged Trails
of Aztec and Indian and the Blazed
Trails of Explorer and Pioneer
Settler in Enchanting
Warren E. Boyer
GREAT WEST PUBLISHERS
1615 DOWNING STREET
DENVER, COLORADO, U. S. A.
Copyright, IQ23, by
Warren E. Boycr in the United States of America
All rights reserved
First Published, December, 1923
The W. H. Kistler Stationery Company
TO MY WIFE
related to the family of
Princely pomp of tradition and the glamour of
chivalry, despite common belief, are not confined to
the European side of the Atlantic. There is the Old
West, with its crumbling adobe castles and deserted
eagle-like nests of the primordial Cliff Dweller. The
Rocky Mountains are rich in colorful romances of the
primitive threshold of a forgotten Yesterday and the
vanishing trail of a fleeting Today. Here Toltec, Aztec,
Spaniard, Frenchman, Indian and Pioneer American
pass in historic review.
Colorado's romantic career in the United States
of America is measured through the ages by its inclu-
sion at various times in a score of countries and other
geographical divisions, and because Coronado and his
Spanish conquistadores set foot upon Colorado soil
within fifty years after Columbus discovered America
and nearly a century before the landing of the Pilgrim
Fathers at Plymouth.
Mythology and history combine to make interest-
ing legendary narratives that appeal to the fancy of
young and old. They help the memory by association
to retain facts, or alluring, vivify a latent imagination.
As a greater incentive thereunto, this volume is re-
spectfully presented — dedicated to the caus^ of the
blazed trail rapidly disappearing. If, by perusal, the
reader's vision is quickened to a vivid appreciation of
his own country, the object of this work will be attained.
Grateful acknowledgment is expressed for the valuable
Edward W. Milligan, Harry N. Burhans
The Colorado State Historical and Natural History Society
Cover design and illustrations by
James J. Lynch
Photographs by the courtesy of the
Denver Tourist Bureau
Denver Municipal Facts
Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
Henry R. Hay and Colorado Highways
Colorado Engraving Company
An Aztec Princess of Pikes Peak 13
Smoke of Undying Embers 18
Arapahoe Spirit Glacier 25
A Holy Cross Pilgrimage 32
The Triumph of Trail Ridge 40
Lupton's Love Fort 47
The Gift of the Rainbow 53
Shavano's Snow Angel 59
Colorow's Leap 69
Vanishing Trails 75
Explanatory Notes 8?
Sunset Over the Denver Mountain Parks Frontispiece
Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods 13
Cliff Palace Ruin in the Mesa Verde 18
Arapahoe Glacier 25
Mount of the Holy Cross 32
Longs Peak and Chasm Lake 40
The Angel of Shavano 59
Colorow Point and Clear Creek 69
Overland Prairie Schooner 7$
AN AZTEC PRINCESS OF
T was toward the close of the twelfth century.
The Aztecs and the Tezcucans, kindred tribes,
were making their migration from the north
and were camped in the shadow of what is
now Pikes Peak, in Colorado. They were inter-
tribal races of the Toltecs, who had preceded them
into Hue Hue Tlapallan, as the Pikes Peak region
was called. The Toltec migration at the close of the
seventh century had continued southward into Ana-
huac, the land of Mexico.
The Aztecs and Tezcucans, filled with tribal bit-
terness and jealousy, nevertheless imitated their pred-
ecessors and sojourned in worshipful reverence in the
protecting influences and superstitious fears of the great
throne-peak. This snow-capped sentinel, according
to their traditions, held the sacred birthplace of Huit-
zilopotchli, their great war-god much like Mars, favor-
ite deity of the Romans.
Superstitions advanced by the priests brought hu-
man sacrifices at every unusual omen. Although show-
ing traces of the Toltec tincture of civilization, the
warlike spirit, brought on perhaps by the necessity for
self-preservation, was further fostered by *he belief that
special recognition was given in their mysterious here-
after to the heroes who fell in battle or gave their lives
as a sacrifice to appease the wrath of the gods.
It was in this environment with its narrowed out-
look upon life that Princess-in-the-Sun, favorite
1 4 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
daughter of the Aztecs, awoke one summer morning
She shuddered as she tried to brush the snow from hei
shoulders. But it wasn't snow at all. Marvel of
marvels! Her once flowing black hair had turned
The Princess was held captive in the camp of the
Tezcucans as a result of a quarrel between the hunting
parties from the rival camps, and she fully realized her
impending fate. In the eyes of her people it would be
a triumphant passage into the presence of the Sun, dur-
ing its bright progress through the heavens. There
would be festive singing and dancing to speed her on
her way. Circumstances weighed against her. Huit-
zilopotchli was calling. She had been rightly named.
But the priests of the Tezcucans were perplexed.
The gods had touched the dusky hair of their prisoner
and changed it to a veil of snow, reminding them of
the snow-veiled crest of the great throne-peak. What
did the gods desire? They feared to harm her, lest
vengeance be visited upon them. So they released
Princess-in-the-Sun, who started for the skin-covered
shelters of her tribe. Now the hair of Princess-in-the-
Sun was unusual in that it almost touched the ground
and was silky instead of coarse. Caught in the light
breeze, it formed a sort of halo, at first startling the
crouching Ute Indian known as Little-Bull. But the
Ute warrior longingly followed her as his encroaching
tribesmen, in their war feathers and paint, stealthily
crept up on the worshippers of Huitzilopotchli.
Here, then, seemed to be a world cradle for the
Indians as well as for the contemporaries of a race
which had shown marvelous skill in Anahuac, in Mexi-
co. Bubbling springs in the shadow of the peak were
the recognized manifestations of protection from Mani-
AN AZTEC PRINCESS OF PIKES PEAK 1 5
tou, the Red Man's Great Father. They looked upon
the spirit that dwelt here as the great protector of their
Now the Utes had come from out the land of
Utah. They, too, claimed to be wards of the Great
Spirit of the towering peak. The bubbling waters of
their Great Manitou contained the gifts of trinkets and
gems. They regarded the Aztecs and Tezcucans as
They disregarded the fact that five hundred years
previous the Toltecs had lived amid the flashing light-
ning and deafening thunders when the peak was sur-
rounded by storm clouds; that here was advanced a
barbaric culture preserved in Mexican myths and leg-
ends. Hue Hue Tlapallan, signifying, in Toltec tra-
dition, something like "Colorful Red Land," through
translation into our language becomes "Colorado."
Was not Aztlan, the ancient home of the Aztecs,
far to the north of Mexico? Two streams of immigra-
tion, one on each side of the Rocky Mountains, flowed
presumably from the Pacific Northwest into Mexico.
The Aztecs, even after they had been driven step by
step into Anahuac, remembered Pikes Peak reverently
as the sacred birthplace of their great god, Huitzilo-
potchli. So the predecessors of the Aztecs regularly
sent embassies back to Hue Hue Tlapallan, laden with
jewels and other religious offerings. These were placed
in the "Seven Caves of Aztlan" referred to in Mexican
history and supposedly in the region of Manitou
Springs, including a celebrated cave of mysterious
winds in what is Williams Canyon.
It so happened that this was the chosen year for
the pilgrimage of the embassies from the Toltec de-
scendants in Mexico. Among them was one who found
1 6 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
a responsive yearning in the breast of Princess-in-the-
Sun. And now she herself must release her spirit from
its bonds of clay and send it to mingle with the Great
Spirit of the Sun God. She sighed at the thought of
parting from the Worshipful Toltec and wondered if
he, more advanced in cultural arts than her people,
could save her from the fate to which she had been
Off there toward the plains, where Colorado
Springs has since been settled, tiny curls of smoke rose.
It was a ruse of the Utes to get the Aztecs out of the
timbered foothills. But it had failed, and now the
Indians were closing in on those who sought to worship
at the same shrine with them. As they did so the Tez-
cucans joined the Aztecs and retreated with them over
rocky heights in order to get to the Aztec shelters on
the south side of a nearby mountain stream, before the
Into what is now South Cheyenne Canyon went
the Princess, trailed by the admiring Little-Bull. The
other Utes followed, gaining confidence when they saw
that no harm befell their self-acclaimed leader.
Princess-in-the-Sun was in the wooded and rock-walled
canyons of her people. She climbed the steep gorge on
the north side of the stream, and when within sound of
the tumbling waters of a series of seven cataracts, she
hid from Little-Bull in the hollow end of a fallen tret.
The Utes followed Little-Bull, then pushed onward
and drew taut their bows when they saw the tribesmen
of Princess-in-the-Sun on the opposite side of the
splashing waters armed with spears, bone knives and
And while they fought an indecisive battle Prin-
cess-in-the-Sun prepared for the traditional and inevit-
AN AZTEC PRINCESS OF PIKES PEAK 1 7
able self-sacrifice that she knew her people would ex-
pect of her. Eluding Little-Bull, who searched in
vain, she cautiously made her way to the first of the
crystal waterfalls. Deserted, but realizing the presence
of the sunbeams ready to carry her upward as the
setting Sun shot its shafts higher and higher on the sheer
canyon walls, she leaped.
Chief Wa-Wa-Ho, her father, recognizing her
features but filled with superstition, got a glimpse of
her as she jumped. So did Little-Bull, who shrieked
and hurried away to join his tribesmen.
Princess-in-the-Sun dropped perhaps thirty feet
in the spray of the falls — and into the arms of the
Worshipful Toltec. Having spied her mantle of sil-
ver-grey hair he realized that self-sacrifice must be the
end of Princess-in-the-Sun. So he waited in the deep
pool at the foot of the falls. The force of the maiden's
plunge momentarily sent both to the bottom, but he
carried the unconscious form to a small cave nearby.
There they hid until nightfall when they began the
long journey, in secret, to Mexico, after the Worship-
ful Toltec had called upon the gods to witness the tak-
ing of Princess-in-the-Sun as his wife.
The battle ended when Little-Bull wildly sought
to explain and the bewildered Utes withdrew. Su-
perstition made it easy to understand the departure of
the Princess, presumably for the realms of the Sun.
The fatal end of the conflict explained the absence of
the Worshipful Toltec. But the Aztecs thereafter
referred to the cascading falls as Princess-in-the-Sun' s
flowing tresses, once black, but silvered through the
magic of the mountain moonlight.
SMOKE OF UNDYING EMBERS
ERROR gripped the Indian settlement of Go-
Two- Ways, on the banks of the Rio la Plata,
in what is now southwestern Colorado. Now
Go-Two-Ways was so named because here
the trail divided, one path leading to the Cliff Dwell-
ings in what is now Mesa Verde National Park, and
the other to the Pueblo Bonito, in New Mexico. Ruins
of all three places still remain.
It was a thousand years ago, about the time when
the Crusaders in far-away Europe were being elevated
to knighthood for valorous deeds in their marches for
the cause of Christianity. The beating of a crude, skin-
covered tom-tom at daybreak hurriedly summoned the
tribesmen of the Fire Clan to the underground council
chamber. This weird summons was an alarm of
spiritual distress, for the ceremonial Fire of Life in the
Sacred Kiva of the Fire Clan had gone out. During
the night lightning had shattered the underground room
and the circular fire-pit was drenched by rain.
When Buffalo-Horn, a commanding youth, saw
the devastation at dawn he realized that to save his
tribesmen he must sacrifice his own life. He was the
Younger Fire-god of the Fire Cult, and as such pre-
sided with the Elder Fire-god over the seasoned, slow-
burning juniper wood fire. Overwhelmed by the mag-
nitude of the calamity that had befallen his people, he
sped from one to another of the semi-terraced houses
of stone and timber, warning the women to extinguish
all the fires. Eating must cease, for life was cold. Ac-
SMOKE OF UNDYING EMBERS 1 9
cording to their religion, fire once used for secular pur-
poses could never serve to kindle a flame in the Sacred
Kiva. This fire must originate through the ceremon-
ies of the Fire-gods, or be taken from another shrine.
And after he had made the rounds, he again
walked meditating toward the abode of Chief Bow-in-
the-Neck, unable to comprehend the work of the Great
Spirit. Why should his life be sacrificed in such a
needless manner? There was an undefined conflict
within him between the physical and spiritual forces.
Would he dare carry out the plan that had suggested
itself to him?
Show-Pretty-Feathers, comely daughter of Chief
Bow-in-the-Neck, stood in the doorway of her father's
house. Buffalo-Horn paused, emitted a guttural sound,
and passed on. The primitive call of love gladdened
her heart, but it was only momentary, for she read in
his eyes that the fires of admiration were burning low.
Indian summer was nearly gone. There had been
a bountiful harvest of maize, and the feasts of thanks-
giving had lasted many days. Then came the Cere-
monial of New Fire. A fresh blaze was kindled in
the Sacred Kiva that should serve for the coming year,
and fresh coals were carried from this into each house.
Now Buffalo-Horn had a rival in the treacherous
Sly- Wolf, one of the youngest tribesmen sitting with
him in the council on this morning. Admiration for
the Indian maiden was still burning in his eyes, for he,
too, loved Show-Pretty-Feathers. The council held
a brief session in which Sly- Wolf accused Buffalo-
Horn of practicing witchcraft and through it destroy-
ing the Sacred Kiva of the Fire Clan. He further
20 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
declared that as a result of the witchery the Great
Spirit had taken away the Fire of Life, and the only
method of restoring it would be through the sacrifice
of Buffalo-Horn, possessed by the Evil One.
Chief Bow-in-the-Neck was very fond of both
Buffalo-Horn and Sly- Wolf, for they came from
noble clans in his tribe of a thousand warriors. Know-
ing that the youths were rivals in love, he associated
them in all things. Ordinarily supremacy in battle or
friendly contest between them, rather than purely ele-
mental preferences, would have decided which should
Buffalo-Horn was so astounded at the false ac-
cusation that he did not defend himself. He sat silent
while instructions were given by Chief Bow-in-the-
Neck that at the rising of the sun Buffalo-Horn should
be taken to the lowest and darkest room in the settle-
ment, stripped, and cedar stakes driven through his
abdomen into the mud floor. The hatchway of the
room should then be sealed, so that his evil spirit could
never emerge to the outside world and again trouble
Sly- Wolf was detailed to watch over Buffalo-
Horn until the following morning, when Buffalo-Horn,
by the sacrifice of his life, would release his tribesmen
from threatened extinction. Meantime prayer and fast-
ing must prevail. Buffalo-Horn stoically listened to the
fatal sentence imposed by Chief Bow-in-the-Neck, then
folding his arms, looked skyward to Those-Above
until the council disbanded.
Hurrying to the household of his mother, he ten-
derly embraced her, professing his innocence; then re-
SMOKE OF UNDYING EMBERS 21
tiring to a dark corner he covered his head and medi-
tated. Early in the afternoon, assisted by his mother,
he outwitted Sly-Wolf and stole away, dressed in his
full regalia and wearing a single red feather in his
straight, black hair. Reaching the end of the pueblo,
he darted into the heavy spruce and was gone. Two
hours later Sly-Wolf, learning of the secret departure,
followed Buffalo-Horn toward the land of the Cliff
Dwellers — Mesa Verde, the "Green Tableland," as
it became known centuries later through the Spaniards.
The trail was a hard one, pursued only under dif-
ficulties through the arroyos and canyons of the Mancos
River country. The Indian's sandaled feet were noise-
less in flight except for the crunching of sticks and
cones. He chided a saucy chipmunk for being curious,
and at dusk besought a cooing turtle-dove to carry his
praises to Show-Pretty-Feathers.
Now the Cliff Dwellers in the high, sandstone
ledges were none too friendly with Chief Bow-in-the-
Neck and his people, who held for the time the coveted
tribal supremacy. Fortunately for Buffalo-Horn, there
was an important tribal dance that night at Cliff Palace,
a short distance from the House of the New Fire, for
he had come to get coals from the Sacred Shrine of
the kindred tribe. Attendants of the New Fire House
had temporarily deserted their duties to take part in
the religious ceremony.
New Fire House was dedicated to fire worship,
which ranked favorably with their reverence of the sun.
The rooms in this two-story cave structure were plaster-
ed, red colorings being used to adorn the walls with
symbolic figures, while zigzag markings denoted light-
ning and its relation to the worship of fire. In the floor
22 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
of this abode was a circular fire pit in which the Sacred
Fire was kept slowly burning.
Buffalo-Horn, creeping on hands and knees,
silently made his way from the rocky bottom of the
canyon upward over the steps worn in the rocks by the
women in carrying water from the spring below. Tak-
ing a small earthen jar from beneath his hide shirt, he
stooped over the fire hole, breathed a few words softly,
reverently brushed the flames with his palm and raised
his cupped hand to his mouth, inhaling deeply,
then swiftly forced some of the sacred coals into the
receptacle and covered the embers with ashes. Securely
concealing the jar within his blouse, he crept noiselessly
from the place.
Hearing a commotion down in the canyon, he fol-
lowed the rock ridge until he came to a hidden passage-
way, ordinarily guarded but now deserted, leading
upward through a narrow cleft in the rim-rock. These
protruding ledges formed the overhanging shelf-like
roof of the cliff cave which contained the House of the
Once on top of the tableland, Buffalo-Horn
paused a moment to rest and to listen to the singing
dancers celebrating ceremonial rites in Cliff Palace.
He felt for the jar of wood coals. As he did so, Sly-
Wolf leaped upon him from behind and bore him to
the ground. Over and over they rolled, Buffalo-Horn
several times losing his advantage in the terrible struggle
while protecting the bit of hidden pottery. He was on
his back, one leg dangling in space and the other press-
ing against the rocky ledge. Desperately he tried to
save himself from plunging hundreds of feet into the
SMOKE OF UNDYING EMBERS 23
canyon as his aggressor, trying to free himself, sought
to push Buffalo-Horn over the edge of the cliff.
He felt a hot, stinging sensation, as if the fatal
moment had come and his abdomen were being pierced
by stakes. Confusion, momentarily his master, was
dispelled as he realized that live coals were burning his
flesh. He made a last, frantic effort to save himself
from the black depths, and Love superseded Hate as
he recalled the teachings of his forefathers, that New
Fire — meaning continued health and prosperity for the
tribe — could never be rekindled at the expense of
another life willfully destroyed. It was enough. Just
as he was losing his hold on the rocky shelf, his body
suspended between the secure tableland and the yawn-
ing abyss, he cried: "Curse of New Fire on Innocent
Blood!" Miraculously he was pulled back to safety.
Sly- Wolf, awe-struck but filled with strange un-
derstanding, stood there, helpless to continue the strug-
gle. The Great Silence had threatened to engulf him,
for he realized that New Fire would consume him if he
took a life in this manner. His lips were forever sealed
against repeating what had occurred when Buffalo-
Horn held high the little jar of pottery with the smol-
dering embers. A great truth dawned upon Sly- Wolf :
Without honor there could be no seat with Those-
Above. Sly- Wolf disappeared into the night.
Several times on the return journey Buffalo-Horn
had to stop and blow the tiny flame and add twigs to
keep the Sacred Fire burning. With the first reddish
glow on the eastern horizon preceding the actual rising
of the sun, a curl of smoke was seen ascending from
the fire pit in the ruins of the Sacred Kiva of the Fire
Clan. There need be no sacrifice. Show-Pretty-
24 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
Feathers ran to the outstretched arms of her chosen
lover. Chief Bow-in-the-Neck looked on approvingly,
for if he suspected anything his stolid countenance did
not betray him.
The visitation of lightning upon Go-Two- Ways
was now regarded by the tribe generally as a mark of
esteem coming from the Great Spirit. Unaware of the
rekindling of the fire in the early dawn, they elevated
Buffalo-Horn to the seats of the Mighty Council and
renamed him Smoke-of -Undying-Embers.
Great-Spirit Lake Cavern at
ARAPAHOE SPIRIT GLACIER
RIGHT-STAR, Arapahoe Indian maiden,
neared the edge of the great ice-field, high in
the Colorado Rockies. It was early fall. A
September moon outlined the maiden against
the expanse of packed snow turned ice, now known as
Arapahoe Glacier, twenty-five miles west of Boulder.
The reflection of the moon on the milky-white surface
almost gave the brightness of day.
Tradition had brought her to the White Tomb,
which, according to Arapahoe wise men, held one of
the tribal wish-charms. This lost treasure, possession
of which would bring heart's desire, was a small round
piece of the fossilized tusk of a prehistoric monster,
roughly polished and containing carvings of tribal gods.
Its loss had deprived the tribe of many unusual bless-
ings for nearly one hundred fifty years. One genera-
tion had passed, and another was fast closing; Indians
ordinarily enjoying long life in the open.
Arapahoe warriors, including Blue-Cloud, tribal
warrior-in-chief and father of Bright-Star, generally
disregarded the talk of the soothsayer, that the small
tusk-end bearing peculiar Indian designs would again
be recovered. Bright-Star still trusted in its power and
had pinned her faith to its possession. This was the
third time within a week that she had returned in the
hope of realizing her desire.
Should she not get possession of the wish-charm
this night before the moon reached its zenith, then all
would be lost. In the witching hour her father's life
26 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
would be taken as punishment for his refusal to com-
bat the Utes assembling across the Continental Divide
in the Grand Lake country. For the Utes likewise
were intent upon capturing the coveted wish-charm.
Their councils also rang with the account of the strug-
gle that led to the loss of the wish-stone by the rival
The Utes feared the white tomb-like glacier after
dusk because of the restless spirit of an imprisoned Ute
hovering over it. So Bright-Star, desperate, chose the
night without fear of molestation by the Utes. Now
the hatred between the two tribes did not extend to
Bright-Star in her affections. Not-Afraid, a Ute brave,
had promised to catch a fleecy cloud some day and sail
with her to the land of the stars. She adored him, and
in their clandestine meetings he professed adoration
for her. But now, when she needed him, he stayed
away. She had not seen him since the last full moon.
Had he, too, become afraid of the glacier?
Pon-Pon, one of her tribesmen and rival for her
hand, had incensed the Arapahoes against Blue-
Cloud, who continued in his refusal to sacrifice any of
the Arapahoes in prospect of recovering the wish-
charm. Blue-Cloud, hating Pon-Pon, believed a still
greater curse would descend upon them if they inter-
fered with the possessions of the glacier. Did not the
glacier, melting, supply water for his tribe as it formed
what is now North Boulder Creek? Had not the chat-
tering creek quenched his thirst time and again? De-
spite his faith, Blue-Cloud was to be consumed by
fire when the light of the moon, dipping into Boulder
Canyon, creeping down its sheer walls, bathed in radi-
ance a rocky pillar to which he had been securely bound
ARAPAHOE SPIRIT GLACIER 27
Tribal soothsayers in both camps had foretold
that this was the accepted year for the recovery of the
frozen body of the Ute having the coveted wish-
charm. The story ran something like this
Prior to 1400 A. D., fully one hundred years
before Columbus landed on America's shores, a battle
between the warring Utes and Arapahoes brought two
of their number in fierce combat just above the great
seam, or bergschrund, at the head of the glacier. The
Arapahoe soothsayer, recognizing that the wish-stone
for some reason refused to bring victory to his tribes-
men, sought to escape. A Ute followed him.
The Arapahoe soothsayer bravely started cross-
wise over the glacier, his moccasined feet feeling their
way over the treacherous ice. Progress was very slow
and hazardous, just above the bergschrund, the great
break where the ice is released at the outset of its jour-
ney down the mountain side in a stubborn, frozen mass.
The Ute unrelentingly pursued. They struggled. The
Ute wrested from his adversary the necklace containing
the magic wish-charm, and as he did so, he slipped and
shot forward. In another moment the great major
crevasse had swallowed him. A cry of anguish rose
from the depths of the gash in the ice as the Ute dis-
Between the narrowing walls of ice the Ute fell
— thirty — forty — fifty — sixty feet. At that point his
body on striking a projecting rock that had been caught
in the snow pack, was deflected and hurled across the
narrow gap onto a shelf-like hollow which the rock bad
filled before the ice break occurred.
Stunned by the fall, the Ute finally recovered
consciousness. He Was cold, encased, as he Was, in
ice. He tried to shriek but could not. Terror filled
28 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
him. Cautiously he peered over the edge and looked
down fully a hundred feet into the shadowy depths of
the huge crevasse. Then he gazed upward and saw
just a tiny patch of blue sky. He shouted, but help
failed him. So he became numb and finally froze to
death. Snows of winter sealed the sepulchre. Then,
his body began another career, this time in death, of
moving spirit-like down hill; carried by and becoming
a part of the glacial stream, which flowed about twenty-
five feet a year.
By the following spring the story of the Arapa-
hoe soothsayer had reached the camps of the Utes.
Great rejoicing ensued. They, like the Arapahoes,
realized however the futility of trying to cut away
thousands of tons of milky-white ice to search for the
The glacier's movement, concerning which the
Arapahoe wise men had knowledge, was studied and
observations made and measurements taken from the
major crevasse by means of long poles driven into the
surface. The Indians generally attributed its progress
more to the gods of rain and harvest than to the annual
collection of snow, melting and freezing, that pressed
unceasingly against the main mass of the glacier.
So the years passed. Indian papooses grew up,
married, and died as other papooses took their places.
And all the time the Utes body reposed in an icy tomb
which, at times, must have been shaken and even threat-
ened with destruction. For the great frozen stream
crunched boulders to powder in the path of its journey
down the slopes of the Arapaho(e) peak-
Yes, it was the appointed year, according to the
predictions of the soothsayers. But summer was wan-
ing, and interest lagged except for the occasional visits
ARAPAHOE SPIRIT GLACIER 29
of the descendants of the hapless Ute. They were,
in a sense, glorified at the distinction accorded their
distinguished forebear, but did not relish the possibility
of some day finding his shriveled body protruding from
the end of the tapering glacier. And there was always
the possibility that he had been ground to pieces upon
the boulders under the mammoth ice-field.
Bright-Star reached the haunting hollow, the roof
of which was an overhanging ledge of ice. The
cavern was about fifty feet in width, with a thirty or
forty-foot opening to the roof, becoming smaller as it
neared the sloping mountain. Ordinarily this ice
grotto was inaccessible, for the reason that it was the
basin of the deep blue lake at the end of the glacier.
This year, however, had been unusually dry, the lake
waters disappearing as fast as they could collect.
Timidly, at first, then with determination, Bright-
Star hacked the ice with a stone tomahawk. It had
been an unusually warm day, and the dripping water
from the cavern roof still formed a fascinating curtain
that sparkled silver in the bright moonlight. She had
noticed a discoloration in the ice at sunset the day be-
fore. It was in the curved wall of the cavern, within
reach, close to the outer edge. An exhausting but
expectant hour passed, and finally a dull thud startled
her. The tomahawk struck something other than ice.
The frightened maiden, all but collapsing, lay back
against an upstanding rock.
But the long-sought charm, equivalent in mod-
ern times to wealth, lay within her grasp. The hand
containing it was now exposed. She shuddered as she
touched the frozen fingers. Secure in his shrunken fist
was the necklace bearing the magic treasure. Deter-
minedly, she forced the stiffened joints apart.
30 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
Clutching the strand of beads and jewels she
hurriedly scaled the rocky incline from the lake bottom
and, breathless, made a wish. She wished for one of
the fleecy clouds in the heavens to carry her speedily
down the canyon in time to save her father's life. And,
behold ! Her wish was realized.
At that moment a white charger came over the
moraine with Not-Afraid astride its bare back pulling
on an improvised bridle. Enthralled at the sight —
for she had never seen a horse — the comforting words
of Not-Afraid spurred her on. So she climbed up
behind him on the broad back of the spirited stallion
and sailed through the night.
Somehow, the horse with several others had be-
come detached from Coronado's expedition, which that
summer had visited the plains to the east of the Rockies
in search of the fabled City of Quivira. Not-Afraid
had trailed the horse for nearly a month, after having
been told in a nearby tribal camp of the mysterious
white-winged beast. Marching Indians had brought
word of how this unfamiliar spirit-god had been ridden
by strange men clad in heavy armor.
Instead of descending the winding canyon, Not-
Afraid guided the charger to the canyon's brink, on the
opposite side of which, down below, the dance of death
had begun. The light of the moon slowly erased the
shadows of the distant canyon wall. Its radiance
bathed the dancers and Blue-Cloud. The brushwood
at the feet of the warrior-in-chief was about to be set
afire by brandishing torches.
The girl emitted a succession of shrieks. Her
cries rang through the canyon. The ceremonies were
interrupted. Pon-Pon, among others looked upward,
inwardly gloating over Bright-Star, whom he intended
ARAPAHOE SPIRIT GLACIER 3 1
to claim without delay. They discerned the Indian
maiden and a ghost-like object, for they likewise had
never seen a horse. The maiden appealed to the lead-
ers to come up and get the magic wish-charm. They
released Blue-Cloud, unwilling to risk their own lives
with the mysterious spirit robed in white. Pon-Pon
foresaw defeat and crept away.
Blue-Cloud received the charm from his
daughter. He bade her a fond farewell, admonishing
the Ute lover to be kind to his little Bright-Star. Mar-
veling at the strange animal, and confused and weak-
ened by the terrible ordeal, he hysterically related to
his tribesmen how Bright-Star, alone, sailed away on
a cloud-mist rising from the haunted glacier.
But Bright-Star was not alone, for with her on the
magic ride of her dreams was her lover, Not-Afraid,
who carried her to his own people, the Utes, across the
Continental Divide. The fleet-winged spirit-horse,
brought under control by Not- Afraid, in the eyes of the
Utes was a greater charm than the coveted amulet of
the Arapahoes. The Utes regarded Not-Afraid as
possessing unusual power coming from the Great Spirit.
Granting his wish, they reversed the established order
of the marriage custom of his living with the maiden's
tribe. Thus Not-Afraid forestalled any humiliation
which Bright-Star might have suffered at the hands of
the Ute women, and at the same time made complete
the restoration of Blue-Cloud in the tribe of the Arapa-
hoes through the recovery of the wish-charm.
A HOLY CROSS PILGRIMAGE
POTTED-FEATHER, chief of the Chicka-
saws, crouched in wonderment mixed with awe
at the procession of fully five hundred helmet-
ed Spaniards filing through dense woods in
what is now the State of Mississippi. Equally great
was his astonishment at sight of prancing horses, un-
known to his people, and the ease with which they
carried supplies and camp trappings.
The Spaniards were traveling westward. It was
toward the close of April, 1541. Little did Spotted-
Feather know their mission, or care. Neither did their
leader — Ferdinand de Soto — know, for that matter,
that about a week later he would discover the Miss-
issippi River. In fact, De Soto was in search of an
elusive land of gold. He longed to outdo Cortez in
Mexico. With De Soto was the flower of the Spanish
and Portuguese nobility in suits of gorgeous armor.
As De Soto was the first white man to look upon
that mighty river, so Spotted-Feather, in amazement,
was the first of his tribe to look upon a white man. His
bow, spanned with an arrow, was relaxed as he gazed
in searching wonder at what was transpiring. There
were monks in sacerdotal robes, carrying images, and
footmen armed with arquebuses, lances, swords and
The line of weary soldiers passed. Some dis-
tance behind was a Franciscan Friar, in his brown
robes and carrying a standard upon which was superim-
posed a brass cross. The frightened Spotted-Feather
Mount of the Holy Cross, a Nation's Emblem
A HOLY CROSS PILGRIMAGE 33
deemed the Friar some strange god following the
armed hosts to victory.
How to take the stranger back to camp, alive, as
captive and good luck omen confused Spotted-Feather.
He had sunk to superstition's depths. But as he came
from the thicket a strange thing occurred. One of the
soldiers, known as Roderig, also in hiding, jumped out
and blocked the Friar's path.
Spotted-Feather could not understand by their
conversation that Roderig threatened the unarmed
Friar, but a brandishing sword, the like of which he
had never seen, told as much. Thereupon, the Friar
disrobed. Roderig removed his outer garments. The
men were about the same stature. They exchanged
clothes. The clanking sword, reluctantly accepted
for the cross, did not impress the Friar as a means of
overcoming his adversary. No, his way was along the
paths of peace. An old grievance, because of a re-
primand by the young Friar, given early in 1 539, just
before leaving Cuba on this exploration, accounted for
"Now, curse you, shift for yourself!" were the
parting words of Roderig. He raised the skirt of the
robe and with the standard in the other hand, ran to
catch up with the procession. As both had beards,
due to lack of conveniences, the deception on Roderig's
part was perfect, so far as appearance was concerned.
Then Spotted-Feather confronted the perplexed
Friar, now wearing a helmet and breast plate and
carrying a shield. The Friar drew his sword, then
quickly sheathed it again. Thereupon the Chickasaw,
signalling, persuaded him to follow. They proceeded
in a northwesterly direction.
34 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
Now the Friar, divested of his priestly robes, was
none the less forceful in the estimation of Spotted-
Feather. In fact, the Chickasaw chief believed the
Friar to be possessed of strange powers. So the tepees
of his people were thrown open, and Spotted-Feather
saw to it that he was cared for in one of the tents. His
only daughter, Swallow- Wings, waited upon the
strange medicine man.
But she did not win favor in the eyes of the seri-
ous-minded Friar. As the days passed, he was pre-
sented by Spotted-Feather with a blanket of unusual
texture containing many designs, and beaded, oak-
tanned moccasins. The cleric threw the Indian blanket
about his shoulders, and wore the moccasins; yet he
was, withal, a Spaniard. But no great luck came to
Spotted-Feather, such as he had anticipated from the
wearing of the gaudy blanket by the Friar.
In the meantime, on May 1, 1541, De Soto had
looked upon the Mi-che-se-pe, Indian name for Miss-
issippi, meaning "Father of Waters." Then death
claimed the fearless leader, whose body, weighted with
sand bags, was lowered to a watery grave.
Discouraged and emaciated, the greatly reduced
forces, leaderless, decided to return — all, except Luis
Moscosco de Alvarado, a lieutenant under De Soto.
He persuaded a handful to continue westward. Rod-
erig, in the guise of, the Friar, having feigned mental
aberration and succeeded in the deception, was afraid
to return. So he cast his lot with Moscosco de Alvar-
ado, while all the other monks, with one exception re-
mained with De Soto's band. Felling trees, Moscosco
de Alvarado's men fashioned boats that carried them
down the Mississippi. Indians helped them land at
A HOLY CROSS PILGRIMAGE 35
the western shore, near where the Arkansas River
empties into the Mississippi, in what is now Arkansas.
Spotted-Feather all this time had dispatched a
runner at intervals to the river. After the last visit the
Friar managed to secretly question the runner, by signs
and markings on the ground. He gathered, in a crude
fashion, that De Soto's band had separated, some re-
turning the way they had come, others going down the
Days dragged by. Summer had come. The Friar,
doubtful that he should ever again greet any of his
countrymen, became restless. He could see no means
of escape. Spotted-Feather likewise grew impatient.
No great blessing had manifested itself. The Indian
maize, or corn, was none too far advanced. In fact,
it gave evidence of never maturing, which was indeed a
bad omen. Spotted-Feather's warriors were dissatis-
fied. They implored their chief to send the Friar away,
but Spotted-Feather's faith in the stranger's powers
could not be shaken.
The Friar shortly thereafter outlined a cross in
the sand before the tepee of the Indian chief. Now the
mystic symbol was not unknown to Spotted-Feather,
or to his forefathers. It had been reverenced by the
Chaldeans, Phoenicians, Mexicans and every primeval
people as a mysterious, hidden wisdom. The Friar
saw in it the salvation of souls.
Spotted-Feather did not tarry. It was enough.
The cross to him meant a talisman of great power
against demons. So the three hundred Chickasaws,
with their squaws, papooses and dogs trailing behind,
crossed the Mississippi in bark canoes and led by the
Friar, journeyed westward. The Chickasaws accord-
36 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
ing to tradition, had come out of the west, and this
seemed like a glorious opportunity to Spotted-Feather
to be charmed back into primitive delights.
For a time it kept the warriors off the war path.
They ignored the mockery hurled at them by other
tribes, in being led through their own country by a
bearded stranger. There were dances, feasts and days
of atonement, Indian fashion. But the Friar found it
difficult to lead them. His was a faith without super-
Now Moscosco de Alvarado and his men, having
reached the Arkansas River, decided to follow its
course. Months passed. Winter had given way to
spring. They were intent on getting away from the
marshy country of the Southland until far enough west
to strike directly southward in their effort to reach
It was just after the time that Francisco Vasquez
de Coronado journeyed northward from Mexico in
1540-1542, in search of the land of riches and later
for what proved to be the mythical City of Quivira
with its streets of turquoise. His trail doubtless was
crossed in 1542 by that of Moscosco de Alvarado,
who little dreamed that one of his countrymen pre-
ceded him by a short time to this land of aboriginal
mysteries. So it transpires that Moscosco de Alvarado
in all likelihood was the second white man to put foot
on what is now Colorado soil.
The northwestern course pursued by Moscosco de
Alvarado and his men, by a coincidence of fate, early
was bringing them nearer to Spotted-Feather and his
tribe, led by the Friar. And when, one day, on the
distant horizon, the Chickasaws saw a slow-moving
A HOLY CROSS PILGRIMAGE 37
body of strange people, they streaked their faces with
vermilion and whooped the war cry. Seeing he could
no longer hold them in restraint the Friar, realizing it
was a part of De Soto's band, kept in advance with
Arrows sped over the Friar's head as they
whizzed toward the Spaniards, who offered feeble re-
sistance. Carried momentarily into a frenzy at sight
of Roderig wearing his raiment, the Friar, fearless
under fire, rushed his adversary. As he thrust the sword
into the body of its owner — Roderig — the Indian
blanket fell from the Friar's shoulders, revealing the
"Holy Virgin, save me!" cried the deceptor,
realizing as he sank, mortally wounded, that he had
been caught at last. The battle ended abruptly at a
signal from Spotted-Feather. Moscosco de Alvarado
threw his arms about the Friar and wept for joy. Ad-
miring countrymen welcomed him, as Roderig, the im-
Spotted-Feather, seeing the Friar once again
clothed in the priestly robes taken from Roderig, moved
off with his tribesmen. Then, for a second time, a
strange thing occurred.
The Friar, once again the spiritual guide, was
handed the cross to replace the sword. But he shrank
from it. A rent in his own garment — pierced by his
own hand — reminded him of the life he had guiltily
taken. He saw the cross, blood-stained. Roderig,
dying, had pressed it against his wound. The Friar
cringed in agony before its significance. He must
make atonement for having slain another — defenseless
— in unholy anger.
38 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
He joined Moscosco de Alvarado on the march
through what is now Pueblo, and into the mountains,
touched with the rose-tinted afterglow of sunset on
snow-capped heights. Penitent, he muttered: "San-
gre de Cristo," meaning, "For the Blood of Christ."
Thus the great Sangre de Cristo Range, in what is
now San Isabel National Forest, came to be named.
Here he left them, as they turned southward toward
Mexico. His was a new mission, the search for a sign
of forgiveness from heaven. Humiliation was his lot,
and penance. His troubled soul had visualized for
him redemption's cross.
This symbol he sought. For days he passed
through deep gulches and clambered to steep heights;
slept in the open, ate roots and herbs, and endured
privations that even his hardened physique could not
successfully withstand. For weeks he traveled aim-
lessly about in the Rocky Mountains, as yet unnamed
save in Indian terms by the Utes he encountered. The
Indians, fearing him, gave him food and shelter. Twice
he caught a glimpse through wooded aisles of what he
thought was a cross in the heavens.
But continued hardships began to tell upon him.
Once, with dazed mind, due, in part to his unnourished
body feeling the effects of the higher altitudes, he ex-
perienced a sort of mist settling about him. It was
midday, yet he could see nothing. Then, his mind,
responding, groped for an explanation.
Sinking to his knees, he began to pray. It was a
trying effort, but the cloud lifted. Gazing, he beheld
off there to the West the symbol of eternity, a snow-
white cross, unstained by crimson. The huge cross
was outlined against the mountain side. With out-
A HOLY CROSS PILGRIMAGE 39
stretched arms he sought forgiveness, and with contrite
heart, collapsed. His soul passed onward. Curious
Utes watching from a nearby peak of the Gore Range
saw him sink to the earth and never rise again. They
told of it in their councils.
From a plateau near what is Shrine Pass today,
in the Red Cliff country, the Friar had gazed upon the
wondrous cross of snow which, each year, is formed
anew when the transverse ravines hold secure Colo-
rado's snows until late in summer. Now other pil-
grimages end at the foot of the great cross of snow.
THE TRIUMPH OF TRAIL
ANCE festivities were in preparation at the
summer camp of the Arapahoes at Marys
Lake, just outside the eastern boundary of
Rocky Mountain National Park. Spring
sports, with the bow-and-arrow contests, pony races,
wrestling and running games, had marked the close,
with great ceremony, of their winter camp on the Colo-
rado River, about seven miles above Grand Lake.
Squaws, children and aged warriors had crossed the
Continental Divide by way of Trail Ridge, the old
Ute Trail, while most of the braves took the harder
but shorter beaten path over Flattop Mountain to reach
what is now called the Estes Park region.
Buffalo hunters were returning to their tepees,
which the squaws had set up the day before while the
braves prepared for the buffalo chase. The great hunt
had been successful, and feast days were at hand.
Ne-o-ta, an imaginative hltle Arapahoe maiden
affectionately called the Deer-Heart, because her eyes
were large and sott and her manners shy and timid,
stepped from the skin-covered shelter of her father's
tepee, singing a light retrain. The disquieting recol-
lection of a mythical monster known as the carcagne,
feared even by trappers early in the nineteenth century
and realistic enough to her, set Ne-o-ta's imagination
On the trip across the mountains, her mother,
Ni-ha-na-wu, had recounted tales of narrow escapes
Majestic Longs Peak and Chasm Lake in
Rocky Mountain National Park
THE TRIUMPH OF TRAIL RIDGE 41
from this dreadful, devouring carcagne. She had
pointed to precipitous heights where the beast had
sprung over seemingly impassable gorges and had even
scaled the cliffs through foaming cataracts. The
carcagne, variously described by Ni-ha-na-wu, had a
long, pointed nose and sharp ears like a wolf, and its
cry was indescribable. Like the blasts of the North
Wind, the monster destroyed everything in its path. So
to ward off fear, Ne-o-ta sang; to ward off fear of the
beast and lonesomeness for Na-kos.
Ne-o-ta's tender age was the ostensible objection
raised by Ni-ha-na-wu to the admiration shown by the
youthful Na-kos. Ku-m-tha, another Arapahoe brave,
likewise showered his attentions on Ne-o-ta at every
opportunity, perhaps to the pleasure of Ni-ha-na-wu;
but his father, Oe-che-ne, was war chief of the Ara-
pahoes, which may account for the mother's preference
for Ku-ni-tha. But Na-kos fondly loved the maiden,
and she longed for him, despite her mother's wishes.
As she stood there in the bright sunshine, she
thought she discerned far away, a big-horn sheep half
hidden by a rocky crag. Presently she was attracted
by a bear — or was it her vivid imagination visualizing
the wolf-nose monster — in the nearby woodland. It
rose up for a moment, seemed to scent danger, then
dropped on all fours and was gone.
But she soon forgot the carcagne, for the air was
filled with shouts and derisive jests. Oe-che-ne, the
Old-Raven, rushed from his tepee, flourishing his bow-
and-arrow in imitation of his bird-namesake flapping
its wings. He confronted a buffalo coming into camp.
The attitude he assumed, with drawn bow, created
great mirth among the assembled Indians. For it was
all in play. Concealed within the buffalo hide was
42 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
Ku-ni-tha, Oe-che-ne's young son, who at dawn had
decoyed the unsuspecting herd of buffaloes into a trap
Now the "trap", northeast of Estes Park Village
of today was a narrowing passage formed by a conver-
gence of the mountains between "Devils Gulch" and
"Long Gulch." Ku-ni-tha, with the hide and head of
a great black buffalo skillfully fastened about him,
mingled with the herd, and, assuming leadership, slowly
enticed them into the death-trap defile. At a given
signal, the squaws and old men came running from hid-
ing places in the rear of the animals, frightening them
into the narrow gorge, where the Arapahoe braves were
lying in wait, carefully concealed from sight along the
sides of the gulch, which narrows to a ten-foot "gate".
After wounding the buffaloes with arrows and spears,
they then finished them with tomahawks.
It was from this escapade Ku-ni-tha was return-
ing. The make-believe buffalo rolled over on its back,
that the buckskin laces might be undone, and out
crawled Ku-ni-tha, glad once again to stand erect after
having traveled many miles on hands and feet. He
quietly exchanged a tew words with Oe-che-ne, who
started for the council tepee where he had assembled
the warriors in anticipation of Ku-ni-tha's return.
While the squaws, led by Ni-ha-na-wu, sang
praises of Ku-ni-tha's successful buffalo slaughter as
they prepared the feast, the warriors, among them
Na-kos, considered the menacing encroachment of the
Utes. For Ku-ni-tha had devoted himself eagerly to
the hunt, while Na-kos, thinking more of the safety of
the tribe and of the beloved Ne-o-ta, had abandoned
the chase to spy on the skulking figures of Utes on
Wind River Trail. He had then hurried back to camp
THE TRIUMPH OF TRAIL RIDGE 43
and reported to Chief Oe-che-ne that the valley was
full of the enemy.
The old warriors sat long in meditation after
Oe-che-ne called the council gathering, but the younger
men, absorbed by thoughts of the dance ring, disre-
garded the real significance of the alarm. Within the
stone-marked rings they expected to dance in the open
during the afternoon and night, in celebration of the
buffalo hunt. A small fire in the center of this ring
would hold them enthralled in a strange worship of its
Just as the squaws had the meat pots ready for
the fires, a wounded Arapahoe, bringing buffalo meat
on his pony, staggered into camp. This development
emphasized the imminent danger. Ordinarily another
day would have passed while Utes assembled, only to
be defiantly repulsed in battle by the waiting Arapa-
hoes. But the wounded brave brought word of many
smoke signals to guide the assembling Utes. His people
would be greatly outnumbered. Even now Ute run-
ners were spying on the camp.
In the discussion Na-kos was called for to tell the
council the position and number of the band of Utes on
Wind River Trail. But Na-kos had quietly slipped
away. Nevertheless Oe-che-ne was sustained in his
proposal that the Arapahoes return to the winter camp
across the Continental Divide, for the Utes had evi-
dently come to kill mountain sheep and to escape the
heat of the plains in summer. The Arapahoe braves
could not dream peacefully in their tepees with their
deadly enemies, the Utes, so close at hand.
So the plans for feasting were turned into hurried
departure. Smoldering camp fires, buffalo meat and
tepee rings of stone for weighting the ends of the skin
44 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
tents, told the story of flight. It would require an all-
night march, over the pine- fringed reaches of the Snowy
Range, to gain the retreat of the Arapahoes in a shel-
tered vale near Grand Lake.
The three hundred warriors, divided into an ad-
vance and rear escort for the women and children,
started over the old Ute Trail, which we now call the
Trail Ridge. A very sharp incline, to reach the ridge
proper, was called "Where-the- Women- Walk,** be-
cause up this stretch the ponies could not carry any
burden in addition to their heavy trappings.
One hundred fifty braves, mounted on swift ponies,
led the party, sending scouts in advance as far as the
head of Forest Canyon, where the Fall River Road
crosses the old Ute Trail. The remaining braves
brought up the rear, with the women and children
scattered along the narrow, tree-sheltered trail.
Ne-o-ta had just helped the old Ni-ha-na-wu over
the steep, rough ascent "Where-the-Women-Walk**
and, as they were neanng timberhne, had put a heav-
ier blanket about her mother's shoulders, when suddenly
she was encircled by a strong arm, a firm hand was
pressed over her mouth, and she found herself lifted
from her fed into the arms of Ka-vi-a-wach, a young
Ute chieftain. He had tried to make love to her sur-
reptitiously the previous summer, and now bore her
swiftly into the forest. Ni-ha-na-wu gave chase, shriek-
ing, but her cries were drowned by the trample of the
ponies* feet, and in the confusion of the march their
absence passed unnoticed.
Down the steep slope Ka-vi-a-wach staggered
with his prize, a maiden from an enemy tribe. This
feat would give him an enviable position in the eyes of
his tribesmen. And so for hours he pushed through
THE TRIUMPH OF TRAIL RIDGE 45
dense woods, over the rough, wild, unfamiliar region.
The old Ni-ha-na-wu, stumblingly followed as fast as
her weary limbs could carry her. Finally they came
to Chasm Falls, where Fall River plunges thirty feet
into a rocky gorge nearly twenty feet wide. There was
no means of crossing.
Ka-vi-a-wach decided to go down stream in the
hope of finding a place to ford it when a black bear
appeared from the direction of the falls, growling an-
grily. Now, a bear will not attack human beings if
unprovoked, but rather shuns them. However, a
mother bear will protect its cubs. Ka-vi-a-wach knew
that not far away, and behind him on the narrow path,
must be the cave-like shelter containing the cubs, and
realized the danger to himself and his little captive.
Instinctively he prayed to the protecting spirit of
the water; for after the ancient custom of his people,
Ka-vi-a-wach bore the name of the foaming white spray
of the mountain stream, which was the first object his
father saw when the child's birth was announced. Sud-
denly wild shrieks rent the air. Across the gorge Ne-
o-ta's startled eyes beheld the animal that gave the in-
describable cry. In her frightened state she likened it
to the weird monster. Only the deep, wide ravine
could save them from the destroying beast. Terror
seized them all. Old Ni-ha-na-wu folded her arms
over her bent head and moaned. Even the old mother
bear, maddened by the uproar, became the more de-
termined to reach its cave shelter.
But, look! The odd beast, running to the precip
itous edge of the gorge, sniffed the air, growled, ran
back, then returned and clambered up a tall spruce
tree growing on the very edge of the ravine. The
next moment it was swaying in the top of the spruce,
46 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
one paw clutching a branch, the other outstretched to
keep its poise as it rode high in the air.
Careening far over the gulch, the beast suddenly
leaped from the tree, cunningly catapulted through
space, then crashed into a smaller spruce on the other
side, near Ne-o-ta and Ka-vi-a-wach, thereby breaking
the force of its tumbling fall to the ground. Stunned
momentarily, it quickly recovered and closely embraced
the unwilling Ka-vi-a-wach. In the death struggle the
animal overpowered the Ute, and wresting from him
the bone dagger of defense, fatally wounded the In-
dian. Then it rushed the bear, which, bleeding, scam-
pered for the cub den.
The superstitious Ne-o-ta fully believed that the
carcagne, bugaboo of her imagination, would certainly
wreak its vengeance on her mother and herself. But
the odd beast rolled over on its back with a cry, "Ne-
o-ta! Ne-o-ta!" Scarcely able to believe her ears
the Arapahoe maiden, recognizing the voice, quickly
unlaced the shaggy hide of a grizzly, and out
crawled Na-kos, his back bleeding from cruel scratches
inflicted by the black bear.
Na-kos, eager to outshine Ku-ni-tha, had left the
council tepee before noon to take his perilous turn at
scouting. Having determined the strength and near-
ness of the enemy, he was returning to the camp, un-
advised of the sudden departure of his people. He
scalped Ka-vi-a-wach, the Ute, and won Ni-ha-na-
wu's consent to marry her daughter, Ne-o-ta. And
during the night they overtook the fleeing Arapahoes.
LUPTON'S LOVE FORT
HE loghouse trading post on the South Platte
River in Colorado was crowded with buckskin-
robed trappers and gaudily-blanketed Arapa-
hoe Indians. It was in the spring of 1835.
Interest centered in a strikingly pretty Indian maiden,
Touch-the-Sky, sitting in a swing-like support made of
sacks, as part of an old-style arm scale. She was the
balance for a counter weight comprising satins, calico,
tobacco and steel arrowheads. It was a barter, un-
usual in the tribe of the Arapahoes, provoked by a
rivalry for the maiden's hand.
Madeiro Gonzales Lupton, of Spanish descent,
possessing the soft, mellow voice of his Castihan fore-
fathers, sought as his bride Touch-the-Sky. From out
her captivating, copper-hued countenance, wreathed in
raven tresses, shone dancing brown eyes. Lupton was
in charge of the trading post for the American Fur
Trading Company of St. Louis.
Over him glowered Palette de St. Vrain, second
in command. All the elegance of a station in royalty
had been thrown about the Indian princess by the
Frenchman, rival for her hand, in his manners and by
his continued outbursts of impassioned love.
Since 1833, when Lupton built the small log
trading post, these two had been staunch friends. Each
had professed never to end their companionship for an
Indian maiden, attractive as some were in their primi-
tive costumes. And now, two years later, of a sudden,
their vow of friendship seemed to split asunder — cen-
48 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
tering in a brawl in which they shared equal blame.
The princess had captured two hearts. Coyly she
played with them.
Lupton gazed, steel-eyed, at Two-Arrow, Arapa-
hoe sub-chief, then tossed another packet of expensive
draperies on the scale. The tribal leader had insisted
upon receiving in exchange for the maiden the equiv-
alent of her weight in what, to the Arapahoes, meant
"Heap more!" grunted Chief Two-Arrow. Now
Touch-the-Sky towered above the other maidens and
weighed about one hundred and twenty-five pounds.
Lupton, limited by the Arapahoes in selection to a
counter balance of only the costliest of articles in the
stock of exchange goods, was at his wit's end. The
barter scale needed at least another twenty-five pounds
to complete the transaction.
"It's wrong, and what's more, unfair," protested
St. Vrain, who saw that the Arapahoes had accepted
Lupton's proffer in humanity. 'The Company won't
stand for this; besides, I
Before St. Vrain could finish he found himself
delivering and unavoidably receiving staggering blows.
Lupton had resented his words. Touch-the-Sky,
frightened, wriggled out of the sack-swing and escaped
to her people. Trappers finally separated Lupton and
St. Vrain, but from that day they were sworn enemies.
It was in the land of the beaver, buffalo and other
fur-bearing animals. There were also the black-tailed
deer, antelope and elk in the nearby snow-capped
Rockies. Wild turkeys occasionally supplied food and
war bonnet feathers. Cottonwood and aspen trees
lupton's love fort 49
bordered the stream. Spruces and pines commanded
the mountain slopes.
Lupton did not have opportunity to finish the
transaction that called for a counter balance of finery
and beads. Instead, the Arapahoes continued to re-
ceive small favors until the Spaniard could complete
the erection of a mud block, or adobe fort, construction
of which was begun immediately by twelve of the Com-
The remaining twelve Company trappers, having
decided to cast their fortunes with St. Vrain, crossed
to the west side of the river and there erected a log
stockade. In the meantime the business of fur trading
Daring and impulsive adventure in these trail-
blazers had withstood every challenge of privation,
constant danger from attack by wild animals and death
at the hands of prowling Indians. During this time the
little log trading post had been all sufficient for Lupton
and St. Vrain. Then friend turned foe. Lupton
erected an immense fortification for those times, which
his followers named Fort Lupton.
Its ruins are crumbling on what is now a farm in
a peaceful village by that name, in the center of a rich
agricultural district. In the eighty years or more that
have elapsed gold has been discovered in Clear Creek,
and Denver, about twenty-five miles to the south, has
become the metropolis of the Rocky Mountains.
Concern for the safety of Lupton and the others
was expressed at St. Louis when shipments by water
ceased. As many as half a dozen rafts loaded with
furs had been sent down the river at one time, finding
their destination at length on the Mississippi. Months
passed with no shipments. Instead, Cupid held sway
50 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
while a fortification with pretentious defense works
lifted its romantic towers to the sky, on the edge of the
wilderness. It was, in truth, a temple wherein love,
fortified, was to reign in regal state.
The love fort was one hundred feet square. Its
walls were eighteen feet high, tapering from three feet
in thickness at the foundation to a foot at the top. A
circular tower containing lookout holes for defense
purposes — a veritable conning tower for Cupid — rose
ten feet above the walls. Small turrets, of Spanish de-
sign, more for ornament, superimposed the adobe block
Lupton had abandoned the log trading post. He
was just finishing the love fort when St. Vrain, realiz-
ing that a battle of the heart was on, ventured forth,
and by subtle means kidnapped Touch-the-Sky.
Now the tepees of the Arapahoes lay to the east
of Lupton's fortification. Their warwhoops while giving
chase to St. Vrain and his followers, were heard by
Lupton in time to intercept the fleeing love rival. St.
Vrain dropped his captive and spurred his pony to
greater action. Lupton took Touch-the-Sky to the
love fort prepared for her, accompanied by Chief
Preparations were under way next day for the
acceptance of Lupton's proffer. The old arm-scale,
once more suspended from heavy log beams by a rope
caught in an iron ring, was brought into service. The
barter proceeded. It brought riches, pound for pound,
representing the equivalent of coveted humanity. Lup-
ton was about to become the squaw-man husband of
Touch-the-Sky. Outside, St. Vrain and his followers
assembled to storm the fort. Old ball and powder
muskets were brought into play to the consternation
lupton's love fort 51
of Chief Two-Arrow and his tribesmen, as well as
of the maiden, Touch-the-Sky.
St. Wain's men broke down the rough-hewn tim-
ber gate. Chief Two-Arrow, with arms uplifted, in
the role of peacemaker, appeared and the firing ceased.
But his message to St. Vrain was a challenge from
Lupton to do mortal combat. Within the walls of the
love fort the romance must be settled. St. Vrain ac-
cepted the challenge of fists and daggers.
So these two bearded fur-traders, robust and of
powerful physique, fought the most unusual battle
for love ever recorded. Here, in a courtyard within
a love fort on the western frontier of the United States,
they matched their strength. Blows rained, then dag-
gers flashed in the sunlight, as they fought beneath an
azure-canopied sky. Life, after all, was worth the
living. Romance had entered the lives of daring trap-
pers who had left comforts and pleasures and con-
veniences of civilization far behind in pushing westward
to a wild country. And then
Lupton, wounded in the shoulder, began to show
distressing signs of weakness. St. Vrain cunningly ad-
vanced the fight to where Touch-the-Sky, wide-eyed,
half crouching, nervously clung to Chief Two-Arrow.
In a tense moment the wily Frenchman swerved and,
snatching the maiden unawares, started for the gate.
His followers sought to shield him from attack. But
Lupton, enraged, slashed his way to the fleeing rival.
Realizing impending danger, St. Vrain turned suddenly
as the poised dagger descended on its fatal way. It
was driven, not into his own breast, but unintentionally
through the heart of the struggling princess.
She sank, limp, at the feet of Lupton. Frantic
at the tragedy wrought by his own hands, he sprang
52 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
wildly upon his adversary and drove home the crimson-
stained dagger. St. Vrain, dying, was carried away
by his followers. Lupton, holding the clinging maiden
in his arms, pressed a kiss to her lips. He helped bury
her there, as her soul winged its flight to the Happy
Hunting Ground of the Arapahoes.
But did it? Chief Two- Arrow confessed to
Lupton, after she had been buried with Indian cere-
mony and royal pomp, that Touch-the-Sky was of
Caucasian lineage, and had been stolen from her white
parents in her early childhood. She could speak only
the Indian tongue, and knew not her origin. Though
life in the outdoors had bronzed her skin, her heart had
never inclined toward an Indian brave.
Instead, she marveled and responded to the at-
tentions paid her by Lupton and St. Vrain. Their
rivalry at courtship was satisfying; thrilling, but unex-
plainable. Her Temple of Love — the only love fort
known to have been thus erected — became at once
her monument in death. Her dying smile haunted
Lupton and he soon fled the country.
THE GIFT OF THE RAINBOW
UFFALO hides and paleface scalps were the
trophies of the hunting band of Kiowas until
Shaky-Legs, their leader, learned that Ouray,
chieftain of the Uncompahgre Utes, was
camped at La Porte, near the mouth of the Cache la
Poudre Canyon, in what is now the Colorado Na-
tional Forest. It was in the early '60s. Venturesome
French Canadians in search of gold had braved the
uprisings of Indians, including the Arapahoes and
Ouray and his people followed the run of the
buffalo farther to the north than usual. He was thirty.
Chipeta, his squaw, and their year-old papoose, Loqui-
to, were with him. At this early age Ouray gave
promise of the greatness which later won for him the
distinction as the outstanding chief of the Indian tribes
Ouray's father was a Tabeguache Ute and his
mother an Apache of the Jicarilla tribe. Ouray's boy-
hood was passed among the better class of Mexican
rancheros, as a sheepherder. He soon learned to
speak Spanish and English fluently. At twenty he
joined his father, leader of a band of Utes, in a battle
against the Kiowas. Among the enemy was Shaky-
Legs, who was about Ouray's age. They fought, and
Shaky-Legs narrowly escaped death when Ouray's
tomahawk marked him with a glancing blow. They
hissed their names, indicating they were sworn enemies
54 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
Now Shaky-Legs, unknown to Ouray, was prowl-
ing in the densely wooded region of the Ute camp near
the frontier post of Fort Collins. He came alone,
seeking revenge for the scar on his forehead. A June
shower blew up suddenly, giving the late afternoon the
semi-darkness of twilight shadows, and as it rained
Shaky-Legs cut through the rear of the skin tepee of
Ouray, who was directing the roundup of the tribe's
Into the tepee crept Shaky-Legs. Chipeta was
bending over the papoose, crooningly mumbling In-
dian terms of endearment. The next instant she was
overpowered, gagged and bound hand and foot.
Quickly the intruder regained the underbrush of the
forest, carrying the papoose tucked in its sheepskin-
lined, latticed board cradle.
Ouray returned. The clouds scatterd. He car-
ried the hysterical Chipeta outdoors. In the sky was
a rainbow of gorgeous colors. Griefstricken, he never-
theless sought to console Chipeta that this sign in the
heavens gave assurance of Loquito's eventual return.
Placing her in gentle hands, he led a handful of war-
riors toward one end of the arched rainbow, while
others started in the opposite direction. But late at
night they returned, emptyhanded.
The camp of Shaky-Legs, of which Ouray had
heard on reaching Fort Collins, and the leader of which
he at once suspected, could be located only by smol-
dering camp fires and rings of stones used in holding
down their tepees. The Kiowa leader had started for
the plains country to the east at sundown.
Although bearing up bravely for the sake of Chi-
peta, to whom he was devotedly attached, Ouray never
THE GIFT OF THE RAINBOW 55
fully outlived the tragedy of the kidnapping of his
only child. After a fruitless search he returned with
saddened heart to his ranch lands in the Uncompahgre
Valley, where he had large herds of cattle and sheep.
Meantime the tiny Loquito was mothered by a
Kiowa squaw of the Bear clan. Still-Water, the
daughter of Shaky-Legs, belonging to the Eagle clan,
began playing with the Ute at an early age. She was
nearly two years younger than the son of Ouray, who,
as he grew to manhood, become as one of the Kiowas.
Their attachment for one another, approvingly
watched by Shaky-Legs, brought about a marriage.
Loquito, mentally alert, agreeable, and popular among
the Kiowas, at sixteen claimed Still-Water for his
squaw. This was in 1 878.
Many times had the camping place of the Kiowas
changed since Shaky-Legs had stolen the Ute papoose.
But always there was carefully conveyed with the trap-
pings the bead-bedecked cradle-board in which Chi-
peta had placed Loquito on that fatal evening. It had
not since been used. But when, in 1879, a copper-hued
papoose came as a blessing to Still-Water, the heart of
Shaky-Legs momentarily expressed the warrior's finer
feelings. He brought forth the cradle-board for Still-
Water's little boy, realizing, however, that its disclos-
ure would lead to a long postponed confession on his
And so it developed. The name "Loquito*' had
been crudely matted into the skin covering of the cradle-
board, in English, by Ouray and his early American
acquaintances. Shaky-Legs shrewdly imimated that
the strange characters indicated as much, and Loquito
knew no different. However, the cradle-board also
56 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
contained typical markings of the Utes whom Loquito
had been taught to hate by the Kiowas.
The expected moment had come, even sooner
than Shaky-Legs anticipated. He implored Loquito
to wait until the papoose was "twelve moons** old
before he related the story of the cradle-board. And
so the papoose of Still- Water came to be known as
Loquito surmised the truth, but thought his par-
ents had been killed and that the Kiowas had spared
his life. However, about a year later Shaky-Legs told
him the story, beginning with the scar on his forehead.
Loquito was powerless before Shaky-Legs, who was
now one of the tribal sub-chiefs. There was, too, the
tie of devotion to Still-Water that held him in tolerant
submission as the narrative unfolded.
Now the age of Twelve-Moons was about that of
Loquito when he was kidnapped. Having been brought
up under the influences of the Kiowas as one of them,
Loquito did not feel the hatred toward them that as a
born Ute he should feel. Inheriting the manifest qual-
ities of self-sacrifice that marked the lives of his parents,
Loquito sought to right the wrong committed. Secret-
ly he evolved a plan in which Shaky-Legs, through
Still-Water, his own flesh and blood, must share in
Under pretext of getting away from camp tem-
porarily in order to recover from the shock of sudden
disclosure, Loquito made the hazardous trip into the
country of the Utes, in southwestern Colorado, ac-
companied by Still-Water with the little papoose,
Twelve-Moons, strapped to her back. It took them
many weeks to reach the vicinity of the Los Pinos
THE GIFT OF THE RAINBOW 57
Indian Agency, the Ute reservation in the fastness of
the Colorado Rockies.
Early in life Ouray had seen the futility of the
tribal desire to stem the tide of paleface settlers. Hated
but feared by many of his tribesmen, he nevertheless sat
in the councils of the federal government in disputes
affecting his people, and prevented much bloodshed.
Although in his prime — not yet having reached
the age of fifty — his remaining days were few, mixed,
as they were, with joy and sorrow following a strange
experience late one afternoon in June. There came a
sudden shower, and after the clouds had lifted Ouray
went outdoors. He never failed to look for the sign
which he believed would somehow bring back his be-
loved Loquito. The oracle in the heavens had not
since appeared under exactly similar conditions. But,
look ! Today his prayers to Mother Earth, Father Sun
and all the other gods, were answered. The rainbow
of promise was arched in a position seemingly identical
with the way in which it had appeared on that fateful
day, years before.
A tiny voice faintly heard thrilled his being. "Chi-
peta! Chipeta!" he cried to his devoted squaw. She
hastened with him to the edge of a wooded tract, only
a few steps from their log house abode. Against a tree
reposed a cradle-board, half-hidden in a vari-colored
blanket containing primary colors as if reflecting
Heaven's mystic arch. A tiny papoose was fretting,
instinctively trying to make itself heard.
"Loquito! Loquito!" cried the excited Ouray,
hardly able to believe that the cradle-board he saw was
the same which held his baby boy nearly a score of
years before. He was momentarily confused. Chipeta
58 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
rocked the cradle-board to and fro in her arms and
Twelve-Moons dropped off to sleep.
Ouray carefully looked about but saw no one.
Listening, he heard nothing unusual. Yet on a knoll,
tree-covered, stood a youthful maiden — Still- Water,
who just at present wasn't living up to her name. Tears
were streaming down her cheeks. Beside her stood
Loquito, intently peering through a forest aisle that
enabled him to see all that transpired.
Having seen, he stretched out his arms that his
blanket might infold the heartbroken Still-Water. A
short grunt told his squaw that the sacrifice was com-
plete. He raised the sobbing Still-Water in his arms
and stolidly retraced his steps to the tepees of the
Kiowas, as Ouray and Chipeta, bewildered, hastened
indoors with their promised gift of the rainbow.
Snow Angel of Mount Shavano on the
SHAVANO'S SNOW ANGEL
HAVANO, picturesque war chieftain of the
Tabeguache Utes, was overwhelmed. The
cloudless sky, whose aboriginal mysticisms he
often unraveled for his tribesmen, seemed
strangely unfathomable. Now Shavano, in Ute, sig-
nifies "Blue Flower". In him was symbolized the wis-
dom of the star-studded canopy, reflected in the sacred
bluebell with its delicate chimes of mystifying Indian
Grief clouded his vision. For him, the cosmic
scheme of things, revered but understood only through
the eyes of wonderment, was upset. Literally, the
flower of his heart had been pulled up and crushed.
No direct descendants would perpetuate his idylls of
primitive worship, attuned to legendary flights of In-
dian enchantment. Sit-by-the-Stream, the warrior's
son, had been ruthlessly dispatched to the Red Man's
Happy Hunting Ground by a dagger in the hands of
Flamish, a paleface roustabout. So Shavano's seed
Shavano, pondering, gazed into the West. Behind
him the Indian warriors were dancing slowly in a circle
to the weird, impelling music of the tom-toms. Oc-
casionally a sagebrush or bough of spruce was thrown
on the small camp fire. But the agony of green bran-
ches in the toils of sacrifice was typified on a much
larger scale by a helpless girl bound to a pine tree and
discernible in the glow of the sputtering firedarts. There
60 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
was plenty of brushwood and sticks at hand for the
expected ceremony. Shavano must decide her fate.
Pride of ancestry, deeply instilled in Shavano,
inclined him to frown upon the Spanish girl, for he
could not understand why Sit-by-the-Stream ignored
tribal maidens for the love of Carmenita Montoya, a
white maiden upon whom Flamish, the paleface good-
for-nothing, showered attentions. And, too, Shavano
could not help but feel that the death of Sit-by-the-
Stream was indirectly brought about through the en-
couragement of his son's attentions.
Carmenita's delightful personality attracted the
dream-filled adventurer, the hardened-in-saddle cow-
boy and the prospector of a gold-washing river craft,
and held their respect. But they feared to offend her
by their advances, not only because her sympathies lay
with the magnetic and romantic Sit-by-the-Stream and
his moccasined people, but because she resented the
uncouth manners and speech of these wearers of leather
"chaps" and holsters among Colorado's pioneers.
An unwelcome proffer of affection previously
thrust upon Carmenita by Flamish had resulted in
innocent bloodshed. Sit-by, as Carmenita endearingly
called her Indian lover, was spirited away in the night
as gentle breezes whispered a requiem from nodding
pine trees. She had been the last to secretly minister
to his wants. Flamish had fled.
So, now! Carmenita was bound to a tree. Cu-
rious eyes awaited the sign from Shavano, Ute chief-
tain, before applying the firebrands to the branches at
her feet. Accacia, the soothsayer, Shavano's coun-
selor, stood at hand, ready to repeat the expected
SHAVANO's SNOW ANGEL 61
sign to proceed the moment Shavano faced about,
directing his gaze to the East. That was to be the
Hatred, mixed with a strange, unaccountable
something, fought for supremacy in the breast of
Shavano. He pulled his strangely-patterned blanket
about him, and with arms folded, stood motionless.
Although his fringed, rabbit skin breeches, beaded
moccasins and elk-tooth decorated native shirt did
not disclose it, civilization's awakening had touched
him. He had made the most of the days the many
spirits of his ancestors had breathed upon him, and his
puzzled mind now sought relief in a prayer to his
manito — a broken-arrow charm — pleading enlight-
Vengeance, however, would not easily down.
Had not the paleface again given provocation to call
his Ute tribesmen into action? The warriors had
kidnapped the girl for a purpose — expiation, in part,
for their loss. Shavano, distressed, had a different idea,
at first vague and confusing, but now haunting and
impelling. And while he was fumbling about, men-
tally, for an expression of his feelings, Carmenita grew
desperate in her helplessness.
Reconciled to what seemed an inevitable fate,
she had gazed quietly toward the moonlit peaks seek-
ing a figure outlined in white against a distant moun-
tainside. Knowing the legend the Indians connected
with the snow-spirit, which she now saw clearly, she
silently prayed for as speedy an end as that which came
to the Princess Corn-Tassel, which the figure on the
mountainside represented. But at the thought of part-
ing from her lover, whom she knew to be still living,
62 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
she cried out in desperation and vainly sought to free
herself from the merciless hold of the taut buckskin
"Carmenita knows secret," she shouted in a ner-
vous voice, so as to be heard above the low-chanting
Utes dancing about her in the death circle.
Now Bear-Four-Paws, formidable rival for tribal
honors of the departed Sit-by-the-Stream, looked with
savage favor upon the ravishing Carmenita. She shud-
dered at the grin he wore through the mask of red
clay streaks. His fascination for her, carried away to
primitive ecstasy, spurred him to action.
Visions of a spiritual reunion of Sit-by-the-Stream
and the girl almost brought him to a standstill in deliv-
ering Carmenita's message. Sit-by-the-Stream would
be a long time, if ever, reaching the Indian Happy
Hunting Ground. No tomahawk, bow and arrow,
war dress and jar of water had been left beside his
body to fortify him on the spirit journey to the Red
Without his weapons of warfare and a wish token
from Shavano as guides, Sit-by-the-Stream might
easily be directed by Carmenita, instead, to the great
spirit land of the paleface. He could see them happily
reunited, inseparable, and forever out of his reach.
Cunningly he determined to claim her for himself.
Shrewdly he sought to out-guess Accacia, the sooth-
sayer, whose side he now reached. Imparting the
message from Carmenita, he waited.
Accacia, sensing a solemn occasion, slowly ad-
vanced toward the sorrowing chieftain, then paused.
Shavano made a slight gesture. The counselor took
SHAVANO'S SNOW ANGEL 63
courage. "Bear-Four-Paws brings to Shavano a mes-
sage from the maiden, that Sit-by-the-Stream, wound-
ed, hides from his paleface enemies in an old dugout.*'
To keep the good will of Shavano, whom he had un-
necessarily interrupted to appease Bear-Four-Paws,
he added: 'The torches of the juniper wood bring
the circle of fire closer to the maiden. Seven sleeps
have passed and Sit-by-the-Stream has not come
Shavano at first made no comment. "Let the
worthy pine no longer keep the maiden against her
will," he said at last. "Bear-Four-Paws shall ride
with her. The night is long. Darkness is his protec-
tor. Shavano will wait. Go, tell my warriors they
will have many scalps for the life of Sit-by-the-Stream,
and many more if Bear-Four-Paws does not return
when the night is gone. Shavano has spoken."
The savage spirit seemingly must triumph. So it
fashioned itself. Bear-Four-Paws, through instinct,
almost, felt the struggle, centered around Carmenita.
Sit-by-the-Stream might win yet, if only in the spirit
land, Bear-Four-Paws reasoned, as he rode away
through the night with the white girl.
Around the camp fire the Indians sat, idly watch-
ing their hobbled ponies grazing. They had gathered
after Bear-Four-Paws departed with Carmenita.
Story telling was indulged. 'Tell us of the Valley of
Shavano," suggested one of the younger warriors.
"Accacia shall speak," replied Shavano, with a
gesture of approval. The story, like all Indian re-
citals, unfolded with the utmost detail and delibera-
tion. It took hours to tell, and had to do with the ruins
of cave dwellers in the Valley of Shavano, in the Un-
64 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
compahgre River basin, near their tribal village, in
what is now the Montrose country, several sleeps away.
It was a narrative of smooth rock walls of sandstone,
bearing inscriptions of an earlier race of people — some-
thing of their history and romance, fully one thousand
The picture rocks told a tale of two chiefs, or
clan leaders, who had fought to the death for the love
of an Indian Princess. The Utes had named them
Stone-Face and Little-Drum, rivals for the hand of
As Little-Drum sank to his knees with an arrow
piercing his breast, the Princess called out: "Remem-
ber Corn-Tassel." Keeping his promise secretly agreed
to beforehand, in case he lost, Little-Drum drew
another arrow and sent it through her heart. She died
in his arms, breaking the arrow as she collapsed.
Now the harm lay not so much in the death of
the rival clan leaders, but because of the untimely death
of Princess Corn-Tassel. Maize, or corn, for which
she was named, was the crop upon which the tribe
depended for existence, along with the wild animals
killed. So evil days came upon her troubled and super-
stitious people. Crops withered, and the Cliff Dweller
Indians, appeasing the wrath of the gods, moved else-
The dejected little band wandered about hope-
lessly for months. One morning to their joy they be-
held the likeness of Princess Corn-Tassel, with out-
spread arms, sketched in snow on the side of a moun-
tain in the shadow of which a little valley broadened
out. Regarding it as a sign from the Spirit of the Corn
that this would be a fruitful place, the Indians made
SHAVANO'S SNOW ANGEL 65
camp and put in a crop of maize. And so the gods
smiled upon them, through the spirit of Princess Corn-
Tassel. A bountiful harvest resulted in days of thanks-
giving and festivities.
It was at this point in the narrative that Shavano
arose and walked some distance from them. Again
the younger brave spoke: "But how comes the great-
ness of our fearless Shavano?*'
The sage related that symbol writings in the can-
yon made trespassing doubly punishable. And so it
happened that Shavano, openly defying the teachings
of the tribal wise men, in his youth had laughingly en-
tered the sacred sandstone canyon. Picking up the
broken arrow, like that pictured in the hieroglyphics
depicting the fate of Princess Corn-Tassel, he ex-
plained that the spirit gods gave him a charmed life.
And now in the eyes of the tribesmen his manito
had failed him. But what of the teachings of the
paleface missionaries by which he had sought to grasp
the greater understanding?
Tearing a woven feather necklace from about his
neck, he threw the manito it held — the broken arrow
found in the Valley of Shavano — to the ground. Ac-
cacia saw but said nothing. Shavano crushed it under
foot, even as the "Blue Flower" of his being, Sit-by-
the-Stream, had been trampled in the dust. He was
bent on challenging the wisdom of the white man's
teachings. Wavering in fearful uncertainty, but hav-
ing set his face to the West, arms outstretched, he
"Great Father of the paleface, whom my people
know not, unless it is the same that brings to the Tabe-
guaches the rain, and fills the air with sunshine, and
66 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
talks with thunder, hear Shavano, war chieftain of the
Utes. Let the talk of the paleface missionary come
to pass with the rising sun. Bring back to life the 'Blue
Flower.' Old leaves cover the tender plant in winter.
Let the Great Father of the paleface restore Sit-by-
the-Stream and take instead Shavano, who has watched
through many moons and is ready to sit with those in the
sky of the Great Spirit. Let the Great Father of the
paleface speak to Shavano, who casts his manito from
him. Shavano has spoken.**
Raising his eyes, in the pink flush of early morn
he beheld the outline of a figure in white. He saw in
the connected snow patches for the first time a resem-
blance to the angel in the illustrated tract the mission-
ary had given him.
Off there, indeed, was the resemblance of the
picture book angel — in snow — on the side of Mount
Shavano, his tribal hunting region. Could it be that
the prophecies of the white man, like the legendary
teachings of his own people, were veiled in wondrous,
mysterious beliefs? It was an appeal for compassion
— the revelation of understanding. He must spare the
life of Carmenita, the White Dove.
Before he could reveal his vision a shot rang out.
Daylight disclosed Bear-Four-Paws, smoking gun in
hand, riding with Carmenita. The object of his attack
was a lone rider — a Tabeguache — Sit-by-the-Stream.
Some distance behind the restored Indian whom Shav-
ano at first believed to be only the restless, wandering
spirit of the departed Sit-by-the-Stream, came noisy
cowpunchers from Salida, the little frontier settlement
a few miles distant. Sit-by-the-Stream rode toward
Bear-Four-Paws hands lifted high, shouting the
SHAVANO'S SNOW ANGEL 67
Indian word of friendship's welcome: Ha-o, meaning,
For answer, the other Indian placed his gun on
Carmenita's shoulder so as to get a better aim, and
wildly deriding Sit-by-the-Stream, fired. The missile
went wide of its mark as Carmenita, conscious of the
aim, sprang from the horse, thrusting the gun out of
Cowpunchers were closing in on Sit-by-the-
Stream, who erroneously interpreted their menacing
hostility. Carmenita's friends had reported the girl's
disappearance. Across the shoulder of Sit-by-the-
Stream was a strap that held a quiver of arrows and
a bow. He rode directly toward Bear-Four-Paws,
who was circling about the crouching Carmenita.
Shavano, looking on from a distance, took hope
when he saw the primitive weapon wherein his people
excelled — the bow-and-arrow — used by Sit-by-the
Stream on his avowed rival in love. Then consterna
tion gripped him anew.
Bear-Four-Paws, changing his tactics, instead
pointed his gun at Carmenita. Shots from the cow-
punchers, directed in the air, more to startle than harm,
brought confusion as he tried to control his scared pony.
An arrow sped on its winged way through the
morning air — the whirr of death — and Bear-Four-
Paws, mortally wounded, fell in a heap near the girl.
The next minute Sit-by-the-Stream was riding toward
the Continental barrier with Carmenita happily holding
Shavano picked up his manito and again placed
it about his neck. Accacia was the only witness to
the faltering faith of Shavano in its power. In the
68 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
councils of his followers, Shavano was acknowledged
to be a charmed warrior ranking close to their tribal
The bluebell came back to life each spring, and
Carmenita, the White Dove, became the squaw-wife
of Sit-by-the-Stream. In his declining years vesper
bells of Indian magic called Shavano. And the angelic
figure, regarded by the other Indians as Princess Corn-
Tassel, but by Shavano as also the angel which evi-
denced to him the power of the white man's God, may
be seen to this day in changing raiments of driven snow.
Colorow Point, Overlooking Clear Creek Canyon,
Denver Mountain Parks.
OLOROW, renegade Ute, was restless. He
longed again to assume the role of chieftain of
a handful of his warring tribesmen. Freedom
of roving in the wild Colorado Rockies had
been denied him for some years. He reflected on his
boasts to military officials that he would not remain in
what he regarded as white man's captivity. They had
moved his people, in 1881, to the Uintah Reservation
in eastern Utah on account of the White River Agency
massacre, Sept. 29, 1879, when Nathan C. Meeker,
Indian agent, his assistants and Maj. T. T. Thorn-
burgh, of Fort Steele, Wyoming, sent to rescue him,
were killed at what is now the town of Meeker, in
northwestern Colorado. Colorow helped to provoke
The years had dragged along, until, in 1887, the
piercing cry of the wolf, qualities of which Colorow is
said to have possessed, aroused the "bad Injun" in
him. Emitting the penetrating wail of the coyote-
wolf, until it seemed uncannily real, he publicly
boasted of conquests in bygone years. This won for
him new followers, and he led a score of them from
the reservation one night, armed and carrying a large
Ever since the Utes had been ordered to forsake
the White River country some of the sub-chiefs, includ-
ing Colorow and Piah, claimed that their people had
the right under the treaty to return every fall and
70 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
hunt deer for the winter supply of meat and hides.
This, then, was the excuse the band of rovers made
when they encountered military authorities, although
it was the least of their intentions.
They reached the Meeker country about the time
a handful of Cheyennes, likewise disobeying the gov-
ernment mandate, neared the coveted territory. The
Cheyennes, along with the Arapahoes, had been moved
from Colorado to the Oklahoma country in 1 867. But
scalp hunting was as popular as ever, and Yellow-
Eagle, a Cheyenne brave, made it his life devotion.
He had a purpose in wanting the scalp of one Ute in
On this morning it looked as if his wish would not
be in vain. Crawling on the ground, he kept in the
bushes and occasionally spied on the enemy. Not far
away a deer raised its antlered head from among the
heavy brushwood. Yellow-Eagle, on his guard, real-
ized that it was a trap. Now Colorow, whose face
was in the deer head, left his followers in the rear, the
idea being that he would attract the browsing deer,
then suddenly lie flat on the ground to prevent being
shot by his tribesmen. This was not an unusual prac-
Secretly Colorow had another purpose. He had
experienced a similar meeting, perhaps twenty years
before. The untimely arrival of their respective fol-
lowers prevented Yellow-Eagle and himself from
fighting it out single-handed. Any way, Colorow did
not like such methods, especially when indifference
swayed him. But Yellow-Eagle threatened venge-
ance at the time because he accused the Ute of having
broken his sister's heart.
COLOROW'S LEAP 71
Away back in the early '60s, Colorow, leading
some carefree braves, through skillful tactics had re-
ceived every hospitality for his followers for more than
a month in the camp of the Cheyennes, on the plains
east of where Denver now stands. The Utes and
Cheyennes were bitter enemies, engaging in scalping
parties without invitation or provocation. But Colorow
had come as an emissary to get the Cheyennes to join
his people in resenting alleged wrongs committed by
the whites. It was only a ruse to get food, the Chey-
ennes afterward learned. Colorow and his small band
were hungry and weary.
Moon-Flower, sister of Yellow-Eagle, attracted
by the visiting chieftain, easily fell charm-captive to
Colorow. In fact, an unusual inter-tribal admiration
sprang up between them, and Yellow-Eagle, appar-
ently unable to interfere, at last consented to their mar-
riage. But the night before the ceremonies were to
have been observed Colorow and his followers sneaked
away, leaving Moon-Flower heartbroken and dis-
graced in the eyes of her people. Yellow-Eagle swore
vengeance. So the years passed. And now the en-
emies again confronted each other.
"PikeeP hissed Yellow-Eagle, the Cheyenne,
which in the Ute language means, "Get out!" There-
upon Colorow, in the deer head foil, knew it was his
Now the accustomed way for a Ute brave to ful-
fill a love pact is to kill a deer and carry it on horse-
back to his sweetheart. If she waters and feeds his
horse it means she accepts the deer meat and the war-
72 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
"Come, kill and carry me to Moon-Flower, and
her charms will bring me back to life so I can marry
her," Colorow howling, yelping, taunted the Cheyenne
in response to the challenge. He was still a wolf, even
in deer's covering.
A shot rang out. The bullet hit one of the antlers
of the deer mask and, deflecting, grazed Colorow's
forehead. This enraged the Ute, who, with his fol-
lowers advanced upon the Cheyennes. It was a battle
to the death.
In the following weeks the Cheyennes and the
Utes fought for vantage points. They plundered the
isolated homes of whites for food as they went. Saving
their ammunition for a decisive engagement, they
brought into play the bow-and-arrow. Each side had
lost a number of braves before they reached the vicin-
ity of what is now Lookout Mountain, in the Denver
Mountain Parks. On a high plateau in the foothills
of the Rocky Mountains, they took their stand. Colo-
row Point, so designated, was a lookout station for the
Utes, a place to which Colorow's outlaws were driven
by strategy of the enemy.
A band of Arapahoes, having conspired with
Yellow-Eagle of the Cheyennes to avenge Moon-
Flower's disgrace, lay in wait for the word to advance.
Hemmed in, Colorow's braves were forced to the rocky
point which today bears his name. There is an almost
sheer drop of two thousand feet from Colorow Point
into Clear Creek Canyon. Several slab-like pieces form
a rocky throne which Colorow used in his councils,
while his followers vainly summoned help by means
of smoke signals by day and camp fires at night.
COLOROW'S LEAP 73
On the third day Yellow-Eagle sent word that if
Colorow would surrender himself his followers could
go unmolested. The Cheyenne scarcely dared to hope
that Colorow's followers would consent to this, as they
knew it would mean death for their fearless leader.
However, with apparent disloyalty and desertion they
informed Yellow-Eagle that the Utes accepted his
As the rising sun bathed the rocky crags in light,
the Utes were assembled near the edge of the canyon
and not far from the lookout point. Yellow-Eagle
and his men took their stand expectantly, waiting for
Colorow to come forth to them. Silently and without
demonstration a lone figure separated itself from the
little band of Utes and advanced toward the waiting
enemy. Only the chirp of the awakening birds broke
Suddenly the Indian darted toward the projecting
rock, paused a moment and lifted his arms high in the
air. The Cheyennes, perceiving his intent, ran forward
uttering cries of dismay. But too late. Out into space
leaped the doomed Ute warrior rather than humiliate
himself and his people by surrendering to a Cheyenne.
Yellow-Eagle hurriedly wended his way to a pro-
truding ledge near the bottom of the canyon, far below,
where he scalped a battered, unrecognizable form.
The features had been practically obliterated. Mean-
while, the Utes were released. Colorow, their chief,
had paid the supreme penalty. The victorious Chey-
According to the Utes, Colorow died a natural
death, in the following year (1888) on the Uintah
VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
Indian Reservation. His tribesmen, on being informed
of the terms of the truce, decided to agree to the pro-
posal of Yellow-Eagle in order to gain time for the
execution of their plan. Colorow, endowed with
the cunning of a wolf, had escaped in the night as
his tribesmen played an exacting game of life and
death. There was a strange gripping and measuring
of hands in the circle around the glowing fire. The
loser faced death. It was Piah, perhaps the worthiest.
He had the shortest index finger.
Overland Prairie Schooner, Epic of
\ anishing Trails.
OLORADO'S sunsets ablaze with molten gold
were beheld with longing expectancy by eager
Argonauts of the West for many days before
they reached the Rocky Mountains. Some
of the adventurers came in covered wagons, known
as prairie schooners; others crossed the plains in the
historic stage coach, which had its inception at Leaven-
worth, Kansas, May 1, 1859, when Russell & Majors
started an overland passenger and mail service to Den-
ver by way of the Smoky Hill River course. The first
coach arrived in Denver, May 7th, after six days and
nights of continuous travel. It was known as the
Leavenworth and Pikes Peak Stage and Express
Company, and the fare from Leavenworth, including
meals, was $100.
Horace Greeley, celebrated editor of the New
York Tribune, who in 1859 said "Go West, young
man, go West!" after he had visited Colorado, did
much toward the development of the Rocky Mountain
region. On the way West he met Albert D. Richard-
son of the Boston Journal and Henry Villard of the
Cincinnati Commercial. They arrived in Denver,
June 6th, by stage coach, and made a careful investi-
gation to see if gold could be found in paying quanti-
ties. The mails were carried by the overland stage
as express matter at a charge of twenty-five cents for
postage on each letter. The Express Office was lo-
cated at what is now Fifteenth and Blake Streets.
Indians held up stage coaches in the early '60s
between Kansas and Nebraska points and Denver, and
76 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
robbed the passengers and occasionally carried off the
women and girls. Arapahoes surrounded Colorado
City (now a part of Colorado Springs) in August,
1868, but did not attack the town; instead, they con-
tinued on the war path into South Park, where they
encountered their enemies, the Utes.
On April 3, 1860, Russell, Majors & Waddell
started the famous Overland Pony Express through the
Central Overland, California and Pikes Peak Express
Company, between St. Joseph, Missouri, the end of
the railroad and telegraph facilities, and San Francis-
co, California. This service included Denver from a
branch route leaving the great Overland Trail at Jules-
burg, Colorado. The Pony Express was discontinued
Oct. 7, 1861, with the completion of the transcontin-
ental telegraph line. As the telegraphic facilities were
not extended to Denver until two years later, the stage
coach connection on the Julesburg branch of the Over-
land Trail was operated between Brighton and Den-
ver, a distance of about 20 miles, until that time. This
is believed to have been the last of the overland stages.
Col. William F. Cody, familiarly known as
"Buffalo Bill," was the most famous of the pony ex-
press riders, although Colorado contributed a number
— among them Moore, James, Keatley, Donovan,
Kelley, Rising, Boulton, Baughn, Cliff, Rand, Beatley
and Haslam. Some of the names are carved in mar-
ble in the lobby of the Denver Postomce.
There were 1 90 stations, 420 horses, 400 station-
men and assistants, and 80 riders in the equipment and
service of the Pony Express, which maintained a
schedule of ten days and nights for the 1 ,966 miles to
the Pacific Coast. However, a record run was made
in March, 1861, in the transmission of Lincoln's in-
VANISHING TRAILS 77
augural address from St. Joseph to San Francisco in
7 days and 1 7 hours, and for the 665 miles from St.
Joseph to Denver in 2 days and 2 1 hours. The ponies
were changed at stations about every 1 miles, although
the riders continued over courses of about 75 miles.
The postal charge for a half-ounce letter delivered by
Pony Express was at first $5 ; later, $ 1 .
A revival of the Overland Pony Express in 1 923
for one trip between St. Joseph and San Francisco, ex-
cept that it followed in part the Victory Highway in-
stead of the original trail, was observed in connection
with the Mark Twain Memorial Association and the
California Admission to the Union Celebration, at
Tanforan Park, San Francisco, and to see if the record
of 7 days and 1 7 hours could be beaten. The original
Pony Express service was routed by way of Fort Lar-
amie, Wyoming, and ended at Sacramento, California,
from which point the mail pouch was forwarded to San
Francisco by boat.
The Pony Express Revival Race started at St.
Joseph, Aug. 31, 1923. The mail pouch contained
letters from Gov. Arthur M. Hyde of Missouri; Gov.
Jonathan M. Davis of Kansas; Gov. William E.
Sweet of Colorado ; Gov. Charles R. Mebey of Utah,
Vice-President for that State of the Pony Express
Celebration ; Gov. J. G. Scrugham of Nevada, as well
as from Mayor Benjamin F. Stapleton of Denver, to
Gov. F. W. Richardson of California, James D. Phe-
lan, former United States Senator from California and
President of the Pony Express Celebration, and
Emmet D. Boyle of Carson City, former governor of
Nevada, President of the Mark Twain Memorial As-
sociation and Vice-President for Nevada of the Pony
Express Celebration. And when the letters were de-
78 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
livered by the last courier, September 9th, after allow-
ing for the greater distance (228 miles) traveled in the
1923 Revival Race, the record of the old-time riders
had been beaten by approximately 42 hours. The
actual running time was 6 days, 14 hours and 18
minutes. The route lay through Missouri, Kansas,
Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and California, and major
celebrations were held at St. Joseph, Topeka, Denver,
Salt Lake City, Reno, Sacramento and San Francisco.
Among the others who actively participated in the
affair were Charles Waddles, President of the Cham-
ber of Commerce of St. Joseph and Vice-President for
Missouri of the Pony Express Celebration; Harold S.
Foster and A. E. Ueberrhein, Missouri; Ben Blow,
Manager of the Victory Highway Association and J.
H. Lee, Topeka; Dr. W. M. Jardine and Dan D.
Casement, Manhattan; C. W. Lamer, Sahna; Burl
Frazier, Wakeeney, and former Gov. W. R. Stubbs of
Kansas, Vice-President for that State of the Pony
Express Celebration; Dr. J. R. Dresser and J. E.
Chostner, Kanorado; George Pruett, J. Fred Roberts,
Joseph A. Shoemaker, Harry N. Burhans, Samuel F.
Dutton, A. U. Mayfield and John T. Graham of Den-
ver; Courtney Ryley Cooper and H. F. Nimmo, Idaho
Springs; H. W. Leonard, Deer Trail; C. R. Camp-
bell, Bennett; Robert W. Burton, Byers; C. M. Som-
erville, Limon; O. A. Goetze, Golden; R. H. Glea-
son, Hayden; H. B. Hendricks, Fraser; E. L. Harsh,
and A. E. Straub, Jr., Hot Sulphur Springs; C. C.
Eastin, Kremmling; George E. Steele, Steamboat
Springs; George E. Guild, Craig, and H. B. Pleasant,
Maybell, Colorado; T. Joe Cahill, Cheyenne; Preston
G. Peterson, Utah; Dr. R. N. Mead and Frank B.
Cook, Salt Lake City; E. H. Gardner, Payson, and
VANISHING TRAILS 79
Alonzo J. Stookey, Clover, Utah; Col. C. H. Moore
and J. C. Durham, Reno; W. H. Goodin, Lovelock,
Nevada; J. Selby Badt, Wells; James Russell, Deeth;
John White, Beowawe; Don L. Cooper, Winnemuc-
ca, and Neill West, Reno, Nevada; Maj. Gordon
W. Lillie (Pawnee Bill) of Oklahoma, partner of
Col. William F. Cody; Col. A. N. McClure, Sacra-
mento; John S. Bryan and D. L. Millerick, Cali-
fornia; William S. Tevis, Jr., Burlingame; Edgar D.
Peixotto, J. Emmet Hayden, Angelo J. Rossi, Harvey
M. Toy, Charles K. Field and Charles W. Fay of San
Francisco; Earle Snell of Reno, Managing Director of
the Celebration and Executive Secretary of the Mark
Twain Memorial Association, and Hazen Cowan, As-
sistant Executive Secretary, Glen Ellen, California.
The 75 couriers who took part in the ride cov-
ered a total of 2,194 miles. Robert Lee Shepherd
started with the mail from St. Joseph at a telegraphic
signal from Hon. Calvin Coolidge, President of the
United States, at the White House in Washington,
D. C. Among the riders in Kansas were Clarence
Main, Johnnie Carter, Dr. J. W. Cook, E. W. Lee,
Louis Collister, Jack Casement, John Collister, Leo
Petit, Carlotta Lamer, Lowell Faulkner, Melvin
Wheaton, Levi Schermerhorn, Milton Whe?ton, John
Parker, Warrena Bowlby, Robert Crawford, Charles
Welch, John Brewer, Gale Taylor, Guy Wigdon,
Charles Berry, John Fenno, Fred Sussex, Johnnie
Hixon, Fritz Bradley and Alvie Frazier.
Carrying the mail pouch across Colorado were
Tod Nettlefield and John Nettlefield; Verner Z.
Reed, Jr., who rode through Denver (Sept. 3rd) over
the stretch between Aurora and Golden ; Johnny Baker,
foster-son of Colonel Cody and Vice-President for
80 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
Colorado of the Pony Express Celebration, who
paused a moment at the grave of the Indian fighter on
Lookout Mountain, in the Denver Mountain Parks, to
do honor to the old scout who carried the mail in 1 860
when a boy of 1 5 ; Charles Tipton, Ralph Salisbury,
Fred Salisbury and George Long, reaching the Utah
state line by way of Steamboat Springs and Craig.
Myrtel Gardner carried the mail pouch for ten
miles into Salt Lake City. Other riders in Utah in-
cluded Lester Gardner, Nick Kilhan, Denzil Gardner,
Ray Elmer, Lincoln Stookey, Enos Stookey, Paul
Stookey, Ellis Orme, Nina McAuley, Lawrence
Sharp, Sidney Clark, Roy Brown, Raleigh Johnson,
Milan Johnson and Willard Calhster.
Among the riders in Nevada were Ruth Wise-
man, James Dewar, Ray Barber, Mabel Weber Blair,
Georgia Grayson Hinckley, Knud Nelson, Al Holt,
Reed Hopkins, Chaska West, Clyde Light and Gard-
The longest continuous ride without a regular rest
period in the history of the Overland Pony Express was
made by the youthful Cody, who rode for 322 miles
in an emergency.
Not all of the prospectors and adventurers of
pioneer times were men. Women played their part
in the early struggles in the West. Take Marie Delay.
She drove her four-mule freight schooner over the
Smoky Hill Trail into Denver in the '60s, for Russell,
Majors & Waddell, of Leavenworth. Swinging a
"bullwhip" and encountering Indians, the prairie jour-
ney ended when her covered wagon careened down
what is now Park Avenue.
Mme. Marie Delay had been thrown upon her
own resources, as a widow, in Nemaha County, Neb.,
VANISHING TRAILS 81
at tile age of 24. She had pre-empted a quarter sec-
tion of land, and learned to swing an axe with the best
of frontiersmen. After three or four years, adventure
again beckoned. She continued the journey, pushing
westward, alone, but dreaming of the boyhood sweet-
heart left behind in a lonely grave on the frontier — her
youthful husband, whose roseate word-pictures came
back in memory and enthralled her just as they had on
the honeymoon to America.
Continuing from Denver to Central City, she
staked out a claim. One day she was apprised of the
fact that a "claim jumper" was digging in her shaft.
Strapping a large six-shooter to her waist she rode on
horseback to the claim and shouted down the shaft:
"Come up, or I'll bury you there!'* The trespasser
Mme. Marie Delay died in 1 920, in an old chat-
eau at Chaumont en Bassigny, in the Haute Marne,
France, at the age of 84. She was the Marie Delay
of the mad rush in the quest for gold at Central City
and Black Hawk more than fifty years before. She
had sold her Colorado interests in 1905 for $20,000,
and returned to her native village in France, rich in
gold but richer in golden memories.
Many of the old stage coach and Pony Express
roads and trails, as well as the winding trails of Indians
and pioneers, have been perpetuated in ribbons of shin-
ing steel or widened into transcontinental automobile
highways. The Central Overland, California and
Pikes Peak Express Company, the California Over-
land Mail, and Holladay's Overland Mail Stage, a
branch of which served Denver from Julesburg ( known
as the California Crossing), virtually terminated their
82 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
careers with the completion of the Union Pacific and
the Central Pacific Railroads and the advent of the
Wells-Fargo Express Company.
The Smoky Hill Trail from Kansas lives again
in the Union Pacific Highway, and the old California
Overland Mail in the Lincoln Highway. Berthoud
Pass, now on the transcontinental route of the Victory
Highway, passing through Denver, was surveyed in
1863 by Capt. E. L. Berthoud during the gold min-
ing excitement in Middle Park, while the old Ute Trail
west out of Colorado Springs, through Ute Pass,
marks the route of the Pikes Peak Ocean-to-Ocean
The historic Santa Fe Trail (National Old Trails
Road), oldest of them all, linking Bent's Fort on the
Arkansas River (1826) with the Commercial Street
of today in Trinidad, marks the course from Kansas
City, of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad.
Regular wagon freighting trips overland to Santa Fe,
New Mexico, were begun by Mexicans in 1846, after
Maj. George C. Sibley had located a route (at that
time along the U. S. boundary) afterward known as
the Santa Fe Trail. Pack horse freighting trips were
carried on intermittently between Missouri River points
and Santa Fe as early as 1822.
Fifteenth Street in Denver was once the beaten
trail of fur hunters between Bent's Fort, Colorado, and
Fort Laramie, Wyoming. Arapahoe Indians often
camped among the white settlers in West Denver in the
early '60s for protection against the Utes, who stealth-
ily lay in waiting in the South Platte River bottoms.
AN AZTEC PRINCESS OF PIKES PEAK
Pikes Peak is the best known mountain in America. It is in
EI Paso County and has an elevation of 14,109 feet — almost 3
miles above sea level. The summit is perhaps higher above its
base (nearly lV£ miles) than any other peak in Colorado, despite
the fact that there are 26 higher mountains in the State, among
them Mount Elbert, the highest, 14,420 feet; Mount Evans, 14,259
feet, and Longs Peak, 14,255 feet above sea-level.
The peak was named for Capt. Zebulon Montgomery Pike,
who first beheld it Nov. 15, 1806. Believing it impossible for man
to reach the summit, he abandoned the attempt, Nov. 27th, on
reaching the top of what is now called Cheyenne Mountain (9,560
Dr. Edwin James, geologist and historian of Long's expedi-
tionary party, was the first white man to scale Pikes Peak, July
14, 1820. He also discovered the famous medicinal springs at
Manitou, at the foot of Pikes Peak. Indians believed that the
bubbling in these springs was caused by the breath of Gitchy
Manitou, their Great Spirit.
On July 15, 1820, Major Long gave the name of 'James" to
Pikes Peak, but so great was Pike's popularity among the traders
and trappers that they persisted in calling it Pikes Peak. Doctor
James' name has been given to another peak in the Continental
Divide — James Peak — the mountain through which the Moffat
Tunnel is being bored on the Denver & Salt Lake Railroad out of
Mrs. Anna A. Holmes, a member of the Lawrence, Kan.,
party that founded "Montana City" (now a part of Denver), was
the first known white woman to scale Pikes Peak, Juiy 7, 1858.
She was in a group led by Frank M. Cobb.
Zebulon Montgomery Pike was born at Lamberton, New Jer-
sey, Jan. 5, 1779. He had attained the rank of Brigadier General
at the time of his death early in our last war with England, suf-
fering fatal injuries, April 27, 1813, while leading the victorious
assault on the British town of York (Toronto), Canada.
The top of Pikes Peak is reached by either the steam or the
gasoline route. A carriage road was built to the summit in 1873.
The Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway, completed Oct. 20, 1890,
winds for about 9 miles (46,992 feet) to the summit from Manitou
(elevation 6,442 feet), with an average grade of 16 per cent and
a maximum of 25 per cent. In this distance it ascends 7,525 feet.
The Pikes Peak Auto Highway, which extends from Colorado
Springs, 6 miles east of Manitou, to the summit of the peak, a
84 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
distance of 30 miles, was opened in July, 1916. It has an average
grade of 7 per cent and a maximum of 10% per cent, and the
driveway is more than 20 feet wide at its narrowest point.
Colorado Springs has an elevation of 6,038 feet. It was
founded July 31, 1871, by Gen. William J. Palmer of Philadelphia.
Colorado City, now a part of Colorado Springs, was the first
Territorial Capital of Colorado. The Legislature held a four-day
session there in 1862 in a log structure that is still standing. Colo-
rado City was founded Aug. 12, 1859, and annexed to Colorado
Springs June 10, 1917.
The Cave of the Winds, supposed to have been one hundred
thousands years in forming, is a series of underground chambers
connected by narrow passageways resplendent with stalactites,
stalagmites, and other delicately crystallized formations.
The Seven Falls of South Cheyenne Creek are in a mighty
granite cleft in Cheyenne Mountain used by the Utes as a retreat
from the warring Arapahoes and Sioux. They have a combined
drop of 350 feet and there are 287 steps in the stairs leading to
the top of the falls.
These leaping waters were immortalized by Helen Hunt
Jackson, whose vivid imagination also supplied names for many of
the queer formations in the Garden of the Gods.
SMOKE OF UNDYING EMBERS
Mesa Verde is in the southwest corner of Colorado, in Mon-
tezuma County. In this area of 77 square miles are located the
most notable and best preserved prehistoric cliff dwellings in
the United States, if not in the world, in the estimation of Stephen
T. Mather, Director of the National Park Service at Washington,
1). C. Under his direction the ruins have been scientifically ex-
cavated and studied, recent explorations indicating evidences
of habitation by the Basket-Makers there as long ago, possibly, as
1,000 years before the birth of Christ. The "Mesa Verde" was
BO named by the Spaniards, meaning "Green Table," and re-
ferred to the verdant tablelands of juniper and pinon between the
many side canyons of the Mancos River.
The earliest notice of ruins in southwestern Colorado comes
from an entry in the journal of Padre Silvestre Velez de Escalante,
who, in 1776, came upon three ruins on the bend of the Dolores
River, practically within sight of the Mesa Verde, while searching
with his followers for a possible direct route from Santa Fe, New
Mexico, to Monterey, California, the land of Spanish missions.
In 1874, W. H. Jackson and Prof. W. H. Holmes of the Hay-
den U. S. Geological Survey discovered, photographed and re-
ported on several small ruins in the Mancos Canyon. Cliff Pal-
ace, the largest ruin in the Park, was found by the Wetherill
brothers, in December, 1888, while hunting for lost cattle. It is
located in a sandstone cave 300 feet long and 50 to 100 feet high,
EXPLANATORY NOTES 85
the cave floor being several hundred feet above the bottom of a
spur of Cliff Canyon. This communal structure contained more
than 200 terraced rooms and many underground ceremonial cham-
bers. These early discoveries led to the extensive exploration of
the Mesa Verde and the location of a great many major ruins.
Baron Gustav Nordenskiold, the talented Swedish explorer, took
an active part in the excavations in the early '90s, and his pub-
lication, "The Antiquities of the Mesa Verde," is the finest mono-
graph on the early discoveries in Mesa Verde National Park.
Mesa Verde was created a national park by Congressional
Act of June 29, 1906, and the boundaries extended by Act of
June 30, 1913, embracing an area of 48,966 acres. The mesa itself
is about 15 miles long and 8 miles wide, and the highest point has
an elevation of 8,575 feet above sea-level. The establishment of
this Park for the preservation and protection of these remarkably
preserved ruins is largely due to the efforts of the various mem-
bers of the Colorado Cliff Dwellings Association, which was or-
ganized for that purpose.
A small and inadequate museum has been maintained at the
Park for the display of the comprehensive collections of the early
cultures of the Mesa Verde, and the new Park Museum, a gift of
Mrs. Stella M. Leviston, noted traveler and lecturer of San Fran-
cisco, has made it possible to install and exhibit much material
which heretofore it has been impossible to display. This building,
an adaptation of the early Pueblo Indian type, has been erected
under the supervision of Jesse L. Nusbaum, Park Superintendent,
who has taken an active interest in the Park since 1905, being a
member of the expedition that helped to define and set aside the
limits and the ruins to be included in the Park.
The New Fire House is one of the most interesting cliff ruins
in the Park. Facts brought to light in 1920 when it was excavated,
point to the theory that it was consecrated to the ancient worship
of fire by the Fire Cult. Fire was kept burning continuously in
the central fire pit within the house. It is presumed that this fire
was kept burning throughout the year, then extinguished to make
way for the "New Fire," which was kindled under the direction of
the principals of the Fire Cult, known as the Elder Fire-god and
the Younger Fire-god. Elaborate dances and rites marked the
sacred ceremony of the "New Fire."
Of equal importance is the ceremonial building of sandstone
known as Sun Temple, built on top of the tableland, and which
was excavated in 1915 by Dr. J. Walter Fewkes, Chief of the
Bureau of Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution. Much of the pop-
ularity of the Mesa Verde is due to the fact that Dr. Fewkes for
a period of years engaged in the excavation and repair of ruins
thereon, giving evening camp fire talks on the past inhabitants
and their work. These informal camp fire talks, now given by
the Park Superintendent, Park Rangers and visiting scientists,
86 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
form one of the most enjoyable educational activities of the Na-
tional Park Service.
Passenger service over the Denver & Rio Grande Western
Railroad ends at Mancos, Colo., the Park Postoffice, the trip to
the Park being completed by a 28-mile automobile ride. The At-
chison, Topeka ft Santa Fe System provides rail service to Gallop,
New Mexico, with a 200-mile automobile ride from that point to
the Park, largely through the Navajo and Pte Indian Reservations.
Mesa Verde National Park is open to visitors from Mav 15th
to November 1st, and rangers conduct all parties to and through
the various ruins without charge.
ARAPAHOE SPIRIT GLACIER
Arapahoe Glacier, the largest in the Boulder Glacier region,
i- i mile wide, three-quarters of i mile l<>ng and from 50 to
feet thick. This glacial river mOTCS 27% feet I year, and is the
source of Boulder'» water Supply. Other ice-tields in the group
are Isabel, Fair, Peck, Huberts and St. Yrain (ilaciers, 10 the Colo-
rado and Arapaho e) National Forests. The altitude of Arapabo(e)
Peak iv IS,S ' feet, and of the CltJ of Boulder 5,349 feet.
rainal Lake, known to the Indians long agoasGreaf Spirit
Pake, u.is M oarned because its wa( nally d ired,
leaving in immense ice grotto at the edge oi Arapahoe Glacier.
The mysterioui draining of the water ll fast as it could form from
the melting glaciei was regarded as little ihod oi the uoik of the
it S p i lit. In 1 'J J J | similar draining of Morainal Lake oc-
curred for the first time in mam \earv leaving I huge cavern for
I Dumber of weeks. The water presumably finds its n ;iv just the
same to ,i chain of lakes below the glacier.
Spotted white horses, whose predecesson are » ; ,i,| to have
from ( expedition in 1541. roam the
plateaui and mountain valleys in northwestern Colorado. An
unusual experience is the pack trip out of Sunbeam (Modal
County), to Mcht. if possible, the last of these wild, spirited
charger^ that apparently cannot be caught.
A HOLY CROSS PILGRIMAGE
Luis Y le Alvaralo known slso a> M de Al-
varado), according to records, led the ragged remnant of the
Spanish troops of the expedition of Hernando de Soto (known al-
so as Ferdinand de Soto) far into the northern lands of New-
Spain soon after Cor' lOUghfl Quivira, while other accounts
describe his journey to the Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ)
Range before turning toward Mexico.
William Wood Seymour, in "The Cross in History, Traditon
and Art," says: "Leading truths of the primeval religion may be
traced through the principal pagan mythologies; and a symbol
EXPLANATORY NOTES 87
(The Cross) of the fundamental article of the Christian creed and
hope has been recognized in the very earliest records of antiquity."
The Mount of the Holy Cross (Eagle County) has an eleva-
tion of 13,978 feet. The deep ravine forming the upright section
of the crotl II 2,000 feet, in which snows drift to a depth of 50
or 60 feet; while the transverse ridge forming the arms, is 800
feet across. Nearby, fashioned from the driven snows, is the
Supplicating Virgin, and at her feet is a body of water known as
the Howl of Tears.
The United States Forest Service, by Proclamation of the De-
partment of Agriculture, Oct. 28, 1922, had 350 acres set aside
in the Holy Crotl National Forest for recreative, educational and
devotional purposes. It is near the head of Turkey Creek, in a
region exemplifying the nature-carved symbol of Christianity as
the instrument on which Christ was crucified, and is intended for
the devotional uses of all religious denominations.
An international pilgrimage is proposed for the summer of
1925, starting from New York City and San Francisco, over the
designated Holj Croil Trail, leading to Shrine Pass (elevation
11,100 feet). Special rites days will be observed in sight of the
snow cross, iomc twelve miles distant. Usually the snow cross is
at its best about July 16th, the date upon which the Emperor Con-
stantine of Koine is regarded as having seen a fier\ cross in the
heavens, Which converted him to Christianity.
Plans fol such a religious celebration and anniversary cere-
monial of world-wide significance, concluding with the dedication
of a proposed Shrine, are being formulated for July 16, 1925, by
the Mount of the Holy Cross Association. The Reverend Father
J. P. Carrigan of Glenwood Springs, former pastor of St. Pat-
rick's Chinch in Denver, is the leader in the movement growing
out of his suggestion, that the Mount of the Holy Cross be set
aside as a religious shrine.
Gore Range was named for a British nobleman, Sir George
Gore, \n1io hunted in the Colorado Rockies from 1855 to 1857.
THE TRIUMPH OF TRAIL RIDGE
Rocky Mountain National Park lies in Boulder, Larimer and
Grand Counties, in north-central Colorado, about 70 miles north
of Denver. This Park, the most accessible of the large national
parks and the nearest to the big centers of population, was es-
tablished and enlarged by Congressional Acts approved Jan. 26,
1915, and Feb. 14, 1917. Situated in the heart of the Rockies, its
area Is 397*/2 square miles or 254,327 acres, and encloses about
29 miles of the Continental Divide.
There are 46 peaks in the Park of an elevation of 11,000 feet
or more. Longs Peak, the highest, has an elevation of 14,255 feet
above sea-level and has a great, square, granite head. Mount
Meeker and Mount Lady Washington flank it, and geologists say
that glacial action made these three mountains out of one.
88 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
Indians had an eagle trap on the summit of Longs Peak long
before the coming of the white man. French trappers called the
peak Les deux Oreilles (Two Ears). Later it was named for
Maj. Stephen Harriman Long who, while on an exploring ex-
pedition, first saw it June 30, 1820, but who never got any nearer
to it than the South Platte River. Major Long was born Dec. 30,
1784, at Hopkinton, New Hampshire, and died Sept. 4, 1864,
at Alton, Illinois.
It is generally supposed that the first white men to climb Longs
Peak were Maj. John Wesley Powell (born March 24, 1834, Mount
Morris, N. Y. ; died Sept. 23, 1902, Haven, Me.), L. W. Keplinger,
Samuel Gorman, Ned E. Ferrell, John C. Sumner and William
Newton Byers. They reached the summit of Longs Peak from
the south side on Aug. 23, 1868. Major Powell later explored the
Colorado River. Byers Peak (elevation 12,778 feet) in Grand
County is named for Mr. Byers, who was born Feb. 22, 1831, at
West Jefferson, Ohio, and died in Denver March 25, 1903. He
was the founder of Denver's oldest newspaper, The Rocky
Mountain Neiis, first published on April 23, 1859.
The first white woman to scale Longs Peak is said to have
been Mill Anna Elizabeth Dickinson (born Oct. 28, 1842, Phila-
delphia). In September, 1871, she accompanied the United States
Geological Survey expedition of Ferdinand Vandiveer Hayden
to the summit. Her name is perpetuated in Mount Dickinson (ele-
vation 11,874 feet), about 15 miles north of Longs Peak.
Rev. E. J. Lamb, the first regular guide on Longs Peak, made
his first ascent in August, 1871. On the return trip he descended
the precipitous east side, which drops abruptly 2,455 feet to
Chasm lake, near the foot of a sheer precipice. This feat was
but once equalled — by En.)- A. Mills, in June, 1903. The east
Mile precipice, however, was scaled for the first time Sept. 7, 1922,
by Prof. James W. Alexander of Princeton University.
Big Thompson Canyon, one of the approaches to Rocky Moun-
tain National Park, was named for David Thompson, an English
engineer and astronomer in the employ of the Northwest Fur
Company. He established trappers' camps in 1810 on the Big
Thompson and Little Thompson Rivers, so named by his trappers,
and on the Cache la Poudre River. It is quite possible that he
was the first white man who looked upon what is now known as
Estes Park, in following the Big Thompson to its source.
Among the other approaches to the Park are the canyons of
the North and South St. Wain Creeks, named for Ceran de St.
Vrain, the brother of Palette de St. Vrain of Fort Lupton fame
and associate of the Bent brothers who in 1826 established a trad-
ing post on the Arkansas River within the present State of Colo-
The distance by automobile from Denver to Rocky Mountain
National Park varies from 70 miles to 97 miles, according to the
route chosen in reaching the village of Estes Park (elevation 7,547
EXPLANATORY NOTES 89
feet) at the eastern entrance. The distance by way of the North
St. Vrain Canyon is 70 miles; by the Big Thompson Canyon,
86 miles; by the South St. Vrain Canyon, 87 miles, and by Boulder
Canyon through Nederland, 97 miles.
Rocky Mountain National Park is connected with Mesa Verde
National Park and 10 others throughout the West by the National
Park-to-Park Highway, a scenic thoroughfare 6,350 miles in length,
approved by the Department of the Interior, Hubert Work, Sec-
retary, and by the National Park Service, Stephen T. Mather,
Director. Gus Holm's, of Cody, Wyo., Managing Secretary, is in
charge of the Highway Association headquarters in Denver.
Estes Park Village, at the eastern entrance to Rocky Moun-
tain National Park, takes its name from Joel Estes, a trapper
from Missouri, who first entered the region in the fall of 1859.
He and his wife settled there in 1860, being the first white settlers.
They remained until 1866.
There is no direct rail connection with Rocky Mountain Na-
tional Park or with Estes Park Village, where the Park headquar-
ters are maintained. Leaving the Union Pacific or Colorado Sc
Southern train at Fort Collins, or the Colorado & Southern train
at Loveland, one proceeds by automobile through Big Thompson
Canyon to the Park; or leaving the Burlington train at Lyons or
the Colorado & Southern train at Longmont, motor through either
North or South St. Vrain Canyons; or leaving the Colorado &
Southern train or the Denver & Interurban electric line (Kite
Route) at Boulder, motor through Boulder Canyon and over the
Glacier High Line, or through the North or South St. Vrain Can-
yons, to Estes Park Village. The Rock Island and Santa Fe Rail-
roads also make connections at Denver for Rocky Mountain Na-
Grand Lake (elevation 8,369 feet) the western entrance to the
Park, is 110 miles from Denver, by direct journey westward
through Idaho Springs and Granby in an automobile, or 99 miles
over the Denver & Salt Lake Railroad (Moffat Road) to Granby,
and 16 miles from there by auto stage, totaling 115 miies. Grand
Lake likewise is reached on a circle trip of 236 miles by automobile
from Denver to Estes Park Village and across the Continental
Divide in Rocky Mountain National Park by way of Fall River
Road, in a government-regulated service the licensed operator of
which is The Rocky Mountain Parks Transportation Company.
The return trip includes Idaho Springs and the Denver Mountain
Parks. Tickets may be purchased at any railroad ticket office in
the United States for the trip through Rocky Mountain National
Park, and this Company's automobiles make connections with all
Beyond Chasm Falls, on the Fall River Road, is a skyline
stretch of automobile road, almost 3 miles in length, which is rhe
loftiest scenic course of its kind anywhere. The highest point
90 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
is reached at Fall River Pass, 11,797 feet above sea-level. Near
this Pass the historic and romantic Ute Trail, so named for the
Indian path along the top of Trail Ridge, touches the crests of
peaks and maintains an altitude throughout of from 11,400 feet to
12,277 feet elevation. It is about 7 miles long, joining Fall River
Road at an elevation of 11,524 feet, at a point where it starts the
descent to Poudre Lakes. Fall River today is spanned by a rus-
tic foot bridge at Chasm Falls.
The Estes Park Woman's Club, comprising more than 100
members, donated about an acre of ground in Estes Park Village
as the site for a new administration building for Rocky Moun-
tain National Park. The land was accepted by a Special Act
of Congress, introduced by Congressman Charles B. Timberlake
of Colorado, and the building completed and occupied by the
National Park Service Oct. 5, 1923.
Rocky Mountain National Park is open all the year. The
summer travel season is observed from June 15th to October 1st,
and the winter season from January 15th to April 15th.
The Superintendent of the Park is Roger W. Toll, whose com-
pilation, "Mountaineering in the Rocky Mountain National Park,''
has been published by the Department of the Interior and has
helped many Park victors to find the hidden beauties of valley
and peak. An engineering graduate, he is also an enthusiast
regarding the mountainous regions of Colorado, and is a member
of the American Alpine Club and a charter member of the Colo-
rado Mountain Club.
LUPTON'S LOVE FORT
Fort LuptOO i s 26 miles north of Denver, on the east side of
the South Platte River. The crumbling ruins of the trading post
are on the Fort Lupton Ranch of Harry H. Ewing, on the west
of the Denver-Greeley Highway a little distance north of the
town. St. Wain's log stockade is gone.
The combat between Lupton and St. Vrain for the love of
Touch-the-Sky was witnessed, among others, by William Gerry
and Mariana Modena. St. Vrain and one of his seconds were
buried on the banks of the Platte. Their graves were seen as late
as 1863. Soon thereafter flood waters cut deep into the river bank
and washed away the graves.
Touch-the-Sky was buried in the adobe fort, which afterward
assumed the proportions of a fortress when as many as 25 families
took shelter there during the Indian troubles.
Lupton, morose and inconsolable, disappeared in 1842. Gerry
and Modena thereupon maintained "squatters' rights" to the land
containing the fort, selling it in 1859 to Mark Mills, who was
killed by the Indians shortly thereafter. Succeeding owners in-
cluded A. J. Williams, Charles Blake, H. T. Monson and David
EXPLANATORY NOTES 91
THE GIFT OF THE RAINBOW
French Canadians, prospecting for gold, camped near the
present site of Fort Collins as early as 1842. In fact, an expedition
of 45 French-Canadian trappers had preceded them in 1816, when
"beaver skins were ready money." They came in the interests
of the American Fur Company, organized by John Jacob Astor.
In 1858 the community of "Colona" was established by the
Provost Colony (headed by John B. Provost) with 14 persons
from Fort Laramie, Wyoming, shortly before the nearby com-
munity, La Porte (The Gate), was founded.
One of the members of the Provost Colony was Elbridge Gerry,
who soon afterward became one of the first merchants in Denver.
He was the grandson of one of the signers of the Declaration of
Independence — Elbridge Gerry, delegate from Massachusetts Bay
Colony. Gerry married an Indian. His "boiled shirt" acquain-
tances in the East were shocked at his continuing to live with her,
especially after white women had reached the Rocky Mountains.
He wrote back: "I married her when there wasn't a white
woman within a thousand miles. My wife and my children are
as dear to me as those of any man, and I will die a thousand
deaths rather than desert them."
The first known white settler to permanently locate in Larimer
County was Antoine Janis, a native of Missouri, who, June 1,
1844, pitched his tent near the present site of La Porte (Laporte).
He afterward established a trading post, remaining until 1878.
Early in the great Indian wars of the '60s, a military post was
established on the Cache la Poudre River, 4 miles southeast of
La Porte. This outpost was named Fort Collins, for Lieut. Col.
William O. Collins, of the 11th Ohio Regiment of Volunteer
Cavalry, a part of which was among the troops sent West to
subdue the Indians. French-Canadian settlers, attacked by Indians
near the present site of Belleview, seeing they were outnumbered,
dug a hole and hid their powder and supplies. Those who es-
caped came back and recovered their possessions. Thus the near-
by river, Cache la Poudre, meaning "hide the powder," got its
Ouray was born at Taos, New Mexico, in 1833. His name, in
Ute, signifies "The Arrow." His relations with the United States
Government date from Oct. 7, 1863, in the treaty made by the
Tabeguaches at Conejos, Colo., signing his name "U-ray, or
Arrow." Chief Ouray's only son was captured by the Kiowas in
June, 1863, who surprised a hunting camp of Utes in the foothills
northwest of Fort Lupton. The tiny papoose was never recovered;
in fact, only indirectly heard of afterward by Ouray, who died
Aug. 24, 1880, at Los Pinos Indian Agency, Colo., near the town
(Ouray) named for him. Chipeta, his squaw, born in 1842, was
still living May 6, 1921, on the Uintah-Ouray Reservation in Utah.
92 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
SHAVANO'S SNOW ANGEL
Shavano peak is about twenty miles northwest of Salida, in
Chaffee County, and has an elevation of 14,179 feet. The snow
angel is three-quarters of a mile high with outstretched wings a
half-mile across, and is formed by the packing of the snow into
deep ravines on the mountainside, sometimes to a depth of 40 feet.
Uncompahgre, in the Ute language, signifies "hot water
Following the massacre at White River Agency in 1879,
Shavano conducted an escort for Gen. Charles Adams from
Ouray's camp (Southern Ute Agency) to rescue the women cap-
tives. With Shavano were Sapovanero and Young Chief Colorow
— not the celebrated renegade chieftain — and ten Ute warriors.
He brought Miss Josephine Meeker and the others safely to
Salida in Spanish signifies "Outlet."
Colorow wftl not a hereditary chief. As a renegade among
the White River Utes he exerted considerable influence in leading
for a time a roving band of the younger Indian braves. He often
(imped in the South Platte bottoms, just across the river from the
mouth of Cherry Creek, a few block* from the present site of the
Denver Union Station.
Colorow was treacherous by nature, and pioneers say he had
the mixed qualities of a wolf and a coyote. During an alterca-
tion between Colorow and Edward Moody McCook, Territorial
Gorernor, the Cte, Mfnewltat under the influence of liquor, in-
terrupted Governor McCook'l explanation of a refusal to supply
Colorow*! bravo with government tents and guns. After re-
peated interruptions, GorerOOI McCook threw him out of the office
and ignominiouilj kicked him down the stairs, to the consterna-
tion of Colorow*! followers.
The White River Agency trouble resulted in the massacre of
the following: Nathan C. Meeker, the government agent, and
William H. Pott, his assistant; Frank Dresser, Harry Dresser,
E. W. Eskridge, E. Price, Fred Shepard, George Eaton, W. H.
Thompson and E. L. Mansfield.
After the treaty of 1S80, in which the White River Utes were
moved to the Uintah Reservation, in Utah, Indian sub-chiefs re-
turned to Colorado to hunt deer. In 1887 Colorow's roving band
resisted arrest by authorities of Garfield County. Colorado State
troops were called out, and seven Indians and three white men
killed. Colorow died Dec. 11, 1888, at the mouth of the White
Colorow Point is on Lookout Mountain, overlooking Clear
Creek Canyon, not far from Buffalo Bill's grave in the Denver
EXPLANATORY NOTES 93
Mountain Parks. Gold in Colorado was first discovered in mar-
ketable quantities in Clear Creek, Jan. 7, 1859, by George A.
Jackson, near its confluence with Chicago Creek, at Idaho Springs.
Denver erected Pahaska Tepee, an artistic memorial log mu-
seum, on Lookout Mountain (elevation 7,342 feet), for Col.
William F. Cody, better known as "Buffalo Bill." The distin-
guished scout was nicknamed "Buffalo Bill' because he killed 4,300
buffaloes in 18 months (1867-8) for the builders of the Union
Pacific Railroad for meat in their construction camps. Buffalo
Bill's grave is 19 miles from Denver.
The rustic museum contains Colonel Cody's relics and is in
charge of Johnny Baker, his foster-son. The body of the famous
scout, called "Pahaska" by the Sioux Indians, meaning "long
hair," rests nearby in a rocky grave. The crypt also contains
the remains of his wife, Louisa Frederici Cody (died in Cody,
Wyo., Oct. 20, 1921), who shared his hardships of early days and
helped to perpetuate his memory, historically, as the personifica-
tion of the Old West.
William Frederick Cody was born in Scott County, Iowa,
Feb. 26, 1845. As a scout in the Sioux War of 1876, he killed
and scalped Yellow Hand, Cheyenne chief, in a personal combat
during the battle of Indian Creek. He organized the celebrated
Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, and was received by, and gave
special performances for, the royalty of England. He died in
Denver, Jan. 10, 1917.
Denver, by a Charter Amendment adopted May 21, 1912, fol-
lowed by an Amendment to the Constitution of the State authorized
through a Special Act of the Colorado Legislature April 13, 1913,
was the first to establish and develop a system of park areas en-
tirely outside the limits of a municipality. These wild, romantic
spots in the Rockies, known as the Denver Mountain Parks, begin
at Golden (designated in 1862 as the second Territorial Capital)
12 miles from Denver and are connected by 100 miles of splendid
automobile highways many of which once were moccasin-winged
trails of the Utes. There are in all 19 park areas with a total of
On Genessee Mountain, also within the system of Denver
Mountain Parks, is the only municipal mountain game preserve
in the United States. This tract embraces 600 acres and contains
elk, deer, buffalo, mountain sheep and antelope. They may be
seen from the driveway.
On the way to the snow-crested divisional watersheds of the
Atlantic and Pacific Oceans is Echo Lake (altitude 10,600 feet),
another of the areas in the system of Denver Mountain Parks,
cupped in the heights of the Continental Divide. From the lake
surface rise mists, cloud-kissed, that Colorow and his conquering
Utes believed went to form the nebulous Milky Way — an astral
streamer that indicated the journey of the departed spirits of
warriors bound for the Happy Hunting Ground.
94 VANISHING TRAILS OF ROMANCE
Denver was named for Gen. James William Denver, Gover-
nor of Kansas Territory, by Gen. William Larimer, Jr., and
Richard E. Whitsitt, Nor. 1". 1858. Kansas Territory at the time
extended as far west as the Rocky Mountains. Denver grew out
of rival settlements known as Auraria City and St. Charles at the
confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek, Auraria
City springing up soon after the arrival from Georgia of the W.
CO Russell gold-prospecting party, June 24, 1S5S. General
Denver was born at Winchester, Virginia, Oct 23, 1S17, and died
at Washington, D. c\. Aug. 9, 1892. He trai the son of Capt
Colorado s independence CaniC about through the Provisional
Territory of Jefferson, created Oct 21, ls^ ( >; its designation as
the Territ.i M » bg Congressional Act of Feb. 26, i
approved h\ President James Buchanan, Feb. 2S, 1861, and its
succession to Statehood Aug. 1, 1876, as the 3Sth state, bv Procla-
mation ident Ulysses Simpson Grant Colorado is known
:is the "Centennial State/' because statehood was achieved in the
war <»f the lm'th anniversary <>f the signing of the Declaration
of Independence. The present State Capitol in Denver wis
erected at a COtf of $3,00 end the corner-stone laid July 4,
It stands at an elevation <>t 5,280 feet abOTC sea level. The
tol s height to the top of the gold-leaf covered dome is 272
29 T oS3H 1 1
A/98 30910-200 •