Leaving Bighorn Sheep Canyon and heading west toward Coaldale, the first thing you notice are the fields. In the spring, enormous center pivots distribute runoff from the Sangres, turning the fields green with alfalfa. These fields have been worked since homesteaders arrived in the Pleasant Valley in the 1800s. That could soon be changing.
Among the largest ranches is the 160-acre CB Ranch near Coaldale. Assembled from various smaller holdings by Kansas cattleman Clint Branch, after his passing the property was put on the block, along with the senior water rights. The property was eventually purchased by the city of Security. “It seemed like a good fit,” said Roy Heald, District Manager of the Security Water and Sanitation District. Read more
Seven miles west of Poncha Springs, nestled in a valley along the banks of the South Arkansas River, sits one of the cutest little schoolhouses you’ll ever see. With its brightly painted cherry red exterior, the Maysville School is impossible to miss and definitely worth a stop on the way up into the high country for those traveling west on U.S. Hwy. 50, or for Gunnison folks heading east toward the Upper Arkansas Valley. Read more
March finally arrived in April, and the wind had been howling the entire afternoon as I left for an evening speaking engagement at the Greenhorn Valley Library in Colorado City. The Sangre de Cristo Range was barely an outline in the ghastly gray dust blowing over from the San Luis Valley, and an occasional gust tossed my car sideways. Read more