Re: MtMan-List: San Luis Valley

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Author: Christopher Ferguson
To: Paul W. Jones
CC: History Lists
Subject: Re: MtMan-List: San Luis Valley
Howdy Paul!
It's my understanding that the southern Ute used what might be considered the southern periphery of the San Luis Valley as a wintering ground... meaning the northern end of Taos Valley... I've explored this region at length and camped in many spots over the years and there is no spot where one ends and the other begins... the vicinity around Cerro de la Olla or less romantically known as "Pot Mountain" lies south of the CO/NM state line several miles, essentially west of present day Questa, this area has many remnant historical Ute camp sites. If you camp on the wooded lower slopes of the many shield volcanoes that define the valley floor you also avoid the extreme overnight cold temperatures that characterize both the San Luis and Taos Valleys 15-20 degrees warmer "lows" in winter are not uncommon when compared to Alamosa or Taos... game is abundant (today) as is fuelwood, -they knew something of their country, the Ute people.

Christopher Ferguson
Austin, TX

On Aug 9, 2010, at 11:05 AM, Paul W. Jones wrote:

> Don Riley noted something on the AMM site and asked me my opinion and whether I
> had any knowledge from the fur trade histories, and since I drew a blank, I am
> posting the query on this list.
> On the public AMM list there is a list of the 15 original rendezvous sites and
> places the mountain men liked to winter. It is at the bottom of the "Glossary of
> Mountain Man Terms, Words, and Expressions" and was apparently put together by
> Walt Hayward & Brad McDade.
> One of the listed "favorite wintering" spots is the San Luis Valley. On the
> list it is placed in New Mexico, which I do not believe is correct (it is in
> Colorado) but that is neither here nor there.
> Has anyone seen any research that would show the San Louis Valley to be a
> favorite wintering spot during that era?
> During the winter that area would seem to be a pretty tough place to envision as
> a wintering spot as there is little water, little wood, little graze, little
> cover, and a lot of NW to SE wind.
> Thanks... Paul
> Paul W. Jones
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