A Field Trip to the Paint Mines

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We walked along the dusty paths, the only sound from our shuffling feet.  Cottontail rabbits with their winter fur occasionally crossing our path.  Hawks swooped overhead.  A beautiful silence and solace lay across the land.  Not another soul out hiking today.  Just the two of us.

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The valleys used to be filled with Buffalo and antelopes.  This was a hunting ground for various tribes and a place that must have awed immigrants travelling across the prairie.

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The land used to be a tropical rainforest, most of it underwater.  The ghosts of dinosaurs swimming by.  But what you really feel is the spirit of the old west here.  One feels as if they could be on a horse at the top of the cliff looking over into the caverns and rocks and hoping for a good hunt.  Looking out for other tribes.

Our National Geographic take.  The Sand People.
Our National Geographic take. The Sand People.

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A hawk circles overhead then glides down near the long grasses.

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The colors here look like an artist’s palette.  God’s own canvas.  These clays were used in ancient pottery as well as paints in more recent times.  It is all protected now.

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We found this place just a few miles down from our new homestead.  It is called the Paint Mines and it is located in Calhan, Colorado.  The signs say no dogs but the footprints through the sand willows tell me a few snuck in.  This is a free park and has two nice sized loops with plenty of places to decide how far one wants to walk and pretend to be from a different time.

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It is amazing how complete quiet and time in the natural world can rejuvenate and relax.

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