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Old 07-23-2013, 07:39 PM
Status: "Harlan Ogilvy was right!" (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Bel Air, California
21,266 posts, read 21,770,741 times
Reputation: 33368

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Near La Junta in SE Colorado and within the Comanche Nat'l Grassland, Picketwire Canyon is a relatively remote area that doesn't get many visitors but contains the most extensive set of dinosaur tracks in North America. Also within the ten-mile long canyon is the remains of a late 1800's mission & cemetery, rock art believed to be up to 1000 years old and a early 1900's cattle ranch that was operational by the same family for about 60 years.

The trip in usually involves a five-mile hike just to reach the dinosaur tracks and another five miles to reach the Rourke Ranch. We however opted to hire a Forest Service employee and follow him in the "back" way through US Army land after renting a 4WD vehicle at the KOA Hertz office in La Junta.

Picketwire Canyon...


rock art...


Picketwire is a bastardization of the name; Purgatroire that the Spanish explorers gave this river following a tough go of it when they visited...






Allosaurus...


Ornithopod...


Brontosaurus...




Rackasaurus (from wiki)...


Dolores Mission...


Rourke Ranchhouse... while it was pushing 100 degrees outside, the inside of this thick-walled adobe structure was at least 20 degrees cooler.




Barn...




Shed...




Attached Thumbnails
Picketwire Canyon PHOTO TOUR-13-07.09-picketwirecyn16-rourkeranch08-barn-001.jpg   Picketwire Canyon PHOTO TOUR-13-07.09-picketwirecyn16-rourkeranch10-barn-inside   Picketwire Canyon PHOTO TOUR-13-07.09-picketwirecyn16-rourkeranch12-shed.jpg   Picketwire Canyon PHOTO TOUR-13-07.09-picketwirecyn16-rourkeranch13-shed-001.jpg   Picketwire Canyon PHOTO TOUR-13-07.09-picketwirecyn16-rourkeranch04-001.jpg  

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Old 07-23-2013, 08:01 PM
 
Location: The 719
14,498 posts, read 22,345,330 times
Reputation: 13809
I can't see all your photos but the ones I can are nice! Thx for the photo tour. I still have not been out there yet. I'll have to get out there sometime.
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:20 PM
Status: "Harlan Ogilvy was right!" (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Bel Air, California
21,266 posts, read 21,770,741 times
Reputation: 33368
Quote:
Originally Posted by McGowdog View Post
I can't see all your photos but the ones I can are nice! Thx for the photo tour. I still have not been out there yet. I'll have to get out there sometime.
not sure of what others see, sometimes at work the thumbnails don't all open...should be 18 images in all. pretty cool place, one of the most unique I've seen in my travels. glad we took the effort to see it. came in the night before to get the early start the next morning but sorry to tell HH that we had to drop the St James in Cimarron in order to pull this off. cheers to all in Colorado!
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:53 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,697 posts, read 4,333,575 times
Reputation: 10278
Enjoyed the photos that DID come out. It looks like it was hot. Was it?
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Old 07-24-2013, 05:34 AM
Status: "Harlan Ogilvy was right!" (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Bel Air, California
21,266 posts, read 21,770,741 times
Reputation: 33368
started out at 7 am and it was about 80 degrees but soon pushed past 90 tho I don't think we quite made it to 100.

these are the missing photos......

Picketwire Canyon...


rock art...


Picketwire is a bastardization of the name; Purgatroire that the Spanish explorers gave this river following a tough go of it when they visited...






Allosaurus...


Ornithopod...


Brontosaurus...




(this would've been funny had I not screwed up the punch line)



Dolores Mission...


Rourke Ranchhouse... while it was pushing 100 degrees outside, the inside of this thick-walled adobe structure was at least 20 degrees cooler.


Attached Thumbnails
Picketwire Canyon PHOTO TOUR-13-07.09-picketwirecyn02-look-sw-small   Picketwire Canyon PHOTO TOUR-13-07.09-picketwirecyn03-rockart-001.jpg   Picketwire Canyon PHOTO TOUR-13-07.09-picketwirecyn12-purgatroire-river.jpg   Picketwire Canyon PHOTO TOUR-13-07.09-picketwirecyn14-dinotracksite-signage1-001.jpg   Picketwire Canyon PHOTO TOUR-13-07.09-picketwirecyn14-dinotracksite-signage6-tracks  

Picketwire Canyon PHOTO TOUR-13-07.09-picketwirecyn14-dinotracksite-theropod-01   Picketwire Canyon PHOTO TOUR-13-07.09-picketwirecyn14-dinotracksite-ornithopod-02   Picketwire Canyon PHOTO TOUR-13-07.09-picketwirecyn14-dinotracksite-brontosaur-11   Picketwire Canyon PHOTO TOUR-13-07.09-picketwirecyn14-dinotracksite-brontosaur-17   Picketwire Canyon PHOTO TOUR-13-07.09-picketwirecyn15-doloresmiss-cem02.1-001.jpg  

Picketwire Canyon PHOTO TOUR-13-07.09-picketwirecyn16-rourkeranch02-house1.jpg   Picketwire Canyon PHOTO TOUR-13-07.09-picketwirecyn16-rourkeranch02-house4-001.jpg  
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Colorado Plateau
1,133 posts, read 3,335,949 times
Reputation: 1237
Nice photos!

I need to get out that way and check out that area. I was in LaJunta for a conference a few years back and there was a field trip to Picketwire Canyon but I didn't make it there.

They need to update their signs. There is (was) no such thing as a Brontosaurus. It's an Apatosaurus.
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Old 07-24-2013, 04:40 PM
 
83 posts, read 125,385 times
Reputation: 129
This place is really a must see. It takes some planning and forethought to get out there, but well worth it. Go early as it gets hot fast in the spring and will likely still be hot in the fall.
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:42 AM
 
103 posts, read 351,145 times
Reputation: 244
Default Ghengis...really nice post....job well done.

Ghengis....you did a great job in your post. I have forwarded the link to the folks at the Comanche Grassland office. It is nice for them to see what visitors have to say about the area. And...thanks for taking the time to post about it. Too bad that there is so much misinformation about Southeast Colorado. Your post certainly highlights an area of the State that a lot of people don't take the time to explore. Safe travels to you.

Last edited by la junta econ devel; 07-25-2013 at 11:43 AM.. Reason: Spelling...someone moved a key on keyboard!
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