Over the weekend I grabbed my camera and headed southeast of the town I live to drive to Calhan. The drive to Calhan was just over an hour and a half and it was about 80 miles. 30 of those miles were dirt road. But the views were gorgeous. I passed cattle ranches and dairy farms on the way. I imagine they were wondering what I was doing out there. To be honest the trip wasn’t well planned, I left at noon and it was 95 degrees and I was driving out to open space where trees don’t live.
Once I arrived at the paint mines I headed off on the trail with my bottle of water and camera. The Paint Mines Park is 750 acres of grassland and geological formations called hoodoos. Archaeologists have found evidence that the area was populated over 1,000 years ago. In the 1800s, European settlers homesteaded the area. The park is protected by the National Park Service due to the fragile environment and the archaeological significance. I only walked 1.5 miles into the park, I was worried that I didn’t have enough water considering the sun and the heat. (I should know better as someone who grew up in Colorado).
The Paint Mines are cool to look at. It’s fascinating that they are in the middle of the prairie. They look like they should be on the western side of the state closer to where Moab is. But I think my favorite part of the day was those dairy cows in that field of yellow. They just make me smile.