Annually at this time of year, I write about the expedition of Lt. Zebulon Montgomery Pike, and this year I am thinking especially about the paucity of information in Pike’s journal about the native Indians of our own region, the Ute Indians. Unfortunately, what he did have to say revealed his lack of information about them and negative attitudes about Indians in general.
From the time when the expedition entered their homeland, it seems safe to assume that these native people knew more about Pike than he knew about them. Though unseen by him, various Utes had probably been watching the visitors since late November as they progressed into the mountains. Their trail led up the Arkansas River, through South Park, back through the icy Royal Gorge, down through the Wet Mountain Valley, and into the San Luis Valley.
For the complete article see the 01-28-2014 issue.
Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 01-28-2014 paper.