Dolores County, Colorado
Dolores County is the seventh-least populous of the 64 counties of the U. S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 2,064; the county seat is Dove Creek. It is thought that the area has been the site of human habitation since at least 2500 B. C. Dolores County's western portions were densely populated between 900 and 1300 AD. Population estimates of as many as 10,000 population, with villages of hundreds of rooms, have been made by archaeologists and other researchers, but this population was destroyed or migrated elsewhere following a drought and severe societal upheaval in the 14th century, for centuries thereafter, both the western and eastern mountainous areas of the county were occupied by nomads, including the Ute and the Navajo Indians. Like much of southwestern Colorado, Dolores County is rich in Indian sites of the Anasazi. According to the Anasazi Heritage Center, Dolores County contains at least 816 recorded archaeological sites as of 1989, with many more inventoried since that time.
The county contains a portion of a site of regional historic interest, the Dominguez-Escalante Trail of 1776. The trail marks a historic 1,800-mile trip, intended to discover an overland route between Santa Fe, New Mexico and Monterey, California; the Expedition camped on Dove Creek in the western portion of the county. The Old Spanish Trail passed through the western portion of the County. Anglo trappers worked the mountains of eastern Dolores County as early as 1832-33, gold was discovered in the County in 1866, but it was not until the area was taken from the Ute and removed from the Ute Reservation by the Brunot Agreement of 1878 that large-scale minerals exploration and mining began in the county, although the Pioneer Mining District was established in 1876 in the Rico area. The development of the area was spurred by the discovery of large silver deposits near Rico in 1879, the Rio Grande Southern Railroad was constructed through the County to connect Durango and Ridgway in 1890-92 The RGS served the eastern end of Dolores County until 1952 when it was abandoned.
Rico's high point was in 1892, when the mining district population was more than 5,000. The 1893 Silver Panic hit the town hard; the mountainous area of Dolores County went through a series of booms and busts through the 20th Century. The low point of the community came in 1974 with an estimated population of 45. Efforts are underway in the early 21st Century to again begin major mining activities in the region. Dove Creek was a way station on the Old Spanish Trail from the mid 19th century, for caravans and travelers moving between Santa Fe, Salt Lake City, northern California and Nevada; the western portion of the county was used, beginning in the 1870s, for cattle ranching, but the lush grass soon suffered from overgrazing and fire suppression, allowing the massive expansion of sagebrush and juniper. Homesteading in the area became common beginning in 1914, dryland farming expanded throughout the Great Sage Plain. Today dryland farming of pinto beans and winter wheat is still a mainstay of the county's economy.
But the development of irrigation using water from the Dolores Project in the 1980s, with the construction of McPhee Reservoir, has changed the history and population of the county. Dolores County was created by the Colorado legislature on February 19, 1881, from the western portions of Ouray County, was named for the Dolores River, which heads up in the county and passes through the county in the Dolores Canyon; the complete Spanish name was Rio de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, as reported by Father Silvestre Vélez de Escalante in 1776. Set in Rico, the first county courthouse was a 23x48 foot two storage log cabin, but was replaced by a stone and brick courthouse completed in 1883; the county seat was moved to Dove Creek in 1946, the current courthouse built in 1957. In 2009, Dolores County achieved notoriety as the most economically depressed county in Colorado. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,068 square miles, of which 1,067 square miles is land and 1.0 square mile is water.
Dolores County, like other counties in Colorado along its border with Utah, is split into two geographically distinct regions, in fact, under normal travel conditions, it is necessary to leave the county to travel between the two regions. The western portion of the county is the northern portion of the Great Sage Plain low and flat, consists of irrigated and dryland farming areas; the central portion of the county has higher open grasslands with forested hills and canyons, used for livestock raising. The eastern portion of the county is located in the highest peaks of the San Juan Mountains, around the old mining and modern tourist town of Rico, except for cattle grazing in the San Juan National Forest, has no agriculture, in part because its elevations range from 9,000 to 14,000+. Rico is developing in many ways as a
In modern mapping, a topographic map is a type of map characterized by large-scale detail and quantitative representation of relief using contour lines, but using a variety of methods. Traditional definitions require a topographic map to show both man-made features. A topographic survey is published as a map series, made up of two or more map sheets that combine to form the whole map. A contour line is a line connecting places of equal elevation. Natural Resources Canada provides this description of topographic maps:These maps depict in detail ground relief, forest cover, administrative areas, populated areas, transportation routes and facilities, other man-made features. Other authors define topographic maps by contrasting them with another type of map. However, in the vernacular and day to day world, the representation of relief is popularly held to define the genre, such that small-scale maps showing relief are called "topographic"; the study or discipline of topography is a much broader field of study, which takes into account all natural and man-made features of terrain.
Topographic maps are based on topographical surveys. Performed at large scales, these surveys are called topographical in the old sense of topography, showing a variety of elevations and landforms; this is in contrast to older cadastral surveys, which show property and governmental boundaries. The first multi-sheet topographic map series of an entire country, the Carte géométrique de la France, was completed in 1789; the Great Trigonometric Survey of India, started by the East India Company in 1802 taken over by the British Raj after 1857 was notable as a successful effort on a larger scale and for determining heights of Himalayan peaks from viewpoints over one hundred miles distant. Topographic surveys were prepared by the military to assist in planning for battle and for defensive emplacements; as such, elevation information was of vital importance. As they evolved, topographic map series became a national resource in modern nations in planning infrastructure and resource exploitation. In the United States, the national map-making function, shared by both the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of the Interior migrated to the newly created United States Geological Survey in 1879, where it has remained since.1913 saw the beginning of the International Map of the World initiative, which set out to map all of Earth's significant land areas at a scale of 1:1 million, on about one thousand sheets, each covering four degrees latitude by six or more degrees longitude.
Excluding borders, each sheet was up to 66 cm wide. Although the project foundered, it left an indexing system that remains in use. By the 1980s, centralized printing of standardized topographic maps began to be superseded by databases of coordinates that could be used on computers by moderately skilled end users to view or print maps with arbitrary contents and scale. For example, the Federal government of the United States' TIGER initiative compiled interlinked databases of federal and local political borders and census enumeration areas, of roadways and water features with support for locating street addresses within street segments. TIGER was used in the 1990 and subsequent decennial censuses. Digital elevation models were compiled from topographic maps and stereographic interpretation of aerial photographs and from satellite photography and radar data. Since all these were government projects funded with taxes and not classified for national security reasons, the datasets were in the public domain and usable without fees or licensing.
TIGER and DEM datasets facilitated Geographic information systems and made the Global Positioning System much more useful by providing context around locations given by the technology as coordinates. Initial applications were professionalized forms such as innovative surveying instruments and agency-level GIS systems tended by experts. By the mid-1990s user-friendly resources such as online mapping in two and three dimensions, integration of GPS with mobile phones and automotive navigation systems appeared; as of 2011, the future of standardized, centrally printed topographical maps is left somewhat in doubt. Topographic maps have multiple uses in the present day: any type of geographic planning or large-scale architecture; the various features shown on the map are represented by conventional symbols. For example, colors can be used to indicate a classification of roads; these signs are explained in the margin of the map, or on a separately published characteristic sheet. Topographic maps are commonly called contour maps or topo maps.
In the United States, where the primary national series is organized by a strict 7.5-minute grid, they are called topo quads or quadrangles. Topographic maps conventionally show land contours, by means of contour lines. Contour lines are curves. In other words, every point on the marked line of 100 m elevation is 100 m above mean sea level; these maps show
San Juan Mountains
The San Juan Mountains are a high and rugged mountain range in the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Colorado and northwestern New Mexico. The area is mineralized and figured in the gold and silver mining industry of early Colorado. Major towns, all old mining camps, include Creede, Lake City, Silverton and Telluride. Large scale mining has ended in the region, although independent prospectors still work claims throughout the range; the last large scale mines were the Sunnyside Mine near Silverton, which operated until late in the 20th century and the Idarado Mine on Red Mountain Pass that closed down in the 1970s. Famous old San Juan mines include the Camp Bird and Smuggler Union mines, both located between Telluride and Ouray; the Summitville mine was the scene of a major environmental disaster in the 1990s when the liner of a cyanide-laced tailing pond began leaking heavily. Summitville is in the Summitville caldera, one of many extinct volcanoes making up the San Juan volcanic field. One, La Garita Caldera, is 35 miles in diameter.
Large beds of lava, some extending under the floor of the San Luis Valley, are characteristic of the eastern slope of the San Juans. Tourism is now a major part of the regional economy, with the narrow gauge railway between Durango and Silverton being an attraction in the summer. Jeeping is popular on the old trails which linked the historic mining camps, including the notorious Black Bear Road. Visiting old ghost towns is popular, as is wilderness trekking and mountain climbing. Many of the old mining camps are now popular sites of summer homes. Though the San Juans are steep and receive a lot of snow, so far only Telluride has made the transition to a major ski resort. Purgatory Resort, once known as Durango Mountain Resort, is a small ski area 26 miles north of Durango. There is skiing on Wolf Creek Pass at the Wolf Creek ski area. Silverton Mountain ski area has begun operation near Silverton; the Rio Grande drains the east side of the range. The other side of the San Juans, the western slope of the continental divide, is drained by tributaries of the San Juan and Gunnison rivers, which all flow into the Colorado River.
The San Juan and Uncompahgre National Forests cover a large portion of the San Juan Mountains. The San Juan Mountains are distinctive for their high altitude plateaus and peaks; as a result, facilities in the towns and cities of the region are among the highest in the nation. Telluride Airport, at an elevation of 9,070 feet, is the highest in the United States with scheduled commercial service. Note: This is only a partial list of important peaks in the San Juans, listing peaks by prominence only. There are dozens more summits over 12,000 feet. Mining operators in the San Juan mountain area formed the San Juan District Mining Association in 1903, as a direct result of a Western Federation of Miners proposal to the Telluride Mining Association for the eight-hour day, approved in a referendum by 72 percent of Colorado voters; the new association consolidated the power of thirty-six mining properties in San Miguel and San Juan counties. The SJDMA refused to consider any reduction in hours or increase in wages, helping to provoke a bitter strike.
Southern Rocky Mountains Sneffels Range Cimmaron Range Needle Mountains La Garita Mountains Cochetopa Hills La Plata Mountains Mountain ranges of Colorado Bove, D. et al.. Geochronology and geology of Late Oligocene through Miocene volcanism and mineralization in the western San Juan Mountains, Colorado. Washington, D. C.: U. S. Department of the Interior, U. S. Geological Survey. Lippman, P. W.. Geologic map of southwestern Colorado. Reston, VA: U. S. Department of the Interior, U. S. Geological Survey. Widerange.org: Photos of the San Juan Mountains San Juan Mountains @ Peakbagger Southern Rocky Mountains @ Peakbagger Rocky Mountains @ Peakbagger
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth from an ore body, vein, reef or placer deposit. These deposits form a mineralized package, of economic interest to the miner. Ores recovered by mining include metals, oil shale, limestone, dimension stone, rock salt, potash and clay. Mining is required to obtain any material that cannot be grown through agricultural processes, or feasibly created artificially in a laboratory or factory. Mining in a wider sense includes extraction of any non-renewable resource such as petroleum, natural gas, or water. Mining of stones and metal has been a human activity since pre-historic times. Modern mining processes involve prospecting for ore bodies, analysis of the profit potential of a proposed mine, extraction of the desired materials, final reclamation of the land after the mine is closed. De Re Metallica, Georgius Agricola, 1550, Book I, Para. 1Mining operations create a negative environmental impact, both during the mining activity and after the mine has closed.
Hence, most of the world's nations have passed regulations to decrease the impact. Work safety has long been a concern as well, modern practices have improved safety in mines. Levels of metals recycling are low. Unless future end-of-life recycling rates are stepped up, some rare metals may become unavailable for use in a variety of consumer products. Due to the low recycling rates, some landfills now contain higher concentrations of metal than mines themselves. Since the beginning of civilization, people have used stone and metals found close to the Earth's surface; these were used to make early weapons. Flint mines have been found in chalk areas where seams of the stone were followed underground by shafts and galleries; the mines at Grimes Graves and Krzemionki are famous, like most other flint mines, are Neolithic in origin. Other hard rocks mined or collected for axes included the greenstone of the Langdale axe industry based in the English Lake District; the oldest-known mine on archaeological record is the Ngwenya Mine in Swaziland, which radiocarbon dating shows to be about 43,000 years old.
At this site Paleolithic humans mined hematite to make the red pigment ochre. Mines of a similar age in Hungary are believed to be sites where Neanderthals may have mined flint for weapons and tools. Ancient Egyptians mined malachite at Maadi. At first, Egyptians used the bright green malachite stones for ornamentations and pottery. Between 2613 and 2494 BC, large building projects required expeditions abroad to the area of Wadi Maghareh in order to secure minerals and other resources not available in Egypt itself. Quarries for turquoise and copper were found at Wadi Hammamat, Tura and various other Nubian sites on the Sinai Peninsula and at Timna. Mining in Egypt occurred in the earliest dynasties; the gold mines of Nubia were among the largest and most extensive of any in Ancient Egypt. These mines are described by the Greek author Diodorus Siculus, who mentions fire-setting as one method used to break down the hard rock holding the gold. One of the complexes is shown in one of the earliest known maps.
The miners crushed the ore and ground it to a fine powder before washing the powder for the gold dust. Mining in Europe has a long history. Examples include the silver mines of Laurium. Although they had over 20,000 slaves working them, their technology was identical to their Bronze Age predecessors. At other mines, such as on the island of Thassos, marble was quarried by the Parians after they arrived in the 7th century BC; the marble was shipped away and was found by archaeologists to have been used in buildings including the tomb of Amphipolis. Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, captured the gold mines of Mount Pangeo in 357 BC to fund his military campaigns, he captured gold mines in Thrace for minting coinage producing 26 tons per year. However, it was the Romans who developed large scale mining methods the use of large volumes of water brought to the minehead by numerous aqueducts; the water was used for a variety of purposes, including removing overburden and rock debris, called hydraulic mining, as well as washing comminuted, or crushed and driving simple machinery.
The Romans used hydraulic mining methods on a large scale to prospect for the veins of ore a now-obsolete form of mining known as hushing. They built numerous aqueducts to supply water to the minehead. There, the water stored in large tanks; when a full tank was opened, the flood of water sluiced away the overburden to expose the bedrock underneath and any gold veins. The rock was worked upon by fire-setting to heat the rock, which would be quenched with a stream of water; the resulting thermal shock cracked the rock, enabling it to be removed by further streams of water from the overhead tanks. The Roman miners used similar methods to work cassiterite deposits in Cornwall and lead ore in the Pennines; the methods had been developed by the Romans in Spain in 25 AD to exploit large alluvial gold deposits, the largest site being at Las Medulas, where seven long aqueducts tapped local rivers and sluiced the deposits. Spain was one of the most important mining regions, but all regions of the Roman Empire were exploited.
In Great Britain the natives had mined minerals for millennia, but after the Roman conquest, the scale of the operations increased as the Romans needed Britannia's resources gold, silver
Rico is an incorporated small town in Dolores County, United States. It was settled in 1879 as a silver mining center in the Pioneer Mining District; the population was 265 at the 2010 census, up from 205 at the 2000 census. Its current form of government is that of a Home Rule Municipality. Rico is a name derived from Spanish meaning "rich". Rico is located in eastern Dolores County at 37°41′32″N 108°1′51″W, in the valley of the Dolores River. Colorado State Highway 145 passes through the town as it follows the river, leading southwest 48 miles to Cortez and northeast over Lizard Head Pass 27 miles to Telluride. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the town of Rico has an area of all of it land. Rico experiences an alpine subarctic climate with long, cold snowy winters and short, cool summers due to the high altitude and high precipitation year-round due to orographic lift; as of the census of 2000, there were 205 people, 104 households, 47 families residing in the town. The population density was 268.0 people per square mile.
There were 197 housing units at an average density of 257.5 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 92.68% White, 2.93% Native American, 1.95% Asian, 0.98% from other races, 1.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.93% of the population. There were 104 households out of which 18.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.5% were married couples living together, 4.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 54.8% were non-families. 39.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.8% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.97 and the average family size was 2.62. In the town, the population was spread out with 15.1% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 50.7% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, 3.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 144.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 148.6 males. The median income for a household in the town was $36,667, the median income for a family was $55,625.
Males had a median income of $31,806 versus $23,750 for females. The per capita income for the town was $21,920. About 13.2% of families and 13.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.3% of those under the age of eighteen and none of those sixty five or over. Outline of Colorado Index of Colorado-related articles State of Colorado Colorado cities and towns Colorado municipalities Colorado counties Dolores County, Colorado San Juan Mountains San Juan Skyway Town of Rico official website CDOT map of the Town of Rico Marty Durlin, "A Rico Renaissance", High Country News, February 18, 2008
A mountain range or hill range is a series of mountains or hills ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similarity in form and alignment that have arisen from the same cause an orogeny. Mountain ranges are formed by a variety of geological processes, but most of the significant ones on Earth are the result of plate tectonics. Mountain ranges are found on many planetary mass objects in the Solar System and are a feature of most terrestrial planets. Mountain ranges are segmented by highlands or mountain passes and valleys. Individual mountains within the same mountain range do not have the same geologic structure or petrology, they may be a mix of different orogenic expressions and terranes, for example thrust sheets, uplifted blocks, fold mountains, volcanic landforms resulting in a variety of rock types. Most geologically young mountain ranges on the Earth's land surface are associated with either the Pacific Ring of Fire or the Alpide Belt.
The Pacific Ring of Fire includes the Andes of South America, extends through the North American Cordillera along the Pacific Coast, the Aleutian Range, on through Kamchatka, Taiwan, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, to New Zealand. The Andes is 7,000 kilometres long and is considered the world's longest mountain system; the Alpide belt includes Indonesia and Southeast Asia, through the Himalaya, Caucasus Mountains, Balkan Mountains fold mountain range, the Alps, ends in the Spanish mountains and the Atlas Mountains. The belt includes other European and Asian mountain ranges; the Himalayas contain the highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest, 8,848 metres high and traverses the border between China and Nepal. Mountain ranges outside these two systems include the Arctic Cordillera, the Urals, the Appalachians, the Scandinavian Mountains, the Great Dividing Range, the Altai Mountains and the Hijaz Mountains. If the definition of a mountain range is stretched to include underwater mountains the Ocean Ridges form the longest continuous mountain system on Earth, with a length of 65,000 kilometres.
The mountain systems of the earth are characterized by a tree structure, where mountain ranges can contain sub-ranges. The sub-range relationship is expressed as a parent-child relationship. For example, the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Blue Ridge Mountains are sub-ranges of the Appalachian Mountains. Equivalently, the Appalachians are the parent of the White Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains, the White Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains are children of the Appalachians; the parent-child expression extends to the sub-ranges themselves: the Sandwich Range and the Presidential Range are children of the White Mountains, while the Presidential Range is parent to the Northern Presidential Range and Southern Presidential Range. The position of mountains influences climate, such as snow; when air masses move up and over mountains, the air cools producing orographic precipitation. As the air descends on the leeward side, it warms again and is drier, having been stripped of much of its moisture.
A rain shadow will affect the leeward side of a range. Mountain ranges are subjected to erosional forces which work to tear them down; the basins adjacent to an eroding mountain range are filled with sediments which are buried and turned into sedimentary rock. Erosion is at work while the mountains are being uplifted until the mountains are reduced to low hills and plains; the early Cenozoic uplift of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado provides an example. As the uplift was occurring some 10,000 feet of Mesozoic sedimentary strata were removed by erosion over the core of the mountain range and spread as sand and clays across the Great Plains to the east; this mass of rock was removed as the range was undergoing uplift. The removal of such a mass from the core of the range most caused further uplift as the region adjusted isostatically in response to the removed weight. Rivers are traditionally believed to be the principal cause of mountain range erosion, by cutting into bedrock and transporting sediment.
Computer simulation has shown that as mountain belts change from tectonically active to inactive, the rate of erosion drops because there are fewer abrasive particles in the water and fewer landslides. Mountains on other planets and natural satellites of the Solar System are isolated and formed by processes such as impacts, though there are examples of mountain ranges somewhat similar to those on Earth. Saturn's moon Titan and Pluto, in particular exhibit large mountain ranges in chains composed of ices rather than rock. Examples include the Mithrim Montes and Doom Mons on Titan, Tenzing Montes and Hillary Montes on Pluto; some terrestrial planets other than Earth exhibit rocky mountain ranges, such as Maxwell Montes on Venus taller than any on Earth and Tartarus Montes on Mars, Jupiter's moon Io has mountain ranges formed from tectonic processes including Boösaule Montes, Dorian Montes, Hi'iaka Montes and Euboea Montes. Peakbagger Ranges Home Page Bivouac.com
A normal route or normal way is the most used route for ascending and descending a mountain peak. It is the simplest route. In the Alps, routes are classed in the following ways, based on their waymarking and upkeep: Footpaths Hiking trails Mountain trails Alpine routes Climbing routes and High Alpine routes in combined rock and ice terrain, graded by difficultySometimes the normal route is not the easiest ascent to the summit, but just the one, most used. There may be technically easier variations; this is the case on the Watzmannfrau, the Hochkalter and Mount Everest. There may be many reasons these easier options are less well-used: the simplest route is less well known than the normal route; the technically easiest route is more arduous than another and is therefore used on the descent. The technically easiest route carries a much higher risk of e.g. rockfalls or avalanche and is therefore avoided in favour of a more difficult route. The technically easier route requires a complicated or long approach march, or all access may be banned via one country.
The term tourist route may sometimes be applied by those wishing to suggest that other routes up a mountain are somehow more "worthy". This belittling of the "normal route" therefore maintains a distinction between those perceiving themselves as serious mountaineers who disparage the incursion of tourist climbers into their domain