For millennia, American Indians forged a bond with the rugged landscapes of the arid West. Traces of the past can be found almost anywhere that sparks the imagination with wonder. What brought people again and again to these rolling hills west of Saguache Colorado?
We went to meet with the project coordinators who were conducting field investigations on a major cluster of Late Prehistoric stone enclosures. Dr. Mark Mitchel is founder and director of the Paleo Cultural Research Group conducting and organizing the field studies on these enclosures. Angie Krall, Heritage Program Manger for the Rio Grande National Forest works closely alongside supervising the project. Both Angie and Mark are long time colleagues and friends working many years together in field research. They are an absolute blast to be around let alone have the chance to follow around a landscape so filled with story. Add that on top of a beautiful backdrop and I must say it’s been some of the most meaningful work I’ve had the privilege to be involved with.
This film is an expression of the setting these stone enclosures occupy. The lands we now call the Saguache Mountains traveling on U.S. highway 114 toward Cochetopa pass. Early Americans encampments were located in choice areas like this. Upper Crossing is an excellent example of an encampment hovering over a wildlife corridor and the confluence of two small rivers. Visions of herd animals passing in ages before aren’t hard to imagine.