So Bold, So Beautiful a Land

So Bold, So Beautiful a Land (HM29EE)

Location: Montrose, CO 81403 Montrose County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 26.131', W 107° 52.055'

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It took bold men to ride into a bold land—a land of raging rivers,
burning deserts, towering mountains, and rugged canyons.
The land of the Southwest through which Dominguez and
Escalante travelled in 1776 was awesome in beauty and harsh
in physical challenges. During the course of their 2,000-mile
journey of exploration, the padres travelled through many
different geographic environments, a fact which frequently
dictated their route.

Once Dominguez and Escalante left the trails of northern New
Mexico, their route followed Indian trails, which in turn followed
game trails. Fearing a lack of water and forage for their
livestock, the padres abandoned the most direct route west
from Dove Creek and returned to the Dolores River. When
confronted with the obstacle of the Dolores Canyon, they
turned east, seeking a guide from the Ute Indians. Water
influenced their direction again in northwestern Colorado when
their Ute guide, Sylvestre, led the expedition far to the north to
one of the few safe crossings of the Green River.

Although dependent on Indian guides, Dominguez and
Escalante were fortunate to have in their company Don
Bernardo Miera y Pacheco, a retired captain of the Santa Fe
militia and an accomplished cartographer, artist, engineer, and
explorer. For thirty years Miera had lived

on the Spanish
frontier for the personal glory of exploring and mapping new
lands for his King's empire. Throughout the expedition Miera
measured the latitude with an astrolabe, a primitive forerunner
of the sextant. On his return to Santa Fe, he prepared the first
comprehensive map of the Four Corners region for Charles II
of Spain.

The varied terrain of the American southwest passed beneath
the hooves of the priests' horses, from the lush alpine forests of
the Uncompahgre Plateau and Grand Mesa to the arid desert
country of central Utah. Indeed, theirs was a journey through a
vast and exciting land — the American southwest!
HM NumberHM29EE
Year Placed1976
Placed ByThe Colorado Centennial-Bicentennial Commission, the town of Montrose, and the State Historical Society of Colorado
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, July 16th, 2018 at 4:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13S E 249706 N 4258033
Decimal Degrees38.43551667, -107.86758333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 26.131', W 107° 52.055'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 26' 7.86" N, 107° 52' 3.3" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 17158 Chipeta Rd, Montrose CO 81403, US
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