Colorado – The Centennial State

Colorado – The Centennial State

According to EJIAXING, the state of Colorado is bordered to the north by Wyoming and Nebraska, to the east by Nebraska and Kansas, to the south by Oklahoma and New Mexico, and to the west by the state of Utah. Colorado belongs to the so-called Rocky Mountain States. There are 5.5 million (2016) people living in the state Denver is the largest city in the state and also the capital. Colorado is one of the most beautiful states in the entire US in terms of nature. Among other things, the well-known ski areas Aspen and Vail are located on the territory of Colorado.

The Rocky Mountains run roughly through the center of the state from north to south. Mount Elbert is also located here, at 4399 meters above sea level the highest point in the entire Rocky Mountains. Rocky Mountain National Park and Mesa Verde National Park are located in this state. In the latter park, at the foot of steep rock walls, houses from the Indian culture can be found.

Mesa Verde National Park

You can find this park in the southwest of the state of Colorado. The 211-square-kilometer park was created in 1906. The park occupies a majestic plateau that rises from the desert that fringes Colorado’s mountainous landscape. The fame of this park is due to the rock settlements and other traces that indicate the former habitation of this area. In September 1978 the park was declared a World Cultural Site by UNESCO. About fifteen hundred to thirteen hundred years ago a group of Indians settled here. The culture flourished, but for reasons as yet unexplained, they abandoned their settlement around the end of the thirteenth century.

Virtually all, or at least very many, personal belongings remained with the settlement. Some of these artifacts are carefully preserved in the park. The archaeologists who first explored the settlement gave the Native Americans the name Basketmakers because of their excellent skill in weaving baskets. The Indians also made pottery, but that was of considerably lower quality. In the beginning, the Indians lived in so-called Pithouses, houses that were dug into the ground so that the walls of the pits acted as walls.

These pit dwellings formed small villages, usually below the surface of the Mesa—as a table plateau is called. In some cases they built their dwellings in the caves in the rock. In the red, heavily windswept soil of the Mesa, Native Americans grew crops such as corn, beans, and pumpkins. The pets were dogs and turkeys as well as birds bred for their feathers. Blankets were woven from the turkey feathers for the harsh winter months. For centuries the basket makers prospered, but about the middle of the 8th century their descendants, the Pueblo Indians, started building their houses above ground. For this she used poles to determine the size of the house. They then braided cross-connections between these posts and fabricated the roof in the same way.

Before the year 1000, masonry supplanted the traditional construction method of wickerwork and clay. They now built sturdy, compact housings in the form of an apartment building. Some enclosures were as high as three stories with more than 50 rooms. In many cases, these houses were built around courtyards, under which kivas (large ceremonial rooms) were excavated. Around the 12th century something happened that changed the way of life of the Indians. The enclosures were abandoned and people settled in the caves in the rock walls of the table plateau. These rock dwellings were a difficult to reach but well defendable place. The reasons for this move can only be guessed at. Most likely, the move took place because of war with another tribe. It is in any case a fact that the move had defensive reasons. The settlement lasted less than a century because at the end of the 13th century the Indians left Mesa Verde for good.

Rocky Mountains / National Park

In the north of the state of Colorado you will find the Rocky Mountain National Park with a very varied landscape. The park is located on both sides of the Continental Divide and has more than a hundred mountains over 3350 m high. The park was created in 1915 and the area of ​​the park is 1068 square kilometers.

The Rocky Mountains are the most important mountain range in North America and stretch 4800 km from the heart of New Mexico to northwest Alaska. Mount Elbert in Colorado is the highest mountain in the Continental Divide at 4399 meters. The latter separates the rivers that drain into the Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean from those that drain into the Pacific or Pacific Ocean. The name Great Divide is sometimes heard to mean the entire system of mountain ridges that is an extension of the Rocky Mountains. The high and rugged ridges formed an impassable barrier for the settlers moving west.

Next to the Rocky Mountains lies the Glacier National Park and Y ellowstone National Park partly across the Continental Divide. The park has some of the highest mountains in the United States on its territory and is a true mountaineering mecca. But also lovers of trekking through the wilderness can enjoy here to the full. In the summer it is busy in the park because of the deep ravines and particularly beautiful lakes that the park has. In winter, most roads in the park are generally closed due to heavy snowfall.

Colorado flag

Many western states have an easily recognizable flag. Likewise in the case of Colorado. The red C in the flag stands for the state name, the state flower (columbine), and the nickname (Centennial State). The letter was chosen due to the fact that Colorado joined America in 1876 and had been independent for a “centennial” long. The red, white, and blue in the flag also appear in the American flag, and the blue, yellow, and white appear in the state flower. The C is red because it honors the memory of the Spanish word Colorado. Colorado is the Spanish word for red. The design of the flag is in the name of Andrew Carlisle Johnson.

Colorado – The Centennial State

More info

  • Colorado state slogan: The Centennial State
  • Member of the union since: August 1, 1876
  • State flower Columbine