Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Rocky Mountain to Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the 1914 Arapaho Pack Trip

The Northern Arapaho Tribe and Rocky Mountain National Park invite you to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the historic 1914 Arapaho Pack Trip to Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park and Grand Lake, with a series of special events this Saturday, August 9th.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 9th, Arapaho vendors will be featured in Bond Park, which is located in Estes Park. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. a series of programs and dance presentations will be held. For more details regarding the event, please click here.

Additional celebration events will be held in Rocky Mountain National Park during the day and evening of August 9th. Artist work from the Wind River Reservation will be on display in the lower lobby of the Fall River Visitor Center. Featured artist, photographer Sara Wiles, work will be highlighted. Sara has spent many years photographing and recording Arapaho people and events on the reservation. She will be available to answer questions about her artwork from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. At 7:30 p.m. at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center auditorium, join Arapaho Merle Hass and Alonso Moss for a special Saturday evening program about the Arapaho language followed by a showing of the Chiefs Documentary. All programs are free and open to the public.

In 1914, the Colorado Mountain Club, hoping to persuade Congress to support the establishment of a national park in the Estes Valley and Grand Lake area, arranged for Arapaho elders from the Wind River Reservation to provide Arapaho names for local landmarks. Colorado Mountain Club members, Harriet Vaille and Edna Hendrie, organized the project. They went to the reservation to interview Arapaho and coordinate travel arrangements to Estes Park. Harriet Vaille selected her younger cousin, Oliver Toll, to act as the ethnographer for the trip. Oliver Toll, along with local guide Shep Husted, began the two week pack trip on July 16, 1914, along with three members of the Arapaho tribe: Tom Crispin, Gun Griswold and Sherman Sage. Traveling throughout the Estes Valley, nearby mountains and Grand Lake, Oliver Toll carefully recorded their journey along with stories and names the Arapaho provided. Besides naming several of the area's peaks, the Arapaho met many residents including Peter Hondius, Enos Mills and "Squeaky Bob" Wheeler. Oliver Toll organized his notes and produced a small book titled Arapaho Names and Trails which continues to be sold in park bookstores.

Since 1998, the Arapaho have been on several sponsored trips to Rocky Mountain National Park participating in educational programing. Students, teachers and elders from the Wind River Reservation and Arapaho High School have learned about plants, wildlife and their cultural heritage including the 1914 pack trip route of their ancestors. Participants have included several direct decedents from the pack trip including Sherman Sage's great-grandson.

For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park, please call the park's Information Office at (970) 586-1206.


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