Curious questions at the Visitor Center
I am continually amazed at some of the questions from visitors to our region. I present to you today a classic. A woman came in admiring and praising the sunflowers growing along the highway; she wanted to know who planted them. I explained to her that there are many varieties of wildflowers in the region and that if she wanted to see more that a visit to the high country would reveal not only wildflowers but wild mushrooms as well. The recent rains have limited our fears of potential fires and the forest has given us an abundance of wild edible plants as a result.
The Visitor Center has numerous books available about edible and medicinal plants. There is also a wide selection of books and maps about hiking, biking and ATV trails in the area. One of the favorite books about hiking is titled "The Best Durango Hikes." Don't let the title fool you. The book is not about Durango only. There are numerous trails near Mancos in the book: Big Al Trail, Centennial Trail, Hesperus Mountain Trail, Lizard Head Trail and the Sand Canyon Loop. Some local writers did the write-ups about the trails: Bernadette and Chip Tuthill as well as Mike Frisoni. The books is a great resource. It provides topographic maps for each hike with complete descriptions about how to reach the trailhead and how long it will take you to complete your hike.
The Visitor Center also sells the Colorado Outdoor Search and Rescue Card (CORSAR). Each year, Colorado search and rescue teams perform over a thousand missions helping those who get caught in emergency situations in the backcountry. No one know when they may need help. You can be prepared for the unexpected with the purchase of a CORSAR card. You can buy the card for $3 for a year and $12 for 5 years. If you have a current hunting or fishing license you are covered.
Remember the Mancos Cash Mob will be at the Painted Turtle Studio this Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 5:30 p.m. Stop by and give the Painted Turtle a little of your business.