Dove Creek - A wonderful place to live

by Carolyn J. Fosdick

The land around Dove Creek is magnificent, a place of spectacular vistas from the red rock formations nearby to the high rugged peaks that frame the town. A hundred or so mile radius from Dove Creek in any direction will give a constantly changing view. Dove Creek still has the same ruggedness of spirit of those who peopled this area. The elements are drastic, the weather often extreme. The land around inspires awe and wonder.

Wonderful place to live

From Dove Creek, the white-capped mountains can be seen, standing sentinel over rolling sage covered land, with ancient cedar and pinon hills, farmland, and canyons. The mountains are peaks of majesty and beauty. Jagged rocks and impassible canyons add a sharp contrast to the green farmland and high mountain peaks. Aspen and pine forests grow only a few miles from stark barren high desert land.

The skies form an ever-changing canopy over the countryside. Skies are one of the triumphs of this land of contrasts. Daytime skies are vibrant, and clear, so unlike the gray, smog-filled skies over most of America... Night skies are diamond studded with stars that reach into infinity. Very few places still exist in America where skies are so vivid, so exciting to behold. Even photographers and artists often fail to capture their glory. Watching these ever-changing skies is an experience one must experience. One of the greatest pleasures of living in Dove Creek is to be a sky-watcher.

The earth around Dove Creek is a rich Indian red. Fields of wheat, pinto beans, sunflowers, and alfalfa growing in the reddish soil are "stitched" together with sage brush fence-rows, giving an appearance of a patch-work quilt. Cattle and horses graze peacefully in the fields. This is the farm land poised between the mountains and canyons, the land settled and farmed from the time of the Anasazi to the present-day farmers.

The Dolores River has its headwaters in the San Juan Mountain Range, and forms the Dolores River Canyon. With spectacular sandstone walls and slopes to the river studded with pinion, juniper, and ponderosa, the Dolores River Canyon is truly one of the most beautiful and thrilling river experiences in the world. The part of the Dolores River that forms the Dolores River Canyon is just a whoop and a holler from Dove Creek. Twelve geological formations spanning 160 million years of history are exposed by the river in the canyon. The canyon rim itself is 1,100 feet above the river. People from all over come to the canyon for a whitewater-rafting experience. Wildlife in the canyon includes bald and golden eagles, wild turkey, and grouse. Mule deer, elk, mountain lions, and bobcats are common, and the canyon is prime habitat for desert bighorn sheep, and river otters. It is a thrill to look up and see a bighorn far above you on a canyon ledge.

Seasons come and seasons go. Summer thunderheads roll into darkened skies. A violent thunder storm crashes in, replete with brilliant lightning and rolls of thunder. Man and animal both tremble at the violence. The storm stops as quickly as it starts, leaving behind a water-drenched world and a rainbow arching against a still purple sky. The earth has been refreshed, and all is well below.

In the summer, high desert lands are hot and dry, but in mountains, the world is green, and wild flowers sprinkle the landscape with a miracle of colors as meadows and hillsides come alive. Wildlife can often be seen, while fishing for trout in a bubbling stream or mountain lake which can make these mountains unforgettable.

The most colorful season is autumn. Scrub oak bursts into blazes of rusts, oranges, and reds. Aspen take on the greatest of heavens blessings. Shimmering yellows, golds, and occasional brilliant crimsons show the pinnacle of nature's talent. Indian summer promises to last forever. Fall hunting for big game and game birds make the land around Dove Creek a sportsman's delight.


Then, once again blizzards sweep out of the west, encasing the red earth in the cold, icy grip of winter. In Dove Creek, often winters are mild, but each year is different, and it is hard to predict whether or not Dove Creek will become snowbound. Finally, when the world is tired of winter, the promise of spring comes once more. This is the time of crocus, apple blossoms, and planting. Riots of color again fill the land.

Thus, the western scene of Dove Creek is varied, everchanging, timeless, and enduring. It is a great place to live and to visit, a land of contrasts. Some call the land severe. Some call it lonely. Almost all recognize its uniqueness. To those who live here, it is home. We feel there is no better place to live than in Dove Creek.