CDOT Assists Sand Creek Healing Relay

On the weekend following Thanksgiving, the Sand Creek Massacre Relay was run from just north of Eads to Watkins, at the east edge of the Denver area.  The relay is an annual event designed to help members of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Native American tribes heal spiritually and emotionally from the effects of the Sand Creek Massacre, which occurred in what is now northern Kiowa County Nov. 29-30, 1864.

CDOT was involved to assist the relay runners with issues relating to safety.  CDOT installed several portable variable message boards along the route to warn northbound and westbound traffic of relay runners in the vicinity.  The signs contained this message: "Sand Creek Massacre Spiritual Healing Runners Ahead.  Use Caution."

Doug Springer, an historian who works with the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes on this annual event, recently e-mailed Terry Hubbell (LTC Operations I at Burlington, Aurora Maintenance Section 5, Region 1) and Jered Maupin (LTC Operations I at Castle Rock, Section 5) and Randy Dobyns (TM-III at Castle Rock, Section 5) to say, "The tribes expressed their satisfaction with the placement of the message boards and the message.  The memory I have from that day is watching both children and adults approach these signs, then stop to look.  There was a great deal of pleasure on their faces and in their actions."

David Wall (TM-II, Patrol 9 at Kit Carson) and his patrol co-workers Monte Richardson and Clay McNeely placed message boards on the southern portion of the route; Chris Seymour (TM-II, Patrol 7 at Hugo) and his patrol co-workers Bill Adelman and Jim Wills places the boards along the northern and western portions.

The message boards along I-70 going west toward Watkins were coordinated by Maupin and Dobyns, with assistance from Melvin Kitzman (TM-II, Patrol 16 at Deer Trail); John Appleman (TM-II, Patrol 15 at Kiowa; Darren Kunkel (Patrol 16); James DuBois (Patrol 51 at Bennett); Dennis Heusser (Patrol 16); and Jason Fabian (Patrol 22 at Franktown).

For anyone who may not be familiar, take the time to search Sand Creek Massacre on the internet and read about one of the darkest chapters in the history of what would later become the state of Colorado.  Most internet articles on the massacre include links to additional written resources; several prominent American scholars and historians have written about the tragic events that occurred at Sand Creek.

Colorado: The Official State Web Portal