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Aroya (Arroyo Aroyo) Colorado Townsite - Ghost town

Photos Courtesy of Mike Sinnwell December 2008

This town was know by a variety of names and sits alongside the Big Sandy Creek. The town was established when the Kansas Pacific railroad came through in 1869 and 1870. What names - Arroyo (Spanish for small stream) Arroya, Aroyo and finally Aroya when a post office was established in 1889. The original town off to the west burnt down and Aroya grew here. Before 1872 this was a stage stop. As many other towns along the railroad this one also had a highway that ran through it. The final blow came when the highway was moved to the edge of town. The old gas station is clearly visible.

I recently took a trip to Aroya. I had been there almost a year ago to the day. Only that time it was night and I was not able to see much in the dark. It was in the middle of the Colorado Plains without even a moon. This time it was a bright sunshine filled day. As I was wondering around I noticed a snake skin. I did not think much of it but I did stop to pick it up and see if it looked like the skin from a rattler. A quick look told me YES. It was probably the skin from a Prairie Rattler. In any case I continued exploring and then became extremely cautious as I noticed several more skins. After I stopped counting at 18 skins I got seriously nervous. The majority were at least four feet in length. At least one over six feet. All in an empty lot between two old buildings. A space perhaps 20 by 40. Now I know snakes can shed more than once a year and sometimes even three times a year. That still left me with at least 6 snakes to worry about. Thank the good Lord it was winter and they typically do go into hibernation. In any case I did not see any. You can bet that if I go back in the spring I will be extra cautious. Be warned if you go to watch your step.