About

Inspired by numerous comments on social media from people who had come to southeastern Colorado and regretted not allowing more time to explore the region, canyonsandplains.com is a website that was created by local writers, photographers and a website designer who believe this part of the state is an undiscovered treasure for people looking for a different—and, perhaps, more authentic—kind of travel experience. Its creation was truly a community effort, funded by support from various local organizations with matching funds from the Colorado Tourism Office.

The individuals responsible for creating and maintaining the website can be reached by calling the Kiowa County Independent at (719) 438-2040.

Canyonsandplains.com is an independent website that operates in association with—but separate from—the Canyons & Plains of Southeast Colorado Regional Heritage Task Force, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide education and assistance to the public on the unique historical and cultural assets of the Southeast region of Colorado. Their organization can be reached at canyonsandplains@gmail.

Contributors
Priscilla Waggoner

Priscilla Waggoner is a writer, award-winning playwright and award-winning screenwriter which includes being a past winner of the Nicholls Fellowship for Screenwriting from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Waggoner grew up in Colorado and, after a number of years spent in Texas, found herself in the Canyons & Plains about 7 years ago. Once here, she promptly fell in love with the wide open spaces, the big sky and the abundance of stories of the High Plains just waiting to be told. She's currently the Editor for the Kiowa County Independent newspaper in Eads, Colorado.

Jill White Smith

Jill Smith is an avid, award-winning wildlife photographer.

Jill can be contacted on her Facebook page, Nature Made Photography, for additional information about wildlife watching in the area. She can also be contacted via email at naturemadephotos@gmail.com. Jill's personal guiding services are available for small groups or individuals. Contact her for prices and availability.

Jeff C. Campbell

Campbell is a veteran police officer and investigator, published author of articles, books, and a series of novels. He currently works as an independent historian focusing on the Southwest and Colorado. Campbell has been involved with the Sand Creek Massacre site since the initial phase when it was first considered for designation as a National Historic Site and was instrumental in researching and determining the location of the massacre. He is one of a handful of subject matter experts on both the events leading up to the massacre as well as the massacre itself and has been involved in a number of presentations on the event, including a panel discussion conducted at the Smithsonian.

Betsy Barnett

A former high school Principal for 15 years, Betsy Barnett is now the owner of the Barnett Media, LLC group and Publisher of the Kiowa County Independent. In 2016 Barnett took a chance on a new business that was designed to present quality local news in print copy as well as online. Barnett is also the chairman of the Crow-Luther Cultural Events Center, a 501c3 organization whose mission is to save three historical buildings on Maine Street and turn them into three businesses in Eads.

William Brandt

An Air Force veteran, William Brandt is skilled and self-taught in a wide swath of creative mediums in the areas of programming, art, website development, and general design. He currently works for Barnett Media, where he fills the role of layout design for the Kiowa County Independent newspaper as well as Colorado Preps Magazine.

Sherri Mabe

Sherri is an infrared landscape photographer and native Coloradan whose heritage connects her to both the historical settlers of Colorado and the Native American tribes of Colorado and New Mexico. Upon college graduation, Sherri left her Colorado home to travel and see the world with her husband while raising her three children. In 2009, after 27 years away, she returned to Colorado to live in the land closest to her heart. Currently, Sherri is photographing the incredible vistas and historical landmarks of America's western lands. Her focus is on historical and cultural documentation using infrared and black and white formats. She has studied fine art photography at various colleges, was a student assistant and substitute instructor in the Fine Arts Department (Photography) at Hillsborough CC in Tampa, Florida and has completed many photographic workshops with a variety of well known photographers. Sherri has previously served on the One Nation Walking Together board and is on the staff of the One Nation Powwow serving as the website coordinator. She is also an ongoing photographic contributor to the Kiowa County Independent and Canyons & Plains website. Contact website: Sherri Mabe Images.

Lex Nichols

Born and raised in Rocky Ford, Colorado, Lex's musical journey took off when he began playing the guitar at the age of 9. After 39 years of playing, Lex had developed a musical ear because he could not read music other than tab. As Lex Nichols continued with his music he learned how to play drums and bass and has sat in as a session player for many different bands. Nichols also is a self-taught Native American flute player and maker. In 2014 Nichols was the only non-Native American flute player to win a Native American Music Award for his album The Long Road. Though Nichols plays many instruments, his passion is Finger Style acoustic guitar. Lex's music has been featured on Echoes Radio, NPR and the PBS Documentary “The Arkansas River.” In 2019 Nichols released his 9th album titled Turning Point, a percussive Finger Style acoustic album. Lex is also a professional photographer whose passion is capturing lightning and the landscapes of the Southwest. Lex's work has been featured in numerous prominent publications, more notably: Cowboys and Indians, Balloon Life, and Outdoor Photographer. Lex studied portrait and landscape photography through Professional Photographers of America.

Travis K. Walker

Travis K. Walker is originally from Coffeyville in southeastern Kansas and currently resides in Wiley. His interest in photography has been building over time and is an important creative outlet and expression of faith for him. His photographic interests are primarily wildlife (especially birds), landscapes, and other parts of life as they come. Travis enjoys living in southeast Colorado with the rich diversity of migratory and resident birds, open landscapes, and history.

Travis serves as a United Methodist Pastor, currently serving at McClave United Methodist Church in McClave and Wiley United Methodist Church in Wiley. His photography is grounded on Psalm 104:24 “Lord, you have done so many things! You made them all so wisely! The earth is full of your creations!”

Travis's online portfolio can be found here and on Instagram @rev_traviskwalker.

Ty Lin Williams

A native of Southeastern Colorado, Ty Lin Williams has been “taking photos forever.” But in 2010, it became her business. Her expertise and skill are the result of trial and error and Google (thank goodness for Google) and what can only be described as a gift. Ty Lin's love of photography is probably the one aspect most responsible for her success. She truly enjoys capturing a single, special, fleeting moment with a simple click of her camera while knowing that no two photos can be the same. But her real strength is in not just identifying butseeing the beauty around her. Even when the beauty is not immediately apparent, Ty Lin has the gift of finding it, drawing it out and then capturing an image, whether it's in the people or the scenery or a night sky filled with lightning. That genuine joy she finds in life and living emanates from her as she works, and the result are photos where people look and feel as natural as if they're speaking to a best friend. Ty Lin sells some of her photography online and shoots portraits on an appointment basis. She can be reached via Facebook at Authenticity Photos by Ty or by calling (719) 940-2184.

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