Photograph showing a jack train or pack train consisting of at least twelve jack asses (male donkeys) loaded with supplies and a man on horseback following at the rear of the train. These pack trains played an important role in the mining operations of Colorado, especially prior to the arrival of the railroads. They were used to haul wood, machinery, supplies, food and water to the mines, and ore from the mines to the mills. Both horses and burros were used for packing, but burros are able to carry more weight and work longer hours on less food, and they can maneuver more easily around narrow rocky areas on the trail because they are more sure footed. Each burro was capable of carrying at least 200 pounds. The lead pack animal wore a bell, and the others knew to follow. Usually for every ten pack burros there was a man on horseback, and the foreman supervised stream crossings and other difficult places on the trail. Depending on the terrain the pack trains could travel up to ...
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