photos below are what we saw.
arrived at 11 Mile late in the day and the wind was blowing at
least 30mph sustained. It was cold outside, but OK inside
the camper. That said, the morning was cold. From
our campsite we could see out toward 11 Mile Reservoir and the
dusk I spotted this herd of 8 deer wandering through camp.
descent from 11 Mile we passed Woodland Park and got a nice view
of Pike's Peak.
traveled to Black Forest to visit our friends Becky and Peter
and were greeted with several days of windy, cold and overcast
weather. When the weather finally broke we got another
nice view of Pike's Peak, but from the east side. Note the
new snow on the mountain; it snowed on us the previous day, but
happily we were in their home when the storm hit.
Black Forest we headed west again back to Divide, CO to visit
our friends Kent and Taydie. Taydie is quite the
horsewoman and they have a huge indoor arena with hay storage
and horse stalls.
have a very nice home as well and we watched deer browse nearby
pastures from their dinner table.
Divide we headed south toward Victor, CO and nearby Cripple Creek.
As we crossed over Victor Pass, we got a sweeping view of the
Sangre de Christo Mountains in the distance.
the road from the viewpoint, nearly at the crest of the pass,
there was an abandoned railroad passenger car rotting into
descent from Victor Pass we encountered this head frame from one
of the local gold mines.
struck me as a low-budget Leadville with the same classical
turn-of-the-century architecture. Note the dates on the
buildings. We were able to park Thor right on the main
checked out several places to eat, but settled upon the Fortune
Club. It was only after we had eaten a great lunch that we
saw this sign on the side of the building.
is a very small town as noted by the combined mall/hotel.
from the restaurant was another old building currently being
used by Newmont Mining as part of administrative offices for
their local gold extraction efforts.
the street was a "museum" of mining artifacts. There were
plenty of old devices and components from the local mines.
Above is a hoist drum used with wire rope to hoist ore from deep
drums had an impressive gear train to drive it.
exhibit of mining artifacts is complete without an ore cart.
museum area we could see a number of old head frames from the
abandoned mines. Tailings were dumped nearly everywhere.
Victor and continued on toward Cripple Creek and passed this
huge "heap leach" mountain being run by Newmont. I could
not confirm the exact business arrangement, but it seems that
they are moving old tailings to their leach field and using
chemicals to extract any remaining gold. Back in the old
days, arsenic was used to leach the gold, but I am not sure they
use the same process today.
herd of deer were grazing on the side of the road near the leach
mile down the road we passed another huge leach mountain.
seemed as if nearly every hill had a head frame on it.
spotted equipment moving at the top of the mountain and managed
to stop Thor in time to get a shot of one of the earth movers
dumping on the mountain.
different ridge of the mountain we spotted another truck
dumping. These trucks are huge with tires 3m (9 feet) in
diameter. Occasionally, the bank collapses sending the
truck tumbling down the hillside.
who is very familiar with the area, told us that we needed to
take Shelf Road from Cripple Creek into Canyon city, so we
did. The road was quite steep and required nearly constant
use of Thor's exhaust brake. Into the main canyon we came
upon a window in a dike of volcanic rock.
A few switchbacks further down the trail and we were on the downhill side of the window.
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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2018, all rights
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.