CO: Colorado Columbines

10,000’ Up and 1,000’ Down in Cripple Creek

July 7 to 11, 2022

Wagon Masters – Templeman, Davenport, Edwards

Attendees – Edwards, Harvey, Kaplan, Kotulak, Morkovian, Novesky, Prinslow

The Cripple Creek gold rush started in about 1895 and more gold has been taken out of the mountain than in all the California and Alaska gold rushes combined. Ten Coaches gathered at the KOA in Cripple Creek, which at 10,000’ elevation is the world’s highest KOA.  We were able to work around the Thursday night rain and hailstorms and enjoy a dinner of hamburgers, brats, potato salad and the trimmings. 

Group of people in hardhats in a cave.

On Friday morning we headed to the Molly Kathleen Gold Mine.  The group squeezed into three tightly packed miner’s carts and descended to down the elevator shaft to 1000’ underground.  The very educational one-hour tour through some of the actual mining tunnels included several stops to demonstrate some of both the older and more modern hard rock gold mining techniques and equipment.  It was then off to one of the many casinos on Cripple Creek for lunch.  In the afternoon we visited the Old Homestead House which was an 1895 very high-class brothel.  The interesting tour talked about how the girls lived and most of the furnishings are original to the house.  After the tour was free time to tour Cripple Creek and try your luck at the casinos. 

Large mine pit

On Saturday morning it was off to the nearby mining town of Victor for a two hour bus tour of the Cripple Creek/Victor Mining District.  The tour passed by the location of the famous late 1800’s mines and the currently active 650’ deep open pit mine that extracts $1,000,000 worth of gold per day.  It was then off to the local bakery for fresh homemade sandwiches and the afternoon to explore Victor.  Dinner was tortilla soup and salad provided by the wagon masters.

Sunday morning was free time and a chance to sleep in and relax.   At 1:00 we all headed back to Cripple Creek to attend the Cripple Creek based “Rags to Riches” melo-drama.  The play was good, but the highlight were the encore song and dance routines to several popular songs.  After the play, we tried our luck at the casinos.  No one has fessed up to how they did.

Monday morning was a breakfast of skillet and fruit provided by the wagon masters and then pack up and head back to the heat of Denver.

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