Saturday, September 24, 2016

Cripple Creek Colorado

Friday September 23, 2016
Cripple Creek Colorado

Good Connection now but lighting is terrible- hope I have picked the right photos!

Today we deemed an explore and rest day.  I cooked a fairly decent breakfast of toasted English muffins, grits, and bacon and of course coffee!  Feeling some better after a great night’s sleep.  We reviewed our options for exploring and decided to visit the Heritage Museum to learn about the history of the mining and railroads and then drive the Gold Mine Loop to Victor and back to Cripple Creek.  It was beautiful clear blue and the aspen were breathtaking.  There was a Festival being planned for the weekend so the entire downtown area was blocked off.  Downtown Cripple Creek is a restored theater, lots of shops, a few restaurants and LOTS of casinos. 

Looking down to Cripple Creek

Aspen View

The Heritage museum was on the far side of town from our RV Park and when we arrived the view was almost beyond description.  To the west were rocky mountain peaks as far as you could see north to south.  To the east were remains of old gold mines and the terraced land from the current day mining operations.  The mining operations in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s put the Pikes Peak area on the map. Many a man made his fortune here and many more lost.  The mining continued for many years and gradually slowed until in the 1990’s the remaining gold mines were consolidated and today surface mining under the Cripple Creek and Victor Mining Company. This is a part of a large company- Newmont- that as an aside we own stock in!  They have very stringent regulations and from the looks of things are returning the land to as close to what was there before as possible.  The ore is surface mined, trucked out, crushed, and processed to recover the gold. Ben remembers the recovery rate of 360 ounces of gold per ton of ore.
Old Gold Mine

Working Cripple Creek and Victor Surface Gold Mining Operation

We viewed the old and new mines.  Tours of the surface mining site closed on Labor Day – it would have been very interesting.  Having been underground in a Copper Mine in AZ we opted out of going down in one of the old Gold Mines.  The drive through the mountains to Victor and then back to Cripple Creek was beautiful
View to the West


Ben beside tire from one of the Ore hauling trucks

We returned to camp, had lunch, read, did some internet surfing, wrote and posted the blog, cooked supper, watched a movie – in other words did quite a bit but not a lot of anything!   Jane felt some better today but not 100%.  I think I mentioned yesterday our RV park - Hospitality House - was behind a Bed and Breakfast that is the restored Teller County Hospital.  Got a photo today. 

Hospitality House B & B - Old Teller Co. Hospital

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