We’ve been pretty lazy these last couple of weeks, just kicking back and enjoying not having anywhere we had to be. On July 10, we celebrated our 47th wedding anniversary. We went back to be tourists in Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City for the first time since the Waldo Canyon fire. It’s amazing how the fire came right up to houses or burned clear to the edge of the road but no further. The forest doesn’t look as decimated through the pass as I had feared, but I suppose you can’t really tell yet. Mudslides and flash flooding are the risks now, especially in the burned areas.
We had a visit later in the week from LeRoy’s cousins Roy and Nell Delaughter and we took them around to see some of our favorite scenery. We ate pulled pork in Divide before making our way to Cripple Creek where we checked out their heritage center.
Travel Port RV park where we are parked has a carry-in dinner every Saturday evening and each week the menu is different. The first Saturday the main course was pulled pork, with all the trimmings provided by everyone else. Last Saturday, we had Italian food, lots of lasagna and other pastas. This Saturday will be Thanksgiving in July. These people know how to cook! On Sunday we attended “cowboy” church here at the park.
Since we’ve been here we’ve seen lots of different birds, small animal tracks and one evening we even saw a small bear near our end of the park. Between here and Divide, though, we’ve seen a few deer and an occasional elk. One night last week, we had a real treat, a HUGE herd of elk, a couple of males and lots of females, adults and youngsters.
Tuesday we took a day trip to Fairplay and looked at their historical South Park museum. It is a collection of buildings that make up the town of old South Park, some of which were original to the site and others that came from other locations and were relocated.
The little chapel was one of the relocated buildings and was originally a Methodist chapel.
Since this area Colorado is rich in mining history, the assay office was a very important place.
We saw livery stables, a stage coach stop complete with restaurant, bedrooms and the proprietors’ quarters. The homes we saw ran the gamut from one room with a loft to two full bedrooms. One even had a full size metal bathtub on wheels, so it could be moved to the kitchen or near the heat source and water. We walked through replicated mining operations, including one that really caught our eye since it had our granddaughter Alma’s name.
One of the most complete displays we saw was the pharmacy. The story was that the contents were found intact in the basement of a pharmacy when the pharmacist just locked up and quit. I apologize for some of these photos since they were taken through glass and at a distance, but I thought they were important to the experience.
The soda fountain was fantastic, with every flavor available at the time. Sorry, no Coke Zero or Diet Dr. Pepper.
It’s truly amazing that some items we can’t legally buy now were available over the counter in earlier days.
We saw a pack of gum that promises to eliminate toothache immediately. I wonder what narcotic it contained?
We’ve visited many places like this, including Old Cowtown in Wichita, KS, but it’s one of the very few that allow you to walk into the rooms and touch the furniture or fixtures. It was definitely worth the drive.
While we were out, we decided to make two very special stops on the way home. LeRoy has kept a list of towns by state that have the names of members of our family and these two were right on our route. So we visited two “granddaughters” while we were there.
The first was the little town that claims to be the highest incorporated town in North America at 10,568 feet. (In the same general vicinity, Leadville lays claim to the highest incorporated city at 10,152 feet.)
The second was another little berg along the mountain road.
And even though I know you are a princess, Bailey, sorry, there was no mine that took your name!
Today we ate lunch in Cripple Creek and I think we’ll do some hiking tomorrow, so maybe there will be more to say in the near future.