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2013 – Silverdale Historic District

Up near Georgetown, there is an old Ghost Town know as Silverdale and we will spend most of the day exploring this area.

To begin with we catch a few signs at the parking area at the trail head…

Silverdale Interpretive SiteSilverdale Interpretive Site

Our first stop will be at the ruins of the Colorado Central Mill and we will also find a friend enjoying the quite morning up here in the mountains.  The mill stopped operating in the 1920’s.

Colorado Central MillDeer near Colorado Central Mill

The vast majoring of the trail we will be hiking is also old mining Railroad bed so you know I will be taking photos all along the route to document it and we will also find a few remnants along the way

Silverdale Mining RailroadSilverdale Mining Railroad

The trail dead-ends where the railroad would have crossed the creek as at a trestle is long since gone and then over another one yet

Silverdale Mining Railroad

We will double back and drive up the road to another trail head where we catch an old mining structure that would have been near where the railroad would have come after crossing the Leavenworth Creek.

Silverdale Mining Ruin

Above this location yet would have been Marshall Tunnel which today is no longer accessible…

Marshall Tunnel Marshall Tunnel

We will head into Georgetown and have lunch at the old Colorado Central Depot that was also used by the Georgetown Loop Railroad.

Colorado Central Depot - Georgetown, CO

Just would be right not to at least catch a photo of the train while in town…

Georgetown Loop Railroad

 

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2013 – Summer Vacation – Part 9B

Once we completed our drive over Kebler Pass we pass over McClure Pass; (8,755ft)

IMG_557939 07.733N 107 17.124W

Found Hays Creek Falls just outside Redstone, CO

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39 09.510N 107 15.065W

From there we head toward Independence Pass with a stop first at the old Ghost Town

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39 06.412N 106 36.200W

We pass over the Continental Divide at Independence Pass; 12,095ft

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39 06.499N 106 33.848W

Time for lunch and we stop at one of our mountain favorites, the Golden Burro Cafe in Leadville

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We will then head towards Copper Mountain via Fremont Pass 11,318ft

IMG_561539 22.105N 106 11.310W

Once we reach Interstate 70 we head for home; 1,889 miles later

 
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Posted by on 06/09/2013 in Trip Reports

 

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2013 – Summer Vacation – Part 2E

Poverty Gulch

We next head over to another area and find more surprises.  On our right we find a Headframe, Ore House, and two other mining buildings that were not there before.  This new relocation site has two great information signs on the Headframe and Ore House and I will later learn the identity of the two buildings.

Hoosier Mine

Hoosier Mine

Forest Queen Ore House

Forest Queen Ore House

Hoosier Mine Headframe and Forest Queen Ore House

Cameron Mine Office and Blacksmith Shop

Cameron Mine Office and Blacksmith Shop

Pinnacle Ore House

On the other side of the road is yet another surprise as we find a Ore House on a flatbed truck.  As you will read farther on within this post I determined it’s identity too as the Pinnacle Ore House.

Pinnacle Ore House

Gold Camp Trail and Poverty Gulch

What we came to location was the old Gold Camp Trail and Exhibit (30 45.240N / 105  08.937W) and they are there.  It’s hot and things are a bit of a mess around this location right now so we will head on down the road

Gold Camp Trail and Poverty Gulch

Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mining Company

Since my previous post I got a chance to talk to Jane Mannon of the Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mining Company and she helped me identify the Pinnacle Ore House photo in this post but also learned the Anaconda Blacksmith Shop has been relocated that I was concerned about in my earlier post.

I also learned about their Newsletter that contained a wonderful wealth of information including the below relocation information:

  • May B Ore Bin – relocated in 2009 from the Phase 5 area of the VLF to the hill slope east of the ADR
  • Forest Queen Ore House – moved from the WHEX area in 2010 to the Hoosier Mine site
  • Pinnacle Park Bear Caves (funded by the City of Cripple Creek, CC&V coordinated) not yet reconstructed by Cripple Creek
  • Hull City Ore House (started in 2004, completed in 2010) moved adjacent to the Vindicator Valley hiking trail
  • Hull City Gallows Frame (started in 2004, completed in 2010) moved adjacent to the Vindicator Valley hiking trail
  • Julia E Gallows Frame – relocated from Squaw Gulch to the Ma Beard reclamation area in 2011
  • Morning Glory Ore House – disassembled and relocated from upper Squaw Gulch to the historic Mound City area in lower Squaw Gulch, 2012
  • Golden Wedge Gallows Frame (a.k.a. Dr. Jackpot) – moved from harms way in Squaw Gulch, now adjacent to Hwy 67 between Cripple Creek and Victor, 2012
  • Rittenhouse Gallows Frame and Ore House – moved and reconstructed in 2012 at S. 4th Street in Victor
  • Anchoria Leland Gallows Frame – relocated in 2012-2013 from the Gold Hill area to a hilltop immediately south of Cripple Creek
  • Anchoria Leland Hoist House – relocated in 2012-2013 from the Gold Hill area to a hilltop immediately south of Cripple Creek
  • Cameron Mine Blacksmith Shop – (funded by DRMS – CC&V coordinated) moved to the Hoosier Mine area in 2012
  • Cameron Mine Office – (funded by DRMS – CC&V coordinated) moved to the Hoosier Mine area in 2012
  • Mary McKinney Powder Magazine – moved in 2012 from Squaw Gulch to the Poverty Gulch hiking trail south of the Heritage Center
  • International Gallows Frame – moved in 2012-2013 from the Gold Hill area to the Poverty Gulch hiking trail south of the Heritage Center
  • Rittenhouse Hoist House – moved in 2012-2013 to the Poverty Gulch hiking trail
  • Progress Gold King Ore Bin – moved in 2012-2013 to the Poverty Gulch hiking trail
  • Grace Greenwood Gallows Frame – moved from Squaw Gulch to the Altman Backfill reclamation area (above the American Eagles access road) 2012
  • Grace Greenwood Hoist House – moved from Squaw Gulch to the Altman Backfill reclamation area (above the American Eagles access road) 2012
  • Anaconda Blacksmith Shop – Moved in 2013 from Squaw Gulch to the Conundrum Mine area adjacent to the narrow gauge railroad
 
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Posted by on 06/02/2013 in Trip Reports

 

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2013 – Summer Vacation – Part 2D

Cripple Creek-Victor Mining District

This area today is being heavily mined by what is known as the Cresson surface mine.  Because of this, the historical structures in the area are moved (the best they can) so where you find things one year might be different the next.  This was very true on this trip as we found various things moved again…

After crossing 250-foot bridge over Arequa Gulch that was constructed by the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company we head into the next section.  We are expecting to stop to take photos on structure on the left side of the road but are surprised to see a Headframe on the right.  After a bit of research, I determine it’s from the Golden Wedge Mine.  This headframe was originally at  38.727941° N / 105.157534° W but it’s been moved to 38.724918° N / 105.167238° W now.

Golden Wedge Mine

Beacon Hill Phonolite Plug

To our left we find the Nichol’s Mine as expected at 38.722430° N / 105.165642° W

Nichol's MineNichol's Mine

Next down the valley is the El Paso Mine at 38.719252° N / 105.170454° W

El Paso Mine

Farther yet down the valley is the Mary Nevin Mine at 38.718397° N / 105.175245° W

Mary Nevin Mine

As you continue on State Highway 67 we will reach a timber wall or cribbing on the right that supported the dump rock of the Mary MacKinney Mine.  This cribbing was originally placed here to permit the passage of the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad (F&CC) on what is now the highway.  You can start to see how the current Cresson surface mine is pushing down hill into this area.

Cribbing – Mary McKinney Mine

Anaconda, CO

As we make the tight turn in the highway, this is where Anaconda, CO once stood and the railroad once also had a depot that is now in Cripple Creek used by the tourist railroad today.  We will stop after making the curve in the highway where we can get more of a panoramic view of the changes that have occurred since we were last here.

As we look to our left down the highway we just passed over we can now clearly see why the Golden Wedge Mine Headframe was moved as the Cresson surface mine has pushed into that location now.  We also note the old Blacksmith Shop building is missing (unknown status) and can barley make out where the old dept once stood now.  What was once left of Anaconda’s ghost town is nearly gone now and what remains will be gone soon…

Anaconda, CO

Rotating clockwise, the cribbing  of the Mary MacKinney Mine is back in view of the camera again.

Anaconda, CO

Rotating clockwise again, you can truly see between all these three photos the impact the Cresson surface mine is having now.  It won’t be long and this entire area will be transformed.

Anaconda, CO

Zooming in, I will also capture a closer view of the Chicken Hawk Mine at 38.726301° N / 105.163991° W.  I wonder how much longer it will remain.

Chicken Hawk Mine

Here is a couple of Goggle Earth Images from 2001 and 2012 of the Cresson surface mine to show growth over ~10 years of mining operations.  Anaconda, CO stood basically where you see the hairpin curve in the highway in the middle of these images

Cresson Mine - 2001

Cresson Mine - 2012

 
 

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2013 – Summer Vacation – Part 2C

Before we leave Victor, I will also catch a photo of the Midland Terminal train station from a different angle

Midland Terminal - Victor, CO

We leave town and then make a stop at The Little Grouse Mountain Mining Exhibit ( 38.710412° -105.162187°) that is a roadside museum of various mining equipment

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From that same location you can also see the Arequa Gulch Bridge – Highest Bridge on Colorado State Highway System (38.714215° / -105.165698°); 1,218 ft Long / 250+ feet high.

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Time to head on down the road for our next stop…

 

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2013 – Summer Vacation – Part 2B

Battle Mountain – Victor, Colorado

The next part of Day #2 we head back to Victor, CO to explore more of Battle Mountain

Winfield Scott Stratton

Independence Mine and Mill Site
Independence Mine and Mill Site

Independence MineIndependence Ore Car

Independence Mill FoundationsIndependence Mill

The Mines of Battle Mountain

The Famous Portland Mines and the Ajax Mine

Portland and Ajax Mine

Portland I Mine

Portland Mine

Ajax Mine

Ajax Mine

Strong Mine

Strong Mine

Cresson Headframe

Cresson Headframe

 

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2012 – Fall Vacation – Part 9

On this day we will travel for home but will make a few stops along the way.  Our first stop being at Dotsero Volcano.  From Wikipedia, Dotsero is a 700-meter (2,300 ft) wide by 400-meter (1,300 ft) deep maar volcano located in Dotsero, Colorado near the junction of the Colorado River and the Eagle River. It is classified as a scoria cone with evaporitic rock, basaltic tephra, and oxidized sandstone. Erupting approximately 4200 years ago, it is the youngest volcano in Colorado.

Once we reach Eagle, CO we will stop at the Rest Stop to get photos of D&RGW Caboose #01461.

Eagle, CO

We don’t have plans for any major hikes today but will take a short detour off of I-70 to go up to Shrine Pass to look at the area for a future hike.  We noted the “Caution” sign we spotted as we drove up to the pass being something unexpected

With that, we drive the rest of the way home completing our 1,704 mile romp through Colorado over nine days.

 

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2012 – Fall Vacation – Part 3

On our third day we plan a small morning hike in the Curecanti National Recreation Area at Neversink.  The trail was a bit in rough shape from erosion and fallen trees but it was still a nice level hike to get the day started.

National Recreation Area

Our next stop was at Wilson’s Landing in Curecanti the National Recreation Area.  You can kind of tell the water levels are low from the color of the rock that would normally be underwater.  The high water line you can see the clearest on the rock on the left side of the photo.  The gray color on the bottom half show where the water levels normally get too and you can see that gray color as you scan across the photo to the right.

National Recreation Area

To really see how low the water levels are is when we stopped at the Dry Creek boat ramp.  As you can see on our GPS we should be in the water.  The next photo shows our 4×4 at the bottom of the boat ramp sitting in the sand.  We have walked down from there to reach the current water levels.  Looking over the water you can see the rocks and the line where the water levels are at normally.  If you had been watching the news about all the Fires we had out this way because of drought conditions this should give you an idea how little water has falled in recent years

National Recreation Area

From there we planned another hike at the Dillon Pinnacles here in the Curecanti National Recreation Area.  I took a photo of the sign that explains how this geological formation occurred.  The best photos (to me) are from a distance as once you get closer you can see allot of details but cant see the entire structure.

We will stop for lunch at a picnic area in this same area.  Somewhere now underwater is a town know as Iola, CO that once was a stop for the railroad.  When the dam was built that town, railroad and bridges all went to their watery end.  I had hoped with the low water levels maybe something would be visible but no luck.  The weather was also turning on us.

It was the Denver & Rio Grande Western (Lake Fork Spur) that was once here so our next section of this days trip was to travel down the old Right-of-Way from the higher ground into the canyon that is now flooded by the dam.  Along the route there are various places to stop as well as information signs.  Ruins of the old Railroad Camps use to build the railroad here can still be found.  I will also take video while we drove the drivable sections to capture the route.

Also in this are where various small mines.  We spotted one that was gated took a photo through the gate

We will reach a dead-end soon afterwards and hike the old D&RGW route…

With the low water levels we hiked allot farther then planned because some of the old ROW is currently above water so we could go father then the map said we could.  As we got deeper in, dead tree logs that once were floating on the water are now scattered which made the hike more and more difficult.  We never did get to a point where the water once again covered to old roadbed of the railroad before we decided to turn back.  When hiking these old railroad location don’t forget to look up as often you will spot the old telegraph poles.

When we stopped by the Visitor Center earlier in the day a Ranger suggested scenic drive that is not commonly taken via Highway 149to see Aspen Colors and wonderful Mountain vistas.  He did us good as the drive was wonderful.  These photos I took near 38 10.847N / 107 17.396W based on the GPS we had with us.

Our travel took u also over what was called Soldier Summit (38 10.553 / 107 20.897W)

We would also find the Darrel Duncan Memorial Forest (38 15.290N / 107 22.002W) along this ranger suggested route.

Well, time to call it a day and head back for the hotel but will see more Aspen Color on our way back too…

 

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2012 – Fall Vacation – Part 2

For our second day of our Fall Vacation we will head back to Marshall Pass, this time in the opposite direction from the past trip.  Again, the Aspen Foliage is in it’s full Golden Colors as we make our way through the mountain valleys.

If you recall from my August 18th post (2012 – August Weekend Outing – Part 2) we video recorded Marshall Pass starting from Sargents, CO to US-285, and this trip we will go the other-way to capture the route heading towards Sargents, CO.  Reminder, this is D&RGW Right-of-Way ofn the days of Steam Engines and Narrow Gauge trains that we are recording.

As we travel back towards Gunnison, CO where we are staying again for this section of our journeys we pass by a property that had D&RGW MOW Car #04408 to find they have added another addition; D&RGW #5900.

Our next destination is to travel over Ohio Pass and as we start our journey we can see in the distance along with more great fall colors.

As we close in on our primary Denver, South Park, and Pacific Railroad location on Ohio Pass I will stop for another Mountain / Aspen Color shot.

The DSP&P Railway started to build Grade and Track from Gunnison, CO (which they reached in 1882) over Ohio Pass with plans to reach the Pacific Ocean.  Construction here ended in 1883 with the grade making over the top of Ohio Pass but track laying never reach there.  In building out the grade, the DSP&P had to build “The Great Rock Wall” which still stands today in it partially built along with some Rock Culverts.  The hike was a bit to rocky for us to take all the way for this trip but maybe I will get back here another day to photograph more of this section.

End of the Line

The Great Rock WallGrade - End of the Line

Grade - End of the LineGrade - Big Balloon Loop

While I walked a section of the Big Balloon Loop over the rocky grade, Lisa stayed back and took some great closeup Aspen shots as well as shots of Castle Mountain from this location.

Ohio PassOhio Pass

We will drive over Kebler Pass before heading to Lake Irwin to have lunch along the shoreline.

Our final stop on this day will be at the Jokerville Mine Memorial in Crested Butte, CO.  On January 24, 1884 a serious mine explosion killed several miners   Some of those killed are buried at this location as well.

Crested ButteCrested Butte

Lisa will also get some great shots of Crested Butte and the Aspens colors here too…

See, this is why Lisa doesn’t mind doing these historic railroad trips as we do travel through some wonderful areas with lots of geology and vista and being Fall, we also get great Leaf Peeper shots of the Aspens

 
 

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2012 – July 4th Outing

For the July 4th holiday Lisa and I decide to skip the traditional activities and head up high into the mountains and when I say high I’m talking over 12,000 feet for a portion of the trip and above 11,000 for other portions.

But, before we get deep into the mountains, we stop back at Bailey, CO to the park and get photos of what I thought was an old RR Wait Station on June 2nd.  After taking a few photos and doing some research since we got back, sure enough it is.  The below structure is actually what is left of the Glenisle, CO and Grousemont, CO RR Wait Stations that were identical in construction.  Both were in such bad shape that to save them they took what was restore-able from both to make a single structure as it looked at both Glenisle and Grousemont.

From there we stop at the top of Kenosha Pass (9,997ft) for a quick break to stretch the legs.  I took a quick shot of the reconstructed Wye that sits at the top of the pass since it was easy to see from the highway given the light.

Our primary travel goal of the day is to take three (3) Auto Tours around Alma, CO (Highest Incorporated Municipality in the US at 10,578ft) but nearly all the Tour Auto Signage was getting replaced so it made it tough to know when we reach each place along the tour guide.  We started off on the Placer Valley Auto Tour – (Fairplay to Alma) but didn’t find much to take photos of.

We then cut over to the Buckskin Gulch Historic Auto Tour and our first major stop on that route was the old town cemetery that is still used today by Alma.  There are many different headstones from days of old and the guide pointed out one related to Thomas Faley that we were able to track down.  There were also many military graves here that someone took the time to place a US Flag next to for the holiday (Thank You!) one that was even listed as a Civil War veteran.  Here is a photo of Thomas Faley headstone as well as Daniel M Clack of the 2nd Colorado Calvary.

From here we head up higher and find the Hungry Five Mine clinging to the side of the mountain.  Don’t be fouled by the telephoto angle, it’s a long way down to the valley floor!!!

We next spot the Paris Mine which too is hanging off the steep side of the same ridge.  Here you can better tell that just below the mine is a vertical rock face that drops and drops and drops some more

On our side of the mountain valley is the Paris Mill that Ore was carried down to via cables.  You can tell this historic building is being somewhat taken care of for younger generations to see some day…

We will now reach a turn-off to head up towards Windy Ridge but before we get up there we will find what little is left of the Mineral Park Mine.  You can start to tell from this photo that we are nearly at tree line…

We will reach the Bristlecone Pine Scenic Area that was been nearly untouched by logging or mining so these trees here are very old and you can tell what this is called Windy Ridge from their shape.  At this point we are also at 11,719ft when we start hiking.  From here you can also see Alma far below us…

We turn back down from here to the turn off to head back up towards Kite Lake.  At this point we are just below three mountain peak that are above 14,000ft that many hikes come here to hike up.  If you are going to take those hikes start really early as you do NOT want to be this high when the afternoon lightning storms hit and have no cover so you become the Lightning Rode.  Many a hikers die from lightning at these altitudes.

On the way back down we stop to take a photo of one of the local that call this place home.  Nice of him to pose for a few shots.  Don’t be fouled by his cute looks, this is one tough / mean critter that rules at this altitude.

From here we will head all the way back down to Fairplay, CO (9,953ft) to have lunch at the Brown Burro which is one of our favorite places to eat in this area.

After a wonderful meal we head out for the third Auto Tour; the Horseshoe / Fourmile Historic Auto Tour.  As we turn onto County Road 18 from US285 we are now on the old Denver, South Park and Hilltop Railway grade that serviced the mines / mills of what was Leavick, CO.  This railroad hauled the our down to the Denver, South Park, and Pacific that would later become part of the Colorado and Southern Railroad.  I believe the DSP&H was a bit over 11 miles in length as it headed up the gulch to the old mining town of Leavick.

On the way up, we will pass the old Mudsill Mill that is in need of some TLC or will be lost to time soon.  Yes, that is a For Sale sign and there is a fair amount of acreage that comes with the sale…

We will go as far as motorized travel is allowed which is still well below the mine that you can hike up too.  We are at 12,061 ft when we park and get out.  It’s starting to Rain and clouds are moving in so it’s time to get down of these high mountain trails.  Looking back down the road you can see part of the DSP&H roadway we just travel over to get up here.  Yes, there are no trees up at this level so we are the lightning rods right now so down we go.

Part way down now below timber line we pull in to the Limber Grove Trail.  Part of the trail crosses over the gulch and I notice the heavy timbers are being supported from below are railroad ties, have I found some small part of the DSP&H still here?

Time to head back towards Alma to track down and photograph the old Alma Junction depot.  The first time we looked for it we missed it (in plain sight) and after re-reviewing some old photos we realized the back of the depot was to the road and thus mistook it earlier for one of the cabins. (GPS  39°16’11.52″N / 106° 3’10.18″W).  This depot too needs some serious restoration $$$ to save it.

We have one more stop to make of this chapter, we head for Breckenridge, CO.  You might recall that Colorado and Southern Steam Engine #9 was restored to operations, placed into service on the Georgetown Loop and quickly was broken from over usage.  Well, it’s new home is in Breckenridge where it is once again a static display.

It’s getting late and I do have to still work for a living so it’s time to head home.  We will stop in Idaho Springs for diner at one of our favorite places there (Buffalo Bar) and then head the rest of the way home.  Not a bad One-Day vacation and a way to celebrate July 4th by visiting various historical places and saying Thank You to a few war vets from conflicts of long ago at the Buckskin Gulch Cemetery…

Dinner Idaho Springs

 
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Posted by on 07/04/2012 in RRAdventures, Trip Reports

 

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