Friday, July 31, 2009

Canyonlands national park

Canyonlands National Park is at the heart of the Colorado Plateau. It was carved by the Green and Colorado Rivers. Surrounding the rivers are three very differnt regions, Island in the sky (north), the Maze (west), and the Needles (east). Gary and I toured Island in the Sky. It was a rainy afternoon so wasn't able to get very many pictures of part of the park. Gary and enjoyed our tour and plan on going again. We would like to see the Needles section. We stayed at Archview Campground in Moab, Utah.

This formataion is known as the Monitor and Merrimac named after two civil war ships.

A home in the rocks

Gary and I took the tour of a 14 room home made in the rocks. Very interesting tour. Cost $5 for adults. No pictures allowed. If you are traveling down the road and see this, it is worth stopping for the tour.

This started out as a restaurant but ended up being the home of a couple who blasted and made 14 rooms to live in.

Interesting work of art.

Bet this guy never has a flat.

Rock formation at nearby rest stop.
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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Silverton, Colorado

We really enjoyed our stay in Silverton. Quite a drive from Durango to Silverton. We went over 2 high passes. The scenery was just beautiful. Gary fished a couple of days and caught trout out of the stream. We toured the city, ate out a lot, took the gold mine tour, Mayflower mill tour, saw a gun fight, went to a ghost town, drove a jeep road, drove over to Ouray, and toured the museum.

This is the Animas River, which flows through Silverton.

Wyatt Earp dealt cards in this establishment when it was a saloon way back when.

This was the Imperial Grand Hotel. The bottom left is now a restaurant called Grumpy's. We had lunch there. They have a piano player there and we enjoyed the music and the food.

The Silverton-Durango railroad is right in front of our campground. We get to watch it arrive and leave.
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Friday, July 24, 2009

Mining Heritage Museum

Great museum. We enjoyed all of the displays. They are working on the jail section so we did not get to see all of the many displays they had there.

Coffin Skip. So called because there was no way of stopping if something went wrong.

Stope drill used to drill upwards.

They had a great display of how the miners hats evolved.

Wooden mining car
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Christ of the Mines Shrine

Perched on the side of the hill is the Christ of the Mines Shrine. Gary and I took a drive up the hill for a closer look.

Info about the shrine.

View of Silverton from the Shrine.
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Mayflower Gold Mill Tour

After the Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour, Gary and I toured the Mayflower Gold mill Tour. This is a self-guided tour so you can spend as little or as much time as you want. We began the tour by watching a 33 minute dvd which helped us to understand how the mill worked. We even got to push a button to make a couple of the machines work.

Mayflower Mill

This is the aerial tram house. Some of the ore to be processed was sent from the mine via the buckets you see. Some the miners rode to the mines in the buckets.

These balls were used in the ball mill. They started out like the large ones and ended up like the small ones. The balls helped to crush the ore.

This mine used the floation system to seperate the different ores. These are the vats where that process took place.
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Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour

Gary and I always like the tours that we can find in the places we visit. We took the Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour. We went 1/3 mile underground. Our miner-guide walked us through original tunnels where we saw the vein and learned how mining was done. Our miner-guide also demonstrated the way mining was done. He used the authentic San Juan mining equipment such as the hand steels, drifter and jack-leg drills. He also got on the air-powered mucking machine and showed how they worked. Our guide was really great. After the tour, you can pan for gold. If you're in Silverton, be sure to tour the mine. Be sure to wear a light jacket or sweat-shirt. It is cold in the mine.

Gary is putting on the hard hat and slicker getting ready for the tour.

We rode the miner's mantrip train.

The beginning of our journey. Lots of water dripping from the ceiling but our gear kept us dry.

This is the Old Hundred Boarding House. The miners lived here year-round. They never had to go outside to get to work. The house is clinging to the cliffs 2000 feet above the mine. It was built in 1904.
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Silverton, Co to Ouray, Co

We drove from Silverton to Ouray. Beautiful drive over a high pass with switch backs. Ouray is another mining town. Lots of buildings built in the 1800s. We had lunch and then visited the shops.

Looking across at the old Idarado mine.

Looking down into Ouray.

The old opera house.
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Silverton, Co to Animas Forks, Colorado

We drove jeep trail from Silverton to the Ghost town of Animas Forks. Beautiful scenery along the way. Well worth the trip.

Passed quite a few abandoned mines along the way.

Saw at least three marmouts during our journey.

Lots of waterfalls. Notice the cabin near the foot of the falls.

View from Animas Forks.
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Animas Forks, Colorado

Animas Forks, at 11,200' in elevation, was built in 1873. By 1883, the population was nearly 450 people. You can walk around and through some of the buildings. Interesting place to visit.

This is the Duncan house.

Jail house.

This two-room house was built in 1898. Later other rooms and a two-seat outhouse were added.
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Friday, July 17, 2009

Treasure Falls, Wolf Creek pass, Continental Divide

Treasure Falls is 105'. Water from this falls makes it to the Sea of Cortez. When this part of Colorado belonged to the Spanish, 300 Frenchmen secretly entered the territory searching for gold. Only 2 made it out and they talked about a treasure that was buried close to the falls. Is it still hidden somewhere? Were the 2 Frenchmen really telling the truth?

There is a trail that allows you to get closer to the falls. It is 1/4 mile and increases 200' in elevation. Great view.

To get to Creede, Co from Pagosa Springs, Co. you have to go over Wolf Creek Pass. 8 miles of over 8% grade. Beautiful views.

You cross the Continental Divide at the top of Wolf Creek Pass. This is a view of the east side of the Continental Divide.

This is the west side of the Continental Divide. The Continental Divide trail starts in Mexico and finishes in Montana, over 3000 miles.
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