Cripple Creek, Colorado

High atop the Rocky Mountains on the Western side of America's Mountain, Cripple Creek lies in a vast bowl created by Earth, Wind & Fire!
This has been my home for 20 years. I raised my kids here, built a ranch, raised horses and cows and assorted farm animals and buried my husband in the shadow of this Magnificent Mountain.
So, saddle up yer pony and ride along with me as I share some of my experiences riding trails and photographing my world in this, the most beautiful of spaces!


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Colorado Mountain Property For Sale

Check it out! We are getting it surveyed, probably by around May 15, 2014 that should be done. You can go out and take a look. Its raw, heavily treed with killer Peak views. Power is not too far off but I don't know and since the seller is basically "yard sale-ing" this land, won't do that investigation, but plan on a great solar site since there is ample southern exposure. Deep woods living! Contact Carrie N Miller United Country Timberline Realty in Divide, Colorado 719-641-7074

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Apex Canvas


My friend, Keith Boyd, has started up a new business!  Canvas!  I Love Canvas!  Its tough, durable, and economic!  Being a start up business, I am always glad to help out.  So I told him I would write a Blog about his co and my new Bags!  I have had this set of Canvas Saddle Bags since the beginning of can see them here in several of my blogs tied to the back of my saddle!
Here they are on Luke when I rode at Horse Ranch Park over above Crested Butte in 2008. 
You can barely see them here on Rex over at the Soap Creek area West of Gunnison in '09.  

But their beginning started a long time ago, I would say probably 30 years, before I got married and had kids even.  I mean, these saddle bags have been with me for YEARS and you know, kind of felt like an old friend.  The are HUGE, and before digital pictures, well, before I quit the drinkin' and ridin' thing, I could carry a SUITCASE of beer plus ice in them.  And did!  Plenty of that!  Ha ha ha!  Got so that at the end of a trail I sounded like a garbage truck comin down the trail....all those empties! 

I remember when I first moved to Cripple Creek back in 1990 I had those saddle bags on top of old Smokey, my good QH gelding.  Oh he was pretty!  Dappled Grey, walked out like none other and go anywhere.  We traveled many a mile with those bags tied on back, full of Coors or Keystone Light!  Those saddle bags held it all.  Anyway, I rode old Smokey from Victor to Cripple Creek in front of the Donkey Derby racers when they used to start in Victor and have to ride those onery critters from Victor to Cripple Creek.  (Before Political Correctedness got out of hand and a critter was used for what they was built fer...) Anyway, that was fun. 

Eventually, as with all things, those bags just plumb wore out.  I took 'em down to the boot shop and they fixed em up; reinforced the grommets which pulled out and added some extra strength here and there...but it became obvious to me that I was gonna have to replace the old bags.  Just wishd I had pics of them before they went.  My SVEN saw has sharp edges, and try as I might to protect the bags, they wore a hole in the bottom.  Course, everyone knows my propensity for Duck Tape....that worked pretty good....but...then, the grommets pulled out again and well the canvas was just plain rotten anymore.  The bags hadda go.
I looked and tested and checked and felt up just about every bag I came across at every feed store, horse outlet and saddle shop I could get into......none were quite like my old bags. Bummer!
Then, lo and behold, my friend Keith, whom I became friends with by sellin him a cabin, (THAT was an adventure and a 'whole nother blog ) who has also been a canvas guy forEVER 'except he got sidetracked into being a Casino Floor guy when he moved here, got back into the business!  YAY sez I!  Keith....can you build me a set of saddle bags?  And he did!  And here they are!  So, to make this long story short, follow along as I use these saddle bags for what they are meant to be used for.....'cept I don't pack beer anymore, just groceries and saws and apples and gloves and such.  I'll put 'em through the test, for sure, maybe even today, on Skipper as I pony her next to Barbie. 

Ain't they nice n clean?  LOL That won't last long!  So, call Keith Boyd over at Apex Canvas, 719-473-APEX and visit the Website here:
and have him build your canvas thing!  Teepees, car covers, bags, and more he's got a whole list of stuff they do from Trampolines to tents and more!  Tell 'em Carrie told ya to call! 
Come back and visit here once in awhile, I'll post pics of how these NEW Bags are doin' on the back of a pony, too!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cripple Creek District Museum Happenings! Summer 2011~

This is one busy Museum!  Great Stuff!
Cripple Creek District Museum

Summer Events 2011

On-Going ~ Special Exhibit: 80 Years of Donkey Derby Days History. Come see our historic display of trophies, ribbons, donkey figurines, photographs and other memorabilia from Cripple Creek's most famous annual event.

Each Sunday, 2 p.m.~Historic Walking Tours. Beginning May 29, join Museum docents and volunteers for a tour of our historic downtown. Tour is $2.00, or free with Museum admission. (Sorry, no tours during Donkey Derby Days, Gold Rush Days or Salute to American Veterans.)

Monday, May 30 ~ Free Admission to All Veterans in honor of Memorial Day.

Saturday, June 4, 4 p.m. ~ Herbal Remedies with Athena Wolfe. Enjoy a talk on medicines of the past. How did doctors of the 19th century treat illnessses? What were the home remedies and herbs used? What plants are still in use today? You'll find this out and more from Athena Wolf, a practicing curandera. $10 per person. Reservations requested. Contact or

Wednesday, June 8, 9 a.m. - noon ~ Knife Making Classes each Wednesday thru Sunday with David M.H. Smith. $50 per person includes instruction & materials. Reservations and pre-payment required. Contact

Sunday, June 19 ~ Free Admission to all dads in honor of Father's Day!

Monday, June 20 ~ Premier of Cripple Creek District, a pictorial history written by the Museum Staff and Board of Directors. Includes many never-before-seen historic photographs!

Friday - Sunday, June 24, 25 & 26 ~ Donkey Derby Days

Saturday, July 2, 6 p.m. ~ Evening at the Museum presents Doris McCraw as Katherine Lee Bates, the woman who wrote America the Beautiful. $5.00, pay at the door.

Jan Collins


Cripple Creek District Museum

P.O. Box 1210 ~ 500 East Bennett Avenue

Cripple Creek, Colorado 80813

719-689-2634 ~ 719-689-9540

Friday, May 27, 2011

Kid Stuff in Cripple Creek!

One of the MOST common complaints I hear constantly about Cripple Creek is "There is nothing for kids to do in Cripple Creek".  This blog will attempt to help families decide if that is true or not!
So, by the banner above, you can tell that the City Parks N Rec dept has a Skateboard Competition coming June 4th 2011!  Call Them and get yer kids signed up and Boarders, Start Yer Engines! 719-689-3514
AND you can see the 2011 Active Calendar HERE:
For every kid, there is something to do. 
Skating, Rollerblading, Cub Scouts, Aikido, Zumba Dance (for kids? WHY NOT? lol)
I grew up in the country side, with NOTHIN' available to entertain ME!  I have a very hard time understanding why folks complain about NOTHING TO DO IN CRIPPLE CREEK.  What more could one want? 
You can walk down the streets safely, go to the parks, get ANYWHERE via the City Shuttle service, hit a swingset, people watch, pet donkeys........and that is just in town!
So, keep an eye here!  I will be digging round to find out what kids can do here in the Creek, besides the mineralogy, (rock collecting) plant collecting birdwatching donkey identifying or how about helping some old folks sweep their sidewalks or weed their garden? 
If YOU happen to have a kid friendly event, feel free to post your ideas and comments!  I would love to hear what you have to say about
NOTHIN for Kids to DO in Cripple Creek!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

District Museum Honored in True West Magazine‏

Reposted with permission from CCV District Museum 4/6/2010

***For immediate release
Contact: Features Editor Mark Boardman, True West Magazine, 765-491-4063 /
Director Jan Collins, Cripple Creek District Museum, 719-689-2634/
Cripple Creek District Museum Makes Top Ten in True West Magazine
The Cripple Creek District Museum is pleased to announce the honor of making True West magazine’s Top 10 Western Museums of 2010!
The Museum rated #9 on the list, right after Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City, Kansas. In Colorado, the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave in Golden was rated #3, and New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe took top honors. “We are so incredibly pleased to have been chosen for the list.” said Director Jan Collins. “This is a pretty big deal for our little museum.”
True West writer Johnny D. Boggs cited the Museum’s acquisition of two historic cabins as a part of his selection process. The cabins were relocated to the Museum grounds last fall. Both have been furnished to reflect when they were occupied by a typical boomtown miner and retired prostitute French Blanche LeCoq, respectively. “Cripple Creek is a legendary Old West mining town,” True West Executive Editor Bob Boze Bell said in a recent press release from the magazine, “and the Cripple Creek District Museum does an outstanding job of telling its story and preserving its history.”
All of the winners of this year’s Top 10 Museums List will be featured in True West’s May 2010 issue, on newsstands April 20. The Museum also has an advertisement in the magazine’s official Road Trip issue for April, which is currently on sale. “I’d like to thank True West and its editors for bestowing this honor and recognition upon us,” said Collins.
The Museum is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Beginning Saturday May 15, the Museum will open for the summer from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. In honor of Historic Preservation month, admission to the Museum that day will be free. For more information on group rates or special tours, call 719-689-2634 or email
For more information or to subscribe to True West magazine, visit or call 888-687-1881.

For more info contact Carrie!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Museum Receives Skull; Cabins Ready for Viewing‏


*** For immediate release
March 14, 2010
Contact: Jan Collins
Museum Receives Skull; Cabins Ready for Viewing
On Christmas night of 1901, miner James Roberts stopped off for a drink at the Dawson Club on bawdy Myers Avenue in Cripple Creek. A few hours later, after his friends departed, Roberts exchanged some heated words with bar owner William Brooks. As Roberts turned to leave, Brooks came up behind him and gave the hapless man a good whack on the side of his head with a Colt .45 revolver. Roberts fell, hitting his head once on the heating stove and again when he hit the floor.
For the next hour, Brooks and his friends jeered at the injured Roberts. The man was urged to the bar for a drink as he lay dying, then was dragged to the back of the bar room as patrons continued drinking. Eventually someone thought to call a doctor, but it was too late. Roberts was dead by the time authorities arrived. Brooks and several witnesses were arrested.
Enter J. Maurice Finn, the illustrious lawyer who defended such notable characters as outlaw Bob Curry of the notorious Wild Bunch and worked for some of Cripple Creek’s millionaires. Finn decided the best defense was to prove Roberts had an abnormally thin skull and thus his client did not intend to kill Roberts by hitting him with a gun butt. Under dark of night, Finn convinced the coroner to saw the top of Roberts’ skull off so he could use it in his defense. The ploy worked. Brooks was acquitted, nearly mobbed by those who liked Roberts, and got out of town on the next train.
For over a century, the partial skull of James Roberts has sat in the Teller County Courthouse. It received brief notoriety in the 1970’s but was virtually forgotten until court reporter Lisa Sadler-Wheatcraft rediscovered it early this year. Research revealed Roberts was buried in Cripple Creek’s Mt. Pisgah Cemetery, but the location of his grave is unknown. Sadler-Wheatcraft worked with former attorney P.J. Anderson to relinquish ownership of the skull to the Cripple Creek District Museum for safe keeping. Roberts’ skull is now on display, with the Museum planning to bury it with its owner—if Roberts’ grave is ever found.
In other Museum news, the two cabins acquired last September are at last furnished and ready for viewing by the public. Donated by the City of Cripple Creek, the cabins were initially saved from demolition by City Engineer Jeff Miller. One is the former home of prostitute French Blanche LeCoq from the District town of Midway; the other is a typical miner’s log cabin from West Masonic Avenue in Cripple Creek. Each structure has been decorated to look as it would have when occupied, and a special ceremony on May 1 will include dedication of a plaque for Mr. Miller. The Museum would like to thank Mayor and First Lady Dan and Janida Baader, City Councilmen Gary Ledford, Milford Ashworth and Steve Zoellner, Karen Zoellner, Yvetta Ashworth, Carrie Miller, Jesse Bielz and his crew, Christina Whitmore of the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, city employee Steve DiCamillo and his crew, Jeff and Missie Trenary, District Supply, The Lock Shop of Woodland Park, and everyone else involved in making this project happen.
Jan Collins
Cripple Creek District Museum
P.O. Box1210 ~ 500 East Bennett Avenue
Cripple Creek, Colorado 80813
719-689-2634 ~ 719-689-9540

Research Requests: Research is conducted by our limited staff and volunteers. The Museum respectfully requests a minimum $10 donation when requesting research. PayPal is available on the Museum website, or checks can be sent to the above address. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

The Cripple Creek District Museum is a private, not-for-profit foundation. Donations to the foundation are tax-deductible. Ask about our Friends of the Museum membership!