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!


Monday, January 28, 2008

A Tour of My Country

Here are several photos of my town, Cripple Creek. The mountain peak in the top left is Mt Pisgah, very distinctive and prominent. Our cell phones and internet distribution towers are on top of this peak, so a lot of us are dependent on line of sight with Mt Pisgah! The Jail Museum opened up this late fall, it has been restored and there are actual cells within its walls....we used to have Boy Scouts Haunted Houses in there back in the early 1990's, it was certainly a creepy cold box then but is definitley an interesting and worthwhile tour! There is a gift shop inside also!

Here are a couple of photos of the towns most distinguished residents, the Donkeys! They are notarious and world renown! These little guys (or, their ancestors) are symbols of stability and dependability in Cripple Creek...they helped develop the District and packed many a miner and his tools up to and into the mines which made Cripple Creek the Worlds Greatest Gold Camp! Every year we celebrate their brayiness with Donkey Derby Days the last full weekend in June. We have a great parade, kids activities and street vendors and Donkey Races and lots of other foolishness that goes with a towns summer festival! This year promises to be awesome with a new line up and a healthy injection of funds into supporting the event, starting off with a Chile Cookoff June 20 2008 then the Donkey Derby Days starting June 27 2008 then ending with a BIG finale of Fireworks on the 4th of July. We have awesome fireworks and great visibility!

I run into these guys to the right very often on my drive into town. This herd has been around for years and lives in a protected area known as Dome Rock State Wildlife Park. It is just over the hill from Teller County Road #1 that I use to get to town. They come down to the road as it is warm and lick the salts and nibble on the exposed grasses. They are very cool! Rocky Mountain Sheep!

To the left is a photo of the Train Depot. That train runs a short 45 minute guided tour up the mountain on narrow gauge and open cars, with a coal fired locomotive every spring and summer. We all know it is spring when the smell of coal drifts through the air and we hear the whistle blow! The middle photo is of our County Courthouse, built in the late 1890's and housing our valuable records, it is great to walk inside and check out. The building had some renovations last year to the interior. The courtrooms are authentic, the Assessors, Clerks, and Treasurers office are all authentic with some minor modifications for the computer age! This is right across the street from my office! Upper Right Hand corner is the District Museum. This building houses many archival pieces of interest for you History Buffs, all original to the District. Well worth the visit and the minor donation it takes to tour the place, you will see many photos, pieces of equipment, clothing and more original Cripple Creek pieces!

Finally I will end this short tour with a photo overlooking Cripple Creek, taken at sunset this month. The distant mountain range is the Sangre De Cristos, one of the many you can view as you drop into town off of Tenderfoot Hill. Thats the town below. Quaint and quiet? Ha ha ha NOT! Come and see for yourself!


Darla said...

Came across your blog yesterday while looking for some information on Cripple Creek - I love what you're writing and hope you do more! :-) I lived and worked in CC for about 7 months back in 1994; what an experience! Although I was a stranger to the gambling, I was no stranger to CC since my parents had been taking me on vacations there since I was a kid in the late 60's. Anyway, I moved to Maine in 1996 and haven't been back to CC since then but I mention it often to my husband - he's never been to the Rockies and I hope to get him there someday! LOL Anyway, hope you're having a GREAT sunshiny day in my favorite state!

tralrdr said...

Darla! Being new to this thing they call blogging I just came across your comment! Thank you for commenting! I promise I will be more diligent in checking for comments, and reply whenever I can. I have created a new blog on my listings, so go to Land, Cabins Ranches! and read about some of the fantaxtic real estate opportunities I have. Of course, you can find them all on my website also at
Thanks for reading, and thank you for your nice comment!

Averil said...

I also came across your blog while doing some research on Cripple Creek. I'm currently writing a romance novel set in 1891-92 in CC and would love some help on research from you and your riding friends.

I'm no stranger either to CC. Since the 60s we've been coming out there from Chicago once each decade -- first time in 67 when we stayed at the Golden Coin in Victor (we since learned it originally was a brothel), then in the 70s (lived in Victor in a rented house for three weeks), made a day-trip with another family in the 80s, and then came out in 2005 for a week to do research for this book.

My first questions is: From a mine not far from where the American Mine is now on Battle Mt., how long would it take a miner riding on a mule, trailing three packed burros, to get to Fremont (now Cripple Creek) over the original miner's trail? The hero is carrying a small wounded female, (posing as a young miner--don't ask me yet, that's the story line) across his lap. I've arbitrarlly given them a day and a half on the trail. I'm a city girl without much knowledge of horseflesh and travel times, and the newly configured road between CC and Victor threw me for a loop the last time we were there.

Question Two is easier. In 1892 would miners be using a whistle to signal an accident and get help from nearby mines? I can't get a handle on this one.

I would appreciate any kind of help you can give. And I love your blog. It's very nostalgic for us, and you offer vistas of places we've never seen.

Averil Reisman
writing as Averil Reese