It’s the peak of Aspen watching season and many people are taking a drive to Cripple Creek to see the changing colors along the way.
Yesterday, five of us piled into my brothers’ car and drove to Cripple Creek. It’s about a 40 mile drive but the scenery is so pretty and changes constantly the entire drive. This is my mom and sister-in-law.
Cripple Creek is at an elevation of 9494 feet (2894 meters) and is just below tree line. When gold was discovered here in 1890 the population went from 500 to 10,000 by 1893. The underground mines are exhausted but open pit mining has operated since 1994 east of town. It won’t be long and the mountains in the background will be all white, making them look bigger.
Prior to legalized gambling that began in October 1991, many of the historic buildings were vacant and had been vandalized. Now casino’s occupy many of the old buildings and the town is once again a busy place. We had a nice lunch (my mother always has a supply of free coupons) and did a little gambling. I came home to the good and Steve was even because he doesn’t gamble.
My brother asked me how Cripple Creek got it’s name. I don’t know if it’s true but an old story says that when miners panned for gold they left holes in the creek. Cattle would accidentally step into the holes and break their legs.
One of these days I want to see the inside of the catholic church. I used to have a house in Woodland Park, half way between Cripple Creek and Colorado Springs, that an old family friend from Cripple Creek remodeled for me. He took out my dark paneling and installed it in the vestibule of the church above.