Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Colorado Day 2

We woke up on our first full day in Colorado not really sure what to do. We have vacationed there so many times that we've done a lot of the touristy things. Plus there were things we wanted to do with Shawn's family when they got there. We finally decided to take the Mollie Kathleen Mine Tour in Cripple Creek. When I'd lived in the area Cripple Creek had been an adorable tourist town with shops and restaurants. Somewhere in the time that I was away it became a casino town. The stores and restaurants just aren't as nice anymore. We did luck out and find a good restaurant that happened to be showing the World Cup game so we were all happy:c) But as for shopping, we had to stick with Manitou Springs the next day.

Even though the casinos are taking over, the old time charm of the town is still there. I loved seeing all the old buildings with the date on them.1896. Wow. I love that most of them are still standing.

This one however, it doesn't look so good. I fell in love with it though. The brickwork is amazing. The empty windows just spoke to me. I couldn't get enough of it. I want to know what it was, who lived there, what they did for their daily routine.I also wanted to take pictures of the girls in one of the old doorways.The bricks. Oh the bricks. Aren't they beautiful.I found this little guy on the way back to the car.
After pulling myself away from the building and the bee we headed to the mine. These old drilling parts met us at the front door. I knew I was going to like it.After paying $60 for the five of us to go on this adventure we played around on the grounds until it was time for our tour.This is where the mining carts used to come up and get sorted. No telling how old it is. Once again, I fell in love.It wasn't just the floral arrangement at the entrance, they used old drilling parts and tools for just about everything. The fences were gorgeous.When our ticket color was called we put on our hard hats and got ready to travel 1,000 feet below the earth.How could I be nervous with the humor that they had?Then I saw the elevators. No wonder the tour sizes are small. The five of us and our guide were smashed into the bottom one. Somehow a family of 6 was pushed into the top one.I forgot all about the old buildings when we stepped out of the elevator and saw this. It was so cool and had such an earthy smell. I wanted to move my furniture in.Can I just say, mining hasn't changed much in 200 years. It is still drilling a hole, filling it with dynamite, and cleaning out the rock after the blast. It has gone from a man holding a bit and a man hitting it with a sledge hammer to a power drill and one man. But it's still incredibly dangerous. They work on scaffolding instead of ladders. But there are still explosions and rock moving.Just had to throw in a picture of my favorite little miners:c)This picture show some work that was done straight up. After each explosion they would move a little farther up. Looks perfectly safe, doesn't it?
Our guide, who still mines and guides on his days off, told us that one thing hasn't changed at all.Ewww...

After another incredibly close ride we were back up on ground level. Being a huge cave fan I was pleasantly surprised with how much I learned on the mine tour. We so highly recommended it that Shawn's oldest brother took his wife, son, and our nephew a few days later. My sister-in-law is also a cave lover, but she is now a convert.

As we walked out I had to take a picture of another 'floral' arrangement. I now want to search out old mining tools, make floral arrangements and fences, and move into a cave. You might need to send help.

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