Saturday, September 8, 2012

Last Days at Creede/Underground Mining Museum

Aspens Turning Gold Among the Pines
Hi all, Dianne here.  This will be our last blog from Creede.  We've since headed south into New Mexico, starting our month-long trek back to our South Texas home.

Mineral County, Colorado is dotted with abandoned silver mines.  Roger and I decided to visit the Underground Mining Museum, a series of rooms and tunnels blasted into the cliff face of Willow Creek Canyon.   It sits next door to the above rather unique fire station garage!

This explains the town's history better than I could
We took a self-guided CD tour of the mining museum.  Since neither one of us knew ANYTHING about mining, we both found it very informative and interesting.  I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to.  I won't bore you with all the exhibits, but here are photos of a few that I found especially interesting, with captions:

Ever wonder where they went to the bathroom down in the mine?

The audio tour explained that the "honey wagon" was kept near the lunch table; the workers didn't linger after lunch!

Could this possibly be safe??
Some of the mannequins were humorous, like this guy with a cigarette hanging from his mouth as he made up the dynamite charges!

You've heard us tell about Johnny Depp's new movie, "The Lone Ranger" which was filmed both here in Creede, Colorado and also in Moab, Utah, where we saw the old steam engines and props in early July, as well as the cast and crew base camp.  The hand car above was a prop from the movie scenes filmed here in Creede that was donated to the mining museum.  In the movie, one of the action shots has the stars speeding from a (Disney-built) tunnel on this hand cart just before the tunnel explodes.  We can't wait to see the movie next summer, to see all of the sites and props that we've seen this summer.

As we exited the museum, we stopped to look at the extensive displays of minerals, and to chat with the retired hard-rock miner who volunteers at the museum. 

 He assured Roger that the crystal he found when walking through the rock field on our morning hikes was indeed an amethyst.  He explained that heavy rains wash them down from the abandoned mines up in the hills.

After we left the museum, we drove a short way up the Bachelor Loop, a gravel road that leads to several abandoned mines up in the hills.  The road was steep and rocky, and we decided to rent a jeep next summer and take the entire loop.  Even the short drive that we took afforded beautiful scenery:

Our stomachs were growling by then, so we stopped back in town and had lunch at Kip's Grill. We had the best sandwich I've had in a long, long time:  

A grilled portobello mushroom with melted provolone cheese, sliced sweet onions, sliced fresh jalapenos,  avocado, lettuce, and topped with pico de gallo.  It was served with jalapeno potato chips.   I wrote down the ingredients and tried to duplicate the sandwich at home, and it was delicious!!

After lunch we shopped a bit in Creede (more olive oil, fudge, and a beautiful artisan bowl for my birthday).  Then before heading home, we drove a short way toward South Fork on the Silver Thread Scenic Byway.  We had come that way in the motor home when we arrived in Creede, but couldn't pull over to take any photos.  I think these were worth the return drive:

We'll Miss Colorado Scenery!
More Changing Aspens -- Orange This Time
Rio Grande River -- Soon we'll be at its southern terminus near Mexico!
That afternoon as we sat in the RV, I looked out the window and saw this cloud.  I've never seen colored clouds before, other than at sunset.  What made it even more unusual, this was the only cloud like this in a sky filled with white, puffy clouds.  I'd love to hear the scientific explanation for it.

The day before I had seen another colored cloud, in about the same spot in the sky.

The pet photo of the day shows all three of our furry kids, as Charlie the Cat takes on Tequila, with Bandido ready to assist.

1 comment:

klbexplores said...

Happy birthday! Hope you had a great one... I'll miss your hikes and pics of Colorado too! You have shown me a great deal that I too want to see on my travels. Safe Travels!