In order to not overwhelm one post with images, there will be three (or four) posts about Gold in Them Thar Hills.
Friday June 4 was the tour day of the conferences, of which I chose to attend “Gold in Them Thar Hills.” (Okay, the title got me hooked and it’s fun to say.) The tour bus departed Colorado Springs at 7:30am and headed up Highway 24 and Highway 67 to Cripple Creek, CO. The scenery on the way was spectacular: mountainous, green, vibrant brown rock, shrubs, and Pike’s Peak in site for much of the time. Oh, and we saw the world’s highest ferris wheel (highest as in elevation, not tallest).
Our first stop was the Mollie Kathleen Mine in Cripple Creek, which is a family owned active gold mine in the winter months with tours open to the public in the warmer months. The surface of the mine overlooks the town of Cripple Creek. At the mine visitors travel 1000′ (10 stories!) below the surface. Hard hats and closed-toe shoes are mandatory and warm jackets are recommended. To enter the mine, you have to squeeze into the mine shaft cage. The descent takes about two minutes during which time you cannot see your hand in front of your face. A guide takes about 8-9 people on each one hour tour, where the guide tells and shows the history of mining at different exhibits, demonstrating the tools and techniques used. It is such an interesting tour! On the surface there are cars, machines, mining cars and other vehicles to explore (not to mention an awesome giant hat). The views are also incredible.
Side note: This is post #500 on Preservation in Pink!