Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Going up to Cripple Creek

Lake Pueblo State Park, Colorado

After seeing the works of M. T. Liggett in Kansas, we drive west all day and spend a night in Lamar, Colorado. We finally find some propane there. Lamar has the world's oldest building. It's a gas station constructed of 175 million year old petrified wood.

The next day we drive west again on US 50 to the Lake Pueblo State Park just outside Pueblo, Colorado. West Pueblo has seven cannabis shops, which Mrs. Phred directs me to bypass.

 In the morning I take a seven mile stroll along a paved park trail starting at 5:40 AM Mountain time. I see a mule deer, some rabbits and lots of desert wildflowers. It's harder than walking in Sarasota because of the constant elevation changes and high altitude.

The park has a marina, a big dam, a swimming area and a very fast-flowing river exiting the dam.

 The Arkansas river flows though Lake Pueblo and traverses the states of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas before dumping into the Mississippi 1497 miles from its headwaters in the Rocky Mountains.

 We decide to drive up to Cripple Creek, which was once a big gold mining area.

 Up on Cripple Creek she sends me
If I spring a leak she mends me
I don't have to speak, she defends me
A drunkard's dream if I ever did see one
-The Band

The route we take includes 27 miles of unpaved, one-lane road that drops off into steep canyons. The sign says four wheel drive and high clearance vehicles recommended. We decide that the people who make these signs are afraid of lawsuits from idiots.... It's an exciting drive and we are fortunate not to meet any traffic from the other direction or lose focus and drive into the abyss.

Cripple Creek is up about 10,000 feet. It's full of old casinos. We manage to find one with a grill and have lunch. Cripple Creek and the surrounding area was once a boom gold mining area.

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