Friday, April 23, 2010

Road Trip II: Cripple Creek, Colorado

I have some extra time, and I have a lot of cool photos from our epic 5-day roadtrip, so guess what? It's share time!

These are from Cripple Creek, a gold mining town in Colorado. We started out in Manitou Springs, drove around Pike's Peak and into downtown Cripple Creek. The website for Cripple Creek advertises "Gaming, Heritage, Shopping, Dining, Recreation, Events, Lodging, and Attractions." If you only have a few hours to spend there, however, Cripple Creek offers "Gaming, Gaming, Gaming, Gaming, Gaming, Gaming, aaaaand Gaming." For the most part, it's a beautiful, historical 3-block downtown area full of casinos. We hadn't banked on that, but we still had a nice time walking around, and poking our heads into a few shops.

 An old gold mine:

Shooting from the hip.:

We met a charming lady that bought an old casino and turned it into an antique shop, a tea parlor in which she held formal tea parties, and an art gallery. It was an enormous building, and it was, she said, her "weekend hobby"—she had a "real" job to tend to also. You think I have energy? This woman could run circles around me.

Many of our shots were taken out the window while we were zooming down the highway. This advertisement catches your eye more than a dumb old sign, doesn't it?

$5: Fudge or Quarter Slots? Hm. Either way I'd be out $5, and slot machines don't go straight to my hips.

And yes, I was out $5.

This sign was just on the edge of town when we left. Please be careful, the Visitor Information* lady told us; "there are bovine on the road."

Clint and I are masters of Car Games. We took to calling the cows Free-range Chicken Cows, and then to preceding every animal we saw with the words "Free-range Chicken." We saw free-range chicken deer, and free-range chicken llamas, and free-range chicken chickens.

*Sidenote on the Visitor Information Center. The caretaker lady explained that there was a charge to see the museum and lookout point at this particular stop. Needing only a map and a restroom, we opted out. Still, when Clint went to use the Gents', I noticed the sign behind her desk read "Free beyond this point." Oh! Free? Well, then I'll just go on in. The fee must be for whatever wonders were stored on the second story of the building, yes? I wandered around looking at pick-axes and taking scenic photos with abandon.

When Clint reappeared, we took off. Just as the door was closed behind us, I spotted the sign again, and noted that it read "FEE beyond this point." I stood paralyzed in the parking lot for a minute...and then I just got in the car. I can imagine that woman's take on us: "People are so rude; I told that woman she had to pay for a ticket, and she just went right on in."

Yeah, I did. And I felt so "Bonnie and Clyde" for it.

It's so fun how we never get bored.


  1. My wife's aunt taught school in Cripple Creek in the 50's-60's. When we planned our road trip thru the area, a few years ago, my wife insisted that Cripple Creek was going to be the best part because of her great memories.

    When we turned down the main street and saw that every storefront was a casino, she was so disappointed.

    And we never let her hear the end of it.

    Note to future road trippers: skip Cripple Creek!

  2. Deny everything. Tell them in broken English you couldn't read the sign. Tell them you are handicapped...

  3. Sometimes there's nothing funnier than a misread sign!

  4. Sounds like you had a great trip. I'm not a huge pancake fan, either, but I totally want to try those "vanilla cake batter" pancakes you had!
    I found you through "Little Blog on the Prairie"'s blog roll. I'm a 44 year old(somewhat) recent transplant to Champaign and it is so nice to find other bloggers here in town!


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