On our recent vacation near Divide, CO we took a day trip to the nearby mining towns of Cripple Creek and Victor. In the late 1800's, this area experienced a mining boom and towns were lined with gold. It's interesting to see a piece of history, still surviving but somehow a shell of its former self. Look at the view above of Cripple Creek below and the 13,000ers in the background.
Everywhere you turn there are old relicts of the mining days. A shaft here, a old piece of machinery there. I know that mining was definitely destructive but it was so much prettier back in the day. Compare the above mine shaft to the present day mining operation seen between Cripple Creek and Victor, photographed below.
One photo paints a photo of what life must have been like, with opportunities but also hard labor. The current mining operation just seems so stark and sad. The hillsides devoid of all vegetation and lined with roads and plows. I just couldn't find any beauty there and was glad when we left the road to come into the cute town of Victor.
Cripple Creek is now a gambling town lined with casinos. In contrast Victor is a small mountain town with a few open shops and interesting artifacts of better times. We went into a broom shop where we watched them hand-make brooms with a 100 year old machine. It was a work of love and craft. The lady behind the counter had been making brooms for 30 years and it shows in the work. The Victor Trading Co. is a must stop if you're in the area and have a love for letterpress, cookie cutters, or homemade brooms.
We perhaps never would have visited this area if my mom hadn't been in town. Thanks to her we could be tourists in our own backyard. It just reminds me that I need to keep exploring and enjoying the Colorado mountain life.