"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Monday, July 4, 2016

Red, White & Blue in a Small Town

Leadville, CO
Boondocking - National Forest

Fourth of July is always better in a small town.  It's more intimate and fun.  Leadville really knows how to put on a great parade and picnic!  The parade was in the morning and Main Street was lined with people.  We had breakfast out so we could get a good spot on the curb.

 
The night before we had gone to a nearby town next to Vail to watch what is supposed to be the best show in Colorado.  It was a really great show.  After the parade and picnic in Leadville, we watched a much smaller fireworks show.

It opened up with all the flags out and being led by the local police.
 
Then the fire trucks came.  Old and new.  There was plenty of candy thrown to the kids.
 
This Dad had a busy time keeping watch over these busy boys.


Miners and Donkeys.

The longest parade group was the local 4 Wheel Drive Group.

More decorated jeeps and trucks.

These dinosaurs were having a great time.  I don't know how the Gingerbread Man got in on it.

The local 4-H Goat Group.

My favorite Goat of the day!
 
After the parade there was a few hours before the Picnic began.  The local Fire Department puts on a huge free BBQ of hamburgers and hotdogs, ice cream, entertainment and a car show at the airport.  Since we had some time to kill we headed out of town to snap up a few geocaches.

 
At this particular cache we learned more about the 10th Mountain Division. According to the info at the memorial, skiing associations say that veterans of the 10th Mountain Division had a substantial effect in the post-World War II development of skiing as a vacation industry and major sport. Ex-soldiers from the 10th laid out ski hills, designed ski lifts, became ski coaches, racers, instructors, patrollers, shop owners, and filmmakers. They wrote and published ski magazines, opened ski schools, improved ski equipment, and developed ski resorts.  Up to 2,000 of the division's troops were involved in skiing-related professions after the war, and at least 60 ski resorts were founded by men of the division.  Very interesting.
 
We came upon another cache that was hidden at the original home of the 10th Mtn. Division who served in World War II.
  


The old barracks.  There is nothing visibly left at this site except these ruins and some roads.

Here is the cache we found in a huge Ammo Container.

It was time to get back to Leadville for the picnic.  It was up at the county airport. It was small but all decorated up and very patriotic.

What a great view from inside the hangar where we had our BBQ and the band was. 
 

There was an special rescue crew from Italy in a state of the art helicopter. 


The small car show had a few Chevy's that my Dad had when he was younger.  I knew he'd love them so I texted pictures of them to him.


I think we'll get one of these to tow behind the 5er.

I thought this made for a solemn picture.

A couple signs that share what Leadville is about.  Another about some famous residents.


Some beautiful murals and buildings in Leadville.

  
This colorful guy is often seen downtown.  A fence made of old snow skis.

 
You often hear me talk about geocaching taking you to interesting spots.  On a drive to some old mines, I spotted this plaque on the side of a steep mountain and asked Steve to turn around so I could read it.  It was an out of the way spot with lots of golf balls placed along the cliff wall.  It was a memorial for a young man named Scott who took his life after suffering depression for years.  Very sad.
Down another dirt road we found a fun cache that was hidden in a pine tree atop a rocky outcropping that we had to hike.  It was a faucet made to look like it was coming out of the tree.  Very amusing.  We also tried a little fishing in the river, but the mosquitos were very hungry so we hustled out.


Going to the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum was a great way to spend a couple of hours.  The funny part was instead of paying $12, we used our AARP cards and got a senior discount which saved us $2 each!  Wow that sure made me feel old!  We had a good laugh with that!

We're not huge rock hounds but the mining history of Leadville was so interesting to us.  Our favorite part was the recreated cole and silver mines.  Fun to walk through!


 

There were specimens from all over the world. So many colors and shapes.
 



Copper specimens from Colorado.
 
These specimens looked like boring rocks in regular light, but glow amazing colors under blacklight.

Mining was very destructive to the ground, water sources and vegetation.  It was very interesting to learn about the steps that modern mining goes through to return the area to its pristine state.
 
We had spent some time with some of our RV Friends, Gene & Eileen in Frisco last month.  Before they head back to Florida for the winter we drove up to Denver to have lunch with them once more.
We also went caching with them and found one of the coolest "Bug Hotels".  We left one of ours for someone else to pick up and move along.  It was decorated inside to look like a hotel! 
 
We passed the huge Argo Gold Mine & Mill in Glenwood Springs after leaving Denver.  We didn't have time to spend here or take a tour.  It's a very cute little town built in the mountains like so many in this part of Colorado.  Another time I guess.
 
 Ya, that's me.
 

12 comments:

  1. I am so excited to visit Leadville!! You have really brought this small town to life. Isn't small town America just wonderful!! Small town parades really rock:) Love where you found the cache and had a little history lesson, too...very cool! Thanks for sharing:)

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    1. There is so much to do here if you look around. So much mining history that we both find fascinating. Great hikes and beautiful drives! We boondocked on a gorgeous spot for two weeks and would definitely come back!

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  2. How cool to be a part of a little town for 4th of July celebrations. Living in the city as we currently do, we hunker down and hope the idiots don't set our house on fire with their illegal fireworks. Plus, this year we found out Rufus gets very anxious when he hears the loud noise.
    I just scrolled down a bit and saw your map-pretty cool :-)

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    1. Being on the road makes for some of the best 4th of July plans! It's fun to see all our stops on the map. I'd rather it be smaller and on the side bar where you can click on it to make it bigger, but I haven't figured that out yet.

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  3. Wow...there is a LOT to do in Leadville, Deb! We will make sure to check it out when we get ut there. :)

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    1. There really is Jim. Plus it's close enough to Aspen for a day trip (my next blog).

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  4. Gotta love small town parades! Looks like a great place to visit.

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    1. Of all the years we've been camping, this was in our top 3 places to celebrate 4th of July!

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  5. I'll take a small town over a big city any day. Those glowing rocks look really cool.
    Safe travels!

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  6. Dang, I almost missed another one! You found some really great spots in Colorado this summer. Love all the crystals, just beautiful! Looks like a great spot to spend the 4th. Definitely like your solemn pic.

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    1. A great place to spend the 4th for sure! I can't wait to see where we'll be next 4th. We'll be in VA for Steve's class reunion so probably somewhere around VA Beach.

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