This weekend mom and I took a Colorado School of Mines class titled Aspen Gold and Ghost Towns - click link to see all my photos. On Saturday we studied geology at Garden of the Gods, then we went to Cripple Creek to view the caldera and get some history lessons, then we gold-panned in Cripple Creek (the actual creek, not the city - the creek was near the former settlement of Mount City). After that, we went to Victor and went on a short hike of mining ruins and went up the American Eagle drive to look down into the Ajax Mine that is doing a lot of work right now, eating the mountain alive. Then we went to Mt. Pitska Cemetery and saw how most of the graves were children - very few survived the mining towns. Then we broke caravan and made our way to Buena Vista/Nathrop. Mom and I stayed at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs and enjoyed the hot water by moonlight. This morning, we went to St. Elmo, an old ghost mining town I visited several times as a kid, and then Iron City Cemetery, then we went up to Hancock, the town (now gone) for the workers building the Alpine Tunnel to connect rail across the Continental Divide for mining. We hiked from there up to the now collapsed tunnel, about 6.5 miles round trip. It was snowing up there this morning, but it was beautiful. I got to see several Pikas, one of my favorite alpine animals. After the hike, it was time to head across South Park and back down Ute Pass to home.
Here are a few photos from the trip - (Click - they get big!):
View from Iron City Cemetery
On the trail from Hancock to the Alpine Tunnel
Spot the Pika in this photo!