Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Welcome to Leadville

Or, "More of what I did on my summer vacation..."

In the late morning of a blue bird day, the Mr. and I kissed Pony Girl goodbye, left her in the capable hands of her Nana and headed down the open road. With an idea of a destination, we traveled upwards into the mountains. Taking a detour for adventure here and there, we ended up in Leadville, Colorado by late afternoon.

An old mining town with a colored and storied history, Leadville is the highest incorporated city in the United States (10,152 feet above sea level). Which means that us folks who live pretty close to sea level got a bit winded just walking down the street.

Leadville hosted many a colorful character, including "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" of Titanic fame; Doc Holliday; even Oscar Wilde performed at the town's Opera House.

Leadville started out in gold but, the gold ran out in a couple of years, leaving the town almost empty as people flocked farther west in search of more gold. Then, silver was discovered and Leadville was booming once again. At that time when the money was good, one street alone boasted over 67 saloons and numerous brothels.

Careful with the pints though, at this altitude the spirits go right to your head with a wicked reminder in the morning.

Signs of old mines can be spotted all about town.

We spent the night in the historic Delaware Hotel a lovely Victorian building overflowing with antique furniture. I kept expecting the ghosts of the past to wake me and show me where the loot was hidden.

We discovered an amazing antique store housed in an old two-story building that was once a hardware shop. The building alone was a wonder and the treasures inside were abundant.

Upstairs, there was room after room of fascinating bits from the past.

If I'd had a bit more money and perhaps a moving truck, I might have come home with a lot of treasures! This baking cupboard is just the one I have been looking for going on years now, as it is just the right size for our wee kitchen. I do think though, that it rather out sized and out weighed the plane's carry-on luggage limit.

Our trip to Leadville (and back) was just the thing. To be able to see such a unique example of American West heritage, with buildings and mines preserved was quite a treat. It was so easy to imagine the past, reminding me of "Somewhere in Time" albeit a slightly more Wild West version. To have a little time alone with each other was much needed for the Mr. and I.

Well, I'm off to continue the catch-up from our time away, there is still a good sized hill of laundry to finish and the garden has gone wild.

P.S. Just a note, in the above pictures I must tell you, the sky was indeed that blue!


lifeshighway said...

The color of the Colorado sky is the most amazing blue I have ever seen.

I have a weakness for glass. Some of those bottles would have had to come home with me.

Sherri B. said...

That sky is delicious! Don't you just get dizzy when you go into a place that has so many things that you love? That baking unit would hold everything one could possibly want...I just bet that there is one lurking somewhere in Portland with Lola Nova's name on it.

Wendy said...

Awesome pictures. I'm glad the sky really was that color!

Charity said...

What great pictures! I just love your blog. I'm your latest follower.

jus said...

I am loving your holiday snaps so far... but where are all the Leadville people? x

Mom L said...

Lovely! My Dad loved CO, NM and AZ, so many of my childhood vacations were spent in old towns like this. I think I've been here! Diane's Dad and I also vacationed in old-time Western towns, and we also collected old, colorful bottles. Many of those are now in Diane's house!

Thanks for the memories!


Cath @ chunkychooky said...

It looks so heavenly and the treasures! shame you didn't have a truck and the stashed loot only the ghosts know about... I was in sante fe as part of a four month trip across USA in the mid 90's ( having small heart attack that it was that long ago) and when we got there we thought we were dying as we were so tired and breathless and decided we needed to start exercising because we were getting so breathless just walking down the street... then someone told us about the altitude thing.... thankfully we could just carry on boozin' and trying on turquoise jewellery.

crzylady said...

Oscar wilde?! WHO KNEW? And 67 saloons.. damn I really live in the wrong era ;)