So, after our visit to the Mollie Kathleen Mine and exploring around Cripple Creek, we spent the night in Leadville Colorado. I’d never heard of Leadville before (and I’m not sure if it’s pronounced LEED-ville or LED-ville; anyone know?), but I learned that it’s the highest city in the US in elevation. As I mentioned last time, it was definitely harder to breathe there. The mountains in the background were so pretty, and how amazing to see all that snow in June! Nearby is Vail, where lots of people go skiing.
We began the morning by driving through the Leadville metropolis, which was quite small. One interesting sight was the Tabor Opera House, built in 1879. Acclaimed as “largest and best west of the Mississippi,” it hosted Houdini, John Philip Sousa, and Oscar Wilde. Apparently there are still performances and tours there, but we were too early.
On we drove, and this was a common scene in the vehicle:
The kids were busy with their electronic “toys.” Although I brought several books, both regular and on the Kindle, I read very little. It just seemed wrong to drive by so many beautiful sights, many of which I may never see again, with my nose in a book. I looked out the window for most of the entire trip.
Soon there was something else interesting: signs indicating the Continental Divide. The Continental Divide, you may remember learning in school, is a line indicating a high point that is a watershed for water draining toward either the Atlantic or the Pacific.
I can believe that the Divide is a high point, because by now we were flying around switchback roads, often (to me) dangerously close to mountain edges with no guardrails. You will not have to worry about me volunteering to walk a tightrope across the Grand Canyon anytime soon! It’s amazing how roads snake back and forth, up and down the mountains. I often thought about pioneers heading out here, or even the first explorers like Lewis and Clark. Imagine coming across these huge mountains! How on earth would you try to cross them? Of course, at that time there would also be a whole lot more large (and hungry) animals, and Indians. Yikes!
We soon reached our next destination — come back Friday to see what it is!