Tuesday, August 31, 2010

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Mining and Gambling: Black Hawk Colorado

Black Hawk is a tiny town in the Colorado Rockies. It is one of Colorado's oldest towns, but the reason it is famous today is because it is one of the few places in Colorado that allow gambling. Nestled in a canyon, the first settlers came after a prospector found gold in the canyon in 1859. The population swelled, but few found gold, and the settlement was more like a string of camps.

First called mountain city, Black Hawk's history make it a prime destination for a Colorado vacation. The boom quickly subsided and the town turned to laboring in the mines. Black hawk became known as the city of mills because of the stream running through town that was used to drive water wheels and sift gold ore. Many mines sent their ore to Black Hawk to be milled.

When visiting mines be careful. Never visit an abandoned mine. These mine shafts do not go horizontally into the mountain. Gold is forced up through natural processes which means that mine shafts go straight down, often more than a thousand feet. There are also thousands of mining claims. Most have been capped but not all.

As the mining petered out and new mining techniques no longer needed water power, Black Hawk's population and relevance decayed. Historical district laws were passed, but without employment many Black Hawk natives moved away after the automobile made travel easier. As the city moved away from mining, tourist activities like hiking and skiing took over.

The town continued to decay until the early 90's, when the state legislature legalized gambling in Black Hawk and Central City. Now the town is a popular location for Colorado trips. The casinos are popular because they are smaller and more intimate than the ones in Las Vegas.

For those looking to plan a Colorado vacation in the casino towns you should call ahead for lodging reservations. The towns are in a narrow gulch with little room. Most of the room is taken by casinos, although there are a few hotels and bed and breakfasts. Over the years, the mining town turned to gambling and tourism between a brief dry spell that left the city almost abandoned. Some ghost towns are excellent for Colorado trips however. The other legalized gambling spots in Colorado are Central City and Cripple Creek, both a few hours from Colorado Springs.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hike to Sky Pond in Rocky Mountain National Park

Posted by: Colorado Trips

Most places in the Colorado mountains offer great sites to see for hiking. Trails range in difficulty and elevation. The challenge of hiking a "13er" or "14er" can be accomplished all across the state of Colorado. Here is a link to Rocky Mountain National Park for hiking guides.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Visit The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park

Posted by: Colorado Vacations

The Stanley Hotel is a 138-room Georgian hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. Located within sight of the Rocky Mountain National Park, the Stanley offers panoramic views of the Rockies. It was built by Freelan O. Stanley of Stanley Steamer fame and opened on July 4, 1909, catering to the rich and famous, including the Titanic survivor Margaret Brown, John Philip Sousa, Theodore Roosevelt, the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and a variety of Hollywood personalities.[2]

The Stanley Hotel also hosted Stephen King, inspiring him to write The Shining. Contrary to information sometimes published, King was living in Boulder at the time and did not actually write the novel at the hotel. Parts of the mini-series version of The Shining were filmed there, although it was not used for Stanley Kubrick's cinematic version. The hotel and its surrounding lands are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. [ Read more about The Stanley Hotel ]

View more Colorado things to do

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Colorado Mining History and Historical Mines

In the summer of 1849 a party of seven Georgians were taking a herd of thoroughbred horses across the continent to California. Reaching the mountains too late in the fall to effect a safe crossing with their stock, they established a winter camp at the junction of Cherry Creek and Platte River, on the present site of the city of Denver, and during the fall occupied themselves in prospecting the gravels along Cherry Creek, but they did not penetrate into the mountain canyons for fear of the Indians. Gold in quantities sufficient to awaken their hopes was found at several places, particularly at a point 16 miles upstream.

With the arrival of spring they proceeded to California, where for several years they engaged in mining, but in 1857 they sold out their interests in California and returned to Georgia. Before separating it was agreed among several of them that in the near future they would form a prospecting party to go to the Rocky Mountains and search for gold. In May, 1858, the original seven and four others met in St. Louis, and in August they reached the present site of Denver, where they established a camp and began prospecting. According to Rickard, one of these parties followed Boulder Creek up to the forks, finding small amounts of gold. Another party proceeded across the ridges to Fall River and Spring Gulch. They did not descend into the valley of North Clear Creek at that time but crossed Quartz Hill and found rich gravel at Russell Gulch, named after its discoverer, W. Green Russell. As it was too near winter to begin mining, the prospectors returned to their camp at Cherry Creek. Six of the party went east to obtain provisions, returning in the spring of 1859.

By the fall of 1858 rumors of the gold discoveries had reached eastern Kansas. The East and especially the Middle West was still suffering from the effects of the financial panic of 1857, and this fact undoubtedly accounted in a measure for the enthusiasm with which any plan that promised to revive fallen fortunes was received. Prospectors in large numbers traveled to the new gold field, which became generally known as the Pikes Peak field. The town at the mouth of Cherry Creek, on the present site of Denver, was named Auralia, and there in 1858 wintered a considerable number of people disappointed at the small findings of gold in that vicinity and ready to stampede to any field of new discovery. At the foot of the mountains, where now stands the town of Golden, three prospectors camped for the winter.

One of these men, George A. Jackson, a native of Missouri, penetrated into the mountains during the winter of 1858 and discovered the hot soda springs near the present site of the town of Idaho Springs, and shortly afterward, on January 7, 1859, he washed fine gold from the gravels bordering Chicago Creek near its mouth. A monument now marks the site of his discovery. The news of Jackson's find and the display of his gold at Auralia, where he offered it in payment for tools and supplies, precipitated a rush of prospectors to the mountains and resulted in the spring of 1859 in the discovery of gold at many other places.

Once word spread, people came all over the Rockies in droves. Many of these locations are now popular destinations for Colorado trips. People were willing to brave harsh alpine conditions for gold.

Among those who joined in this rush was John Hamilton Grergory, a native of Georgia, who followed up North Clear Creek. On May 6 Gregory made the first lode discovery in the Rockies, on the lode that bears his name (on Gregory No. 5 claim), between the present sites of Blackhawk and Central City. Other prospectors coming up North Clear Creek soon learned of his discovery, and the news spread and occasioned another rush, many hastening across the hills from Cherry Creek and from the Jackson "diggings," on South Clear Creek. Gregory sold his two claims for $21,000 in the summer of 1859 and soon afterward left the district.

Some of these historical towns are still thriving up in the rockies. Idaho Springs for example is more than just a pit stop up in the mountains. But many towns are now ghost towns. Visiting historical towns is a great way to preserve history during a Colorado vacation.
Source for mining history: http://www.miningbureau.com/

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Mountain Biking in Colorado

Posted by: Colorado Vacations

If you enjoy to go mountain biking, you need to go in beautiful Colorado. There are hundreds of thousands of moutain bike trails spreading through Colorado. Whether you are a beginner or an expert you will be sure to find a challenging trail in Colorado. Check out www.bikecolorado.com for a list of trails.

Her is another great site for mountain bike trails in Colorado: http://www.dirtworld.com/trails/ColoradoMountainBiketrails.asp (MORE Colorado Vacation ideas)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Planing A Family Vacation

posted by: Colorado Trips

Everyone loves the thought of a family vacation. At least it starts out that way! If you're thinking back to a bad experience you have had on a family vacation, we've all been there. I'm guessing the trip went wrong because it was either poorly planned, too long or the trip was full of arguments. I can't help with the last one; however here are a few tips to help you plan a great family trip in the future:

1.) Plan accordingly! There is more to planning a family vacation than just picking a destination, hotel and flight. You should really think about the time of year you are traveling. What is the climate like in this area during that time of year? Will the climate prevent you from doing some of the things your family will want to do? You should also think about the cost of everything in the area you are traveling. Even if you are going to a nice place, if you cannot afford to go to a few restaurants, buy any souvenirs or take part in the amenities in the area, your vacation might be a little boring.

Have you thought about events for the whole family? If you have children more than a few years apart, do you have a few events planned that everyone will enjoy? Will your 17 year old like going to the petting Zoo like your 5 year old will?

2.) Check out reviews before you leave. It's easy to get to a destination and ask someone where a good place to eat is or what a fun activity to do is but they might be a little bias depending on who you ask. It's a good idea to read reviews of places you are thinking about going before you leave so you can get a good idea of what to expect. Sometimes you can find out way more about a place from reviews than just how good the food was.

3.) How long are you going for? Sometimes family trips can be too long or too short. Time should be considered in all planning. If you are driving, think about the amount of time spent in the car. Will you remember how awful the drive was or the great things you saw or did on the way to break up the drive? If you are going to a place far away, are you staying enough days to enjoy the destination or are you spending more days traveling?

If you are going to a destination with little to do, make sure not to stay too long. You and your family could get bored if you are there too long without anything to do.

4.) Pack accordingly! "What's the boy scout motto" my dad would always ask whenever we were packing for a trip. The answer of course "Always be prepared" we would mutter. The fact is its true... you would not want to spend a week somewhere without the appropriate clothing. It would be a shame to miss out on something for this reason. Buying clothing on a trip because you have to and not because you want to isn't fun either.

For more helpful tips on planning a family vacation, Google "Family Vacation Planning" and you will find a ton of helpful resources. If you are thinking about taking a Colorado Vacation, check out Colorado Things to Do

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nicolas_Hantge

Sunday, August 1, 2010