Sep 30

Cripple Creek: An Old Mining Town Turned Casino

Karen and I were traveling through the Colorado Springs area and decided to spend the day seeing some of the smaller communities around that area.  We started off the day by going to North Cheyenne Canon Park for a little hiking and then went to the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park.  We capped off the day by trying our luck at some of the casinos in Cripple Creek, Colorado.   It was a wonderful day and we got to see some very interesting things, and Karen ending up tripling her casino money.  Before you get all excited for us we need to disclose that our gambling limit is set at $20 each.
Cripple CreekFrom Woodland Park we headed for the town of Divide and then headed south on highway 67.  Highway 67 is a very scenic road that winds around the mountainside.   We parked our car in one of the casino’s parking lots and decided to take in the sights by walking up and down the main street.  I do not know what it is about casinos maybe it is the lights or the bells, but it makes Karen get giddy.  Probably a good reason why we stick to a strict limit when we go to a casino.  I swear I saw dollar signs in Karen’s eyes when she hit the jackpot party.  We spent about an hour and half going through the casinos and playing a few nickel slots here and there.  We were getting hungry so we decided it was about time to head back to our hotel.
Main StreetAs we were heading back to highway 67 we saw a building that said Pikes Peak Heritage Center and decided to stop there.  As we were walking up we noticed that there was about a half an hour left before they locked up.  We walked in to see how much it would cost and to our amazement it was free.  They did have a box for donations that we put a few dollars into on our way out because it was worth it.  The Pikes Peak Heritage Center is housed in a three level old western façade front building with a log cabin feel on the inside.  The heritage center does have a nice display of the history of Cripple Creek along with mining equipment.  There are also several scale models including one of the town in its gold rush glory days.  The neatest thing that they had, I thought, was the model of the gold mine, which gives a good perspective of how deep the gold mind actually goes.
Heritage CenterOn the 3rd level of the center there were several dioramas of local creatures- from a mountain lion stalking a bull elk to a prehistoric stegosaurs which lived in the area during the time of the dinosaurs.  The 1st floor of the Pikes Peak Heritage Center housed a few wagons and stagecoaches that were used during the founding of the town.   All-in-all it was a nice little place to visit to get a feel for the history of Cripple Creek.  Plus you can’t beat the price, free!
ElkWe left the heritage center hopped back onto highway 67 and headed back to Colorado Springs.  It was a great day.
Panning Rocks

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