Of White Stripes and Lightning Bolts

Well, folks… I’ve gone runned off again. This time it’s Colorado for about a week. The summer heat got the best of me so I ran away. Such a shame. I had such a good mind but never put it to good summer use …

They say that adventure is near the heart of the American dream. It’s one reason hundreds of thousands traveled west so long ago, searching for a better life and the promise of exploration and discovery. Last year I visited New Mexico and traced some of the Spanish influence there. The Spaniards were the first mainland European people to explore America. They beat the Pilgrims by more than a century.

For this trip I am tracing one part of that western American dream — the Colorado gold rush. No, I’m not so much searching for personal fortune as retracing the steps and learning about the things that drove men (and a few ladies) to grab a pickaxe and dig into Colorado hillside years ago. I’m off the beaten path again on vacation. Tomorrow I’ll visit a series of ghost towns west of Trinidad, hopefully learning a bit about what life was like for those miners. Later I plan to visit a gold rush boom town and tour an abandoned mine. Eventually I hope to do some gold panning of my own.

Oh, and I’m once again frequenting America’s campgrounds and living a life of tented luxury. Tonight I’m staying at Trinidad Lake State Park in southern Colorado. I was going to stay at another park but it burned to the ground. Long story. Let’s just say I made a hasty exit from Raton…

Here’s a picture from my first day of travel. It’s a 1930 marker remembering the very first wagons to travel the Santa Fe trail in 1822. The famed path played a big part in the modern settling if Colorado and New Mexico.

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Day 2 Update — I forgot to mention the lightning. There’s plenty of it around. It stormed for hours around Raton and rained solid for an hour and a half last night. I haven’t seen rain in so long it kinda scared me…

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