Scenic Rocky Mountain Ghost Town

I was lucky enough to get away for a couple days this week to spend time with two dear friends at the newly opened Crystal Mountain Ranch in Crystal, Colorado. The centerpiece of this silver mining ghost town is the Crystal Mill – one of the most photographed historic sites in Colorado.  The Mill is on the National Register of Historic Places and is not exactly easy to reach, especially by car. My friend, Phoebe and I drove to Marble Colorado from the Denver area and were greeted by staff of Crystal Mountain Ranch in a quite capable 4×4 vehicle for a 50-minute nail biter of a ride up a breathtakingly beautiful and steep mountainside. The Ranch owners, my friend Heather and her fiance’ Chris, who own land and much of the property in Crystal including the Mill, have been working tirelessly to open Crystal Mountain Ranch to the public. The Ranch has several cozy and rustic cabins and campsites available. Check them out at Crystal Mountain Ranch. This is definitely a bucket list kinda place!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Trip to Arizona

When you’re in the desert, you look into infinity…. It makes you feel terribly small, and also in a strange way, quite big.

-David Lean

 

GRAND CANYON SUNSET

Grand Canyon

BACKLIT TREES

Palatki Heritage Site

DESERT BLOOMS

Near Chapel of the Holy Cross

SCENIC VIEW

Near Chapel of the Holy Cross

CROSS

Tlaquepaque Village in Sedona

SEDONA BLUE

Tlaquepaque Village in Sedona

SEDONA PLAZA

Tlaquepaque Village in Sedona

SEDONA SHOPS

Tlaquepaque Village in Sedona

STAIRWAY

Tlaquepaque Village in Sedona

TUNNEL

Tlaquepaque Village in Sedona

SEDONA SUNSET

Sunset on Sedona

VORTEX TREE

Sedona Vortex

YUCCA

Yukka

The Vacation of a Lifetime continued

A spectacular 12-day Mediterranean cruise! Departed from Barcelona, Spain and made stops in Cannes/Nice/Monaco/Monte Carlo Casino in France. Then on to Italy with stops in Rapallo, Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino. Next up was Rome, Italy where we toured the Colosseum and Vatican City. Then on to the Acropolis in Athens Greece. Another stop in Mykonos, Greece for great food and ouzo. Up next was Santorini, Greece (Mamma Mia!). Our last stop was Valetta, Malta with a special trip to Mdna or Città Vecchia- the Silent City, a fortified medieval city.

Malta: Valetta, Mdna or Città Vecchia

 

Malta

Valetta, Malta

Blue Grotto Malta

The Blue Grotto, Malta

Maltese Port

Ancient fishing village of Marsaxlokk, Malta

Medieval City of Mdina

Mdna, a medieval walled city originally settled by the Phoenicians in 700 BC.

Medieval Mdina

Mdna, a medieval walled city originally settled by the Phoenicians in 700 BC.

Casa Mdina

Casa Mdina. Mdna, a medieval walled city originally settled by the Phoenicians in 700 BC.

Mdina Door

Mdna, a medieval walled city originally settled by the Phoenicians in 700 BC.

Mdina Statue

Mdna, a medieval walled city originally settled by the Phoenicians in 700 BC.

Mdina Streetscape

Mdna, a medieval walled city originally settled by the Phoenicians in 700 BC.

Mdina Wall

Mdna, a medieval walled city originally settled by the Phoenicians in 700 BC.

Mediteranean Volcano

A smoldering volcano in the Mediterranean.

Mediterranean sunset

A beautiful end to the trip of a lifetime!

Gorgeous day in the City of Gold Mines

Victor, Colorado – the City of Gold Mines – is located at nearly 10,000 feet on the southwest side of Pikes Peak, in the Cripple Creek Victor Mining District. This well-preserved mining town sits on the side of Battle Mtn., a unique setting of 1890’s structures and turn-of-the-century architecture, with clean, cool mountain air and plenty of year-round sunshine.  http://www.victorcolorado.com/

Today was the perfect day for a visit.

A garden and a ghostly mine

I love driving around in Colorado!  This weekend was no exception.  After lunch on Saturday in Castle Rock, it was on to Garden of the Gods, an amazing geological park just outside Colorado Springs.  I would love to explain to you all the different rock formations and how they came to be, but I’m no geologist.  In fact, some who know me might even say I don’t know schists from Shinola!   But what I do know is how to point a camera at pretty rocks!

Garden of the Gods

 

Cathedral Spires

 

Garden of the Gods in black and white

 

Sunset buck

 

Today I happened upon an abandoned mine above Central City…the Coeur d’Alene mine.  When I left Denver, the weather was sunny and mild.  As I drove higher up into the mountains, the clouds started to flex their muscles and show off by spitting snowballs…little tiny ones. It got cold and windy, the sky turned a grayish white – not optimal photography conditions.  But the mine was striking in its imposing, rusty splendor.  I was drawn to quiet deserted corners.  I apprehensively peered into doorways and tried to jump up to see in windows.  I imagined the power of the now forgotten machinery as it may have once been: roaring and belching the smoke of productivity.  I watched, waited, listened…for the stories.  I heard them.

Tractor and shed

 

Wheat and bolts

 

Danger window

Rusty shingles

Rusty National

Rusty buckets

Rusty bolts

Nails in the wall

Big Bolt

Coeur d'Alene Mine