October 17, 2010

10.10.02 .... Visit to Leadville

This past weekend was to be the last for good mountain foliage colors. We drove to the Vail area and then took the Highway 24 exit off I-70. We drove through Minturn and headed for Leadville where we spent the night at the historic Delaware Hotel.

North of Minturn, the structures of the abandoned Eagle Mine gleamed in the afternoon sun. This mine produced large amounts of gold, lead, and zinc from the 1880s to 1980s. In 1984, the mine and its little town of Gilman were abandoned and closed behind a locked gate by the EPA. No humans other than cleanup crews and unauthorized trespassers have set foot near these building in the past 26 years.

Right beside Highway 24, a sturdy log building exposed to over 100 winters still stands, despite a recent roof collapse. The closeup pictures show how nails were used to make a rebar-like skeleton for holding mortar between the logs.

When we arrived in Leadville, the setting sun was spotlighting the Golden Burro Cafe.

On the advice of the Delaware hotel desk, we went to the Tennessee Pass Cafe for dinner. We agreed that the food was surprisingly good. I had a Thai curry dish. Friendly service too.

We stayed at the historic Delaware Hotel which is old, ornate, and even a bit spooky with the old furniture and antiques everywhere. The stairs are steep and they creak.

For Sunday breakfast, we had to try the Golden Burro Cafe. Service and atmosphere were great. Food was average. It's well worth eating there for the experience and to study the menu which has lots of Leadville history and stories.

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