I was packing my trusty Nikon; have camera – will travel!
In fact, I can travel at speeds approaching 65 mph and still shoot landscapes. My cowboys are no longer willing to feed my obsessive compulsive behavior when it comes to stopping every other mile for another Kodak moment. That’s okay; I’m the modern day equivalent of Annie Oakley. I’ve gone from cautious to countless thanks to the digital world of photography.
Delete, delete, delete! WINNER!
The view from the summit at Kenosha Pass certainly made good on that promise the day we went through in search of a Wild West ghost town!
We’d essentially gotten as far as Kenosha Pass via the same route the narrow gauge railroad, the Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad had followed in the late 19th century, ascending the Platte Canyon through North Platte before heading through Como and on to South Park via
I can still recite the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, for whatever that’s worth, and I relearned most of the state capitals when my son went through junior high school about 12 years ago. Everything else is a blur. I guess I had to accumulate a little of my own history to appreciate all the rest of history; which is why I’ve fallen in love with all the history just
beneath the surface of all our travel. Who doesn’t love a field trip anyway!?
Today’s field trip was turning out to be everything my brother Chris had promised – a beautiful fall day, a scenic drive and a real Colorado ghost town.
Mining camps were set up in every gulch and gulley with names as colorful as the prospectors – Tarryall, Leavick, Buckskin Joe, Eureka, Horseshoe, and Mudsill. With latecomers locked out to the Tarryall gold, they referred to the early miners as “Graballs”and determined to set up camp further out at the junction of Beaver Creek and the South Platte. Thus Fairplay was born, originally named “Fairplay Diggings,” where opinion has it every man felt they had an equal chance there to stake a claim.
Fairplay eventually became the county seat for all of Park County in 1867; homes and businesses grew along the South Park basin for the thirty years following that first gold strike as the westward migration of men, women and children followed the trail of dreams that followed the gold.
When the gold dried up by the turn of the century, it wasn’t long until the people moved on too, abandoning their homes and businesses. Ghost towns sprang up all across the Wild West as the harsh elements took their cut from the proceeds of those gold rush days.