Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Gods, Gold Mining, and a Western Show


I was up at 7 AM and off to the Garden of the Gods.  I wanted to get a few pictures of the park in the morning light.  As you can see from the new header picture, I was successful in the morning light.  There were people all over the place standing in front of the rock, and climbing all over the place.

I stood very patiently waiting for folks to leave so that I could get a clean photo.  Even then there were some people off in the distance. After about an hour, I gave up and decided that I had what I had.  The header is partly shadowed but looks the most appealing of the pictures I took.


This was a close second.  I waited the longest to get this shot, as folks keep on arriving, and eagerly climb up to sit on or otherwise stand beside the rock.  The signs clearly prohibit this activity, but are universally ignored.  Some folks even scale the sides and stand on top of the tallest part!

From the drive around the Garden of the Gods, I think this is one of the most stunning views.  This is truly one of the most special places on our earth.


Around mid morning, we decided that we should have some lunch in Cripple Creek.  And being chicken to drive Gold Camp Road, we went around North of Pikes Peak on Highway 24.  As we arrived at Cripple Creek, from a pull out at 10,000 feet, you can see the town in the distance.


The main street used to be gift shops and craft stores, but not anymore.  It is all casinos.  Store after store has been converted.  We had the kids, so we needed a place to eat where they could go. Womacks had a place called Mid City Grill, and it was advertised as kid friendly. And they had a free parking lot out back.


We hiked up main street and back looking in most of the store fronts.  All casinos of some sort.  The place with the blue awnings is all one casino called Bronco Billy.

After lunch, Chris and Melissa went to a Gold Mine and descended 1,000 feet into the mine.  We took the baby and headed back to the Camp Ground.  They said the elevator shaft down was about the size of a small closet.  Eeek!

Then for the evening entertainment, we all went to Flying W Ranch for the chuck wagon dinner and entertainment.  The chuck wagon meal included Bar B Cued Beef or Chicken and Cowboy Beans.  Baked Potato, Apple Sauce, Biscuit and Spice cake.  Served on a Tin Plate and Coffee in a Tin Cup.


It was quite dark in the show room, as it was raining outside.  They usually have the show under the stars, but that wasn’t possible tonight. 

After dinner the show began with Western music featured.  Now Western not Country.  There is a big difference.


This was taken at 16x with available light and no tripod.  I did have my elbows on the picnic table, but we were at table 60.  It took several shots to get one that was not too blurry.


Son’s of the Pioneers, Blue Shadows on the Trail!  Orange Blossom Special and Al’s favorite of all time.

Ghost Rider’s in the Sky!

An old cowboy went riding out one dark and windy day
Upon a ridge he rested as he went along his way
When all at once a mighty herd of red eyed cows he saw
A-plowing through the ragged sky and up the cloudy draw

Their brands were still on fire and their hooves were made of steel
Their horns were black and shiny and their hot breath he could feel
A bolt of fear went through him as they thundered through the sky
For he saw the Riders coming hard and he heard their mournful cry

Yippie yi Ohhhhh
Yippie yi yaaaaay
Ghost Riders in the sky


Their faces gaunt, their eyes were blurred, their shirts all soaked with sweat
He's riding hard to catch that herd, but he ain't caught 'em yet
'Cause they've got to ride forever on that range up in the sky
On horses snorting fire
As they ride on hear their cry

As the riders loped on by him he heard one call his name
If you want to save your soul from Hell a-riding on our range
Then cowboy change your ways today or with us you will ride
Trying to catch the Devil's herd, across these endless skies

Yippie yi Ohhhhh
Yippie yi Yaaaaay
Ghost Riders in the sky
Ghost Riders in the sky
Ghost Riders in the sky


As I sit here stuffed with beans and spice cake, I can’t get the haunting melody out of my head.

Yippie yi Ohhhhh
Yippie yi Yaaaaay
Ghost Riders in the sky…………….


We leave here in the morning to head on over into central Colorado, but the experiences of today will be with us for a long while.

Retired Rod

Ghost Rider Picture from Lane Kendrick Studio


  1. As a small boy I was given one of those Viewmasters that you could insert a round 3-D disc into. I had 5 disc's with it. A Bugs Bunny cartoon, Hopalong Cassidy, & two I don't remember. But, the 5th one was the disc that had the biggest impact & impression on me & planted the very early seed that eventually grew into this whole RV lifesyle. It was the disc entitled, 'Garden of The Gods.' I remember looking at those beautiful 3-D photos over & over & over & I still have some of those pictures in my mind today after all this time from nearly 60 years ago. Thanks for those 'Ghost Rider' words. Thought that was kinda nice of ya. And I know what you mean by people gumming up photo opportunities. Happens to me all the time. Just slip into Picasa & pick up that 'Retouch' tool & splot those pain in the ass tourists right the heck out of the picture!!

  2. Look's like they have ruined Cripple Creek, when we were there it had nice restaurants and burro's roaming the streets, and also a narrow gauge railroad, The Florence & Cripple Creel RR, that would take you on a short train ride. I guess the Casino God's rule now. Not my cup of tea for sure. Your pictures are great, I remember those rock formations from our trip. People will always be the plague of tourist areas and you are in one of the busiest. Have fun, be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

  3. I just love red rocks. Thanks for posting the photos of them!

  4. Thank you, Rod, for Ghost Riders lyrics. Kit was serenaded this morning by Jerry! Now that was a treat!

  5. Now you've gone and done it, Rod! I'll be humming "Ghost Riders In The Sky" for days on end now!

    Beautiful pics! Until you mentioned the idiots standing around the rocks in your header, I didn't even see them until I went back for a 2nd look.

    The vista of Cripple Creek from up on the highway is a really great photo!

  6. Thanks for sharing with us your beautiful photos. They are spectacular.

    We will be workamping next summer at the KOA @ Cripple Creek. We are not fans of gambling casinos but we are really looking forward to spending lots of time at the Garden of the Gods.

  7. Good pictures and great subjects. I have spent about 5 days in that area in the last 3 months. Phantom road and Shelf road are very beautiful drives if taken slowly <= 20 mph. I did them in a big Ford SUV and a new rental Lincoln Town car. There is a very good restaurant in Cripple Creek, across the road from the Casinos and close to the museum. There is a game room just off the street and a bar behind it. The bar has bricks sticking out to put your feet on when setting. The dining area has water pipe to rest your feet on. This might sound like crazy directions, but the other restaurant owners knew what I was looking for. All their food is good and the locals know it. Colorado Springs / Pioneer Peak / Cripple Creek and Victor is a place to spend at least two weeks and not get bored. The One Mans Castle is worth the trip. Thanks for posting the area, it is a great place for everyone to see.

  8. I would like to exchange links with your site retiredrod.blogspot.com
    Is this possible?


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