18 May 2012

Going Adventuring!

There are fewer things in this world that my husband and I enjoy together than "going adventuring!"  Generally speaking, we pick a road, an area, an interest we have not explored yet and just go. Pack a few snacks, the camera, and the rain gear, and we hit the road. Of course, now we're taking the little one, too, which adds a whole new element.

On Mother's Day, 2012, we went adventuring. I loved every minute of it; snow, rain, wind, sun and all.

Since we're still fairly new to Breckenridge, Colorado, we stayed local. Hoping to find "old stuff", we turned onto Tiger Road and just kept going. Thanks to the Atlas of Colorado Ghost Towns, Volume II by Leanne C. Boyd and H. Glenn Carson, (Cache Press, 1985) and The New Summit Hiker and Ski Touring Guide by Mary Ellen Gilliland (Alpenrose Press, 2002), we had a vague idea that there was something out there to see. Old mining camps and towns such as Swanville, Parkville, Preston and Royal Tiger awaited us. We just had to find them.

The map in the Atlas we brought along wasn't excellent, but it gave us a rough idea. We stopped at a few places, walked into the woods a bit. Found a washed out bridge and for our daughter, some very cool rocks. We kept going.

Eventually, we had to turn back for home. On the way in, however, we had seen some leftover mining features that we wanted to explore, so we had those to check off the list first. Our first stop, we hit the jack pot. It was such a great little alcove of history!

(All images are Copyright Jen Baldwin, Ancestral Journeys, 2012. 
Thank you for asking permission before use.)




There was a wooden structure on top of the tailing pile you could see from the road. It looked to us like an entrance to a mine, but we did not climb up to explore further.


Immediately adjacent to the tailing pile, were these pieces. Appears to be an old water wheel and possibly some structure that was put in place to keep everything together. Hard to tell, and I'm certainly no expert.


About 100 yards down the trail, was this, just off in the trees, very close to the stream. 


And right next to that... a sluice? Also, someone had come along before us and collected all these nearby artifacts and laid them out for all to see. Pieces of porcelain, metal, old shoes and glass. Interesting to look through. 


One of the pieces still had identifying marks on it. 


We kept walking. Very quickly came upon this "dump" of tin cans and broken dishes. It went on forever! The pics below are the "more interesting" items we stumbled upon. 


Broken pieces, some with marks, and some with existing color. The blue piece was some kind of rough pottery. 



There were piles of these little guys. They looked like the bottoms of bottles, broken apart. We had no idea what they were... best guess was possibly some kind of explosive used in the mine?  One side was flat, obviously, the outside of the container, and they were all broken in the same way and the same rough size.


One of the more distinct pieces of porcelain with its pattern still very clear and the colors distinct. 


This can was interesting because you can still make out some of the lettering on it... two words, the second of which is "ALBERT"


More walking led to this gem; a small cabin or mine opening in the woods. Sat right alongside the road we were walking on. 


Two rooms, and a very intentional flat roof, which made us think it was a cabin intended for human shelter. It was very low, however, so perhaps it was an entrance to a mine? 





Square tin can, versus the round ones that were certainly more prominent. 


Two pieces that my husband was able to fit back together. You can tell which side was exposed and which was laying against the ground. Notice one piece has a small gold 8 stamped on it. 


Another piece with good color. Not sure what the metal next to it is. 


Two pieces laying nearby each other, obviously from the same pattern/dish. 


On the way home, finally, we saw a moose munching in the bushes. Do you see him? 

Neither my husband nor I are incredibly knowledgeable about the lives of miners in the late 1800's in Summit County, Colorado, however, we are working towards learning more. According to one of our area trail maps, this could be a "mine dump" area, which would indicate to me that this is where various people brought their garbage - it certainly looks that way - and I've read about these sites before. What a fascinating journey into the daily lives of the predominant culture in this area! 

If you have knowledge of any of these items, or expertise in this time frame, we would certainly love to hear from you. Please feel free to comment below or send an email/message. 

All in all, we had a fantastic day. I invite you to "go adventuring" and get lost exploring your own regional history.