I’ve become fascinated by ghost towns. History of the west gets me thinking. This summer I’ve read about and seen more of CO’s relics than ever. I’ve been taking “Staycations” compared to 2008.
After driving over Mosquito Pass
I headed to Independence Pass, a paved route through Mt Massive Wilderness that tops out at 12,095 feet. Getting close to snow season, this pass closes early so I knew I had just a bit of time left to see the sights. Linking Leadville, CO to Aspen, CO, it’s a pathway between two VERY different towns.
Didn’t dally. Wet, misty clouds pressed down. I had a goal in mind.
INDEPENDENCE, CO – A Ghost Town
Short lived, as many gold boom towns were, I’ve learned, the lode was discovered here in 1879. By 1882 1500 residents lived among 40 businesses. Also called Mammouth City, Chipeta, Mt Hope, Farwell and Sparkhill, the city vacated by 1890. Only $190,000 of profits led to its quick demise. Life at 10,900′ must have been extreme.
Volunteers have restored a former grocery store and watch over the site. The WPA planted thousands of trees on slopes across the valley to curb avalanches. apparently, these had been detrimental to some of the towns remains. A quick trip down yielded a few pics. I got hailed on (AGAIN) so didn’t linger as long as I’d have liked. It’s getting close to winter, folks!
A grocery store, restored:
Amazing there’s any left after so many years in the elements.
Rest of the trip yielded a ride on the Rio Grand bike path from just shy of Aspen to Carbondale. Was a blast! Will return for sure.
On a funny note, had to fortify the underbelly of Trusty with chicken wire, while camping, that night. Chickenwire!
I’ve only heard of this being necessary in Canada! Innitially pshawing the idea, I wised up. Good thing. A fellow camper wandered over the next AM looking for electirical tape to repair the alternator wire a PORCUPINE knawed ate for a midnight snack.
This was a first!