Thursday, October 13, 2011

Spunky Senior, Mike Befeler, Visits Hard Rock Mines

Mike Befeler

Living in Colorado, I enjoy hiking during the summer and snowshoeing during the winter. On weekends I often go along the east side of the Continental Divide on various expeditions. This summer I had an opportunity to visit a number of old mine sites as part of an organized tour of hard rock mines. Our first stop was Caribou, a once thriving mining community of several thousand people at the end of the nineteenth century, now home to exactly zero human occupants.
Our next stop was the Cardinal mill, in operation during the beginning of the twentieth century.

Bluebird Mine Bunkhouse

From here we went to the Bluebird mine. The picture is of the bunkhouse that was also used in the 1966 movie, Stagecoach.

Wallstreet Mill
 Our final stop of the day was at the Wallstreet assay office and abandoned mill from the beginning of the twentieth century. Investors from New York provided the financial backing, but the mill went bust after a few years of operation.
Although these mines and mills are now abandoned, they contribute to an interesting history of the region and are well worth visiting.
Mike Befeler, Author of Senior Moments Are Murder, Retirement Homes Are Murder,
Please welcome Mike to our blog by leaving a comment.


  1. That bunkhouse looks like something from Little House on the Prairie! Looks like you got to see some great sights, Mike.

    Morgan Mandel

  2. Morgan,
    That bunkhouse was used in the 1966 movie Stagecoach.

    Mike Befeler

  3. We also have a number of old abandoned mines and mills here in Wyoming, especially around Atlantic City. They all have fascinating histories. I also enjoy visiting them and the ghost towns.

  4. Great tour through the old mining and mill area of Colorado. Reminds me of my grandpa taking us to the ghost towns of Nevada when I was little. These are the type of memories we leave with our kids and grandkids...although they may not appreciate them for years...they still do appreciate and remember. Thanks for sharing your tour.

    Forever Young,

  5. I'd love to make a trip like that someday, Mike. I love old places and can sit for hours imagining what life was like there.

  6. The tour sounds interesting. I visited a couple of old ghost towns northwest of Denver back in the fall of 1951 while I was attending the Air Force Intelligence School at Lowry AFB. They were really ghostly back in those days.

  7. Sheila Altman could practice for the rest of her life, and she would never be able to do what my sister had just done. Cap would never follow her blindly, never walk on water for her. But my eyes traveled sideways to Cap's stall where his embroidered halter hung from its hook. If the Altmans ever moved to a different town, they would take Cap with them. My sister would never see him again. It wouldn't matter what he would or wouldn't do for her.

  8. “Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.”
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