Wednesday, August 26

Roadschool Trip to Colorado + Gold Rush

In the tiny town of Silver Plume, Colorado, we stumbled upon a wonderful family day trip!  We started the morning at the train station, and then took a long train ride through the mountains...
Upon arrival at the mining site, we de-boarded the train, along with other families, and made our way over to the trails.  It was still cool way up here, and we had to keep the kids away from the edge of camp, as it immediately dropped off into a raging river.

It took a few minutes for the staff to get all of the passengers sorted into their various groups.  We opted for both a mine tour and panning for gold.  If you're going to take the day trip, go ahead and spring for the lunch.  It's not much, but it's all provided and you won't have to pack everything in and out of camp yourself.
There were so many picturesque scenes....every way that you turned!  We loved all of the trestle bridges built through the mountains and across the rivers.  Our group leader was incredibly perky...and she knew a lot about panning!  She helped everyone sort through their gold, and every single person in our group found gold, except for one.  I, naturally, came home with a vial of copper.  Go figure!
The mine tour was a great way for the kids to get hands-on with their history lesson for the day.  The staff turned the lights all the way out, discussed the various tools miners would use, and we even learned some chemistry lessons!
After finishing up our gold panning, mine tour, and lunch, we hopped back on the train for another gorgeous ride through the Rockies.
Heading on down the road, we pulled off and slipped our shoes off to dip our feet in the rushing river.  The waters were moving so quickly...and they were SO cold!  Having never been to this area of the country before, it was all new and fascinating!
It was so difficult to fathom the water being that cold, when it was 100 degrees outside!  But as you looked at the peaks of the mountains, snow was clearly visible.  The rushing waters were the melting snow caps.  Just sitting, closing our eyes, and listening to the sounds of nature around us was a very soul-moving event.
If you live in, or travel through, this area of the country often, you probably take for granted the beauty. The Rocky Mountains were by and large the biggest mountains we've ever seen!  (Note : These ginger mints work super well for carsickness.  Even better than those bands.)  Had to keep on keepin' on!!


Colorado / Gold Rush Resources

That evening, we stopped off at the first hotel we could find, which was in a place called Georgetown.  Everyone was pretty happy to be out of the car, especially since we'd been driving on windy Rocky Mountain roads all day.  Note :  When you see a windy road sign on an already-twisty road, with a 9% downhill grade....you're in for a wild ride!!!!!
We checked into the cutest little bed and breakfast, called the Hotel Chateau Chamoix.  This place was impeccably run, with the nicest innkeeper!  The breakfast was delicious, the rooms were spacious, and the atmosphere was magnifique!  Hubby and I will definitely be trying to get back there for a quiet weekend....  We went for a walk, just to look around and stretch our legs.  This bridge ran over a rushing river, and we enjoyed its peace for a few minutes.
While wandering around, we found this neat cafe called the Euro Grill.  It's only open in the summer, but it's run by visiting students from the Czech Republic, and the food and atmosphere are fantastic!!  Authentic European cuisine....we sampled a little bit of everything.  Delicious!

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