A few weekends ago, some of Cory’s family was in town and we all spent a few days exploring Colorado. One of the adventures we found ourselves on was a biking trip around the historic town of Leadville.
There used to be a great deal of mining around Leadville, and the effects of it remain marked very clearly on the landscape. The trail we biked was an eleven mile paved loop called the Mineral Belt Trail which provided panoramic views of the city along with some interesting old mining structures and signposts with historical information.
We rode through some aspen groves that would be lovely in the fall, and I’m always amazed at how plants will grow under the most adverse conditions – all these piles of refuse from the mines that poisoned water supplies and caused problems for the environment had flowers growing out of them! A sweet reminder that beauty in the midst of mess is not necessarily impossible, although invariably more work. But perhaps more valuable?
I’m generally not much of a biker – I will run or walk for miles without much complaint but for some reason, bikes give me much more trouble. We took the loop counter-clockwise which provided a steeper climb for the first half of the trip but a longer more gradual downhill. In any case, the downhill part was quite lovely! Ha.
I think it’s fun to learn the history behind the places you live and the places you visit – that’s part of the mystery of a new place and I always enjoy a place more when I can see my story intertwining with the stories of people who walked around here before me. I can only imagine what people went through living and working in these Western mining towns so long ago! Or before them, the first person to figure out there was something valuable way deep in the rock somewhere. Or before them, the first people to see these mountains and think, that would be a nice place to settle down.
Humans make history interesting, don’t they?