It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a month since our trip to Colorado. My, how time flies. This is part 2 of our trip (you can see part 1 here).
When I last left you, we had gone for a hike, visited a friend in Denver, and were on our way south to Buena Vista (pronounced by locals as Be-YOU-na-vista, to our bewilderment). We got as far as Kenosha pass and pulled over to camp in the car for the night.
Sadly, there were no Kenny sightings 🙂
That bowl is Chester and Gretel’s new classy travel dish from PawNosh – the Fire Hose Bowl – made in the USA from reclaimed fire hose.
Colorado is famous for ghost towns so we wanted to see at least one while we were there. One of the best preserved, and easiest to get to (no 4X4 needed), is the St. Elmo ghost town.
There were a few pretty amazing views on the drive up there.
St. Elmo was founded in 1880 and nearly 2,000 people lived there during the gold and silver mining boom. By 1922, mining activity had declined in the area and railroad service was discontinued. The town pretty much dried up after that.
Even though St. Elmo is considered a ghost town, a few people still live there. The general store is operational and open during the summer. I think I heard the guy behind the counter say that his family was one of the original settlers of the town and he had been running the store for over 25 years.
St. Elmo is a very popular gathering place for 4-wheeler enthusiasts as there are several roads and trails in the area. The store is a good place to stop for snacks and some water to wash down all of that dust they’ve been inhaling. I heard you can rent, what look like little 4-wheeler golf carts (side by sides I think my hubby said they are called?), there too. One of the coolest things about the town is all of the hummingbirds. The general store puts out a lot of feeders so they are everywhere. I almost felt a little uneasy with all of the swarming and buzzing. Ha, ha. Anyway, I was able to snap a picture of this little guy when we stopped for some eats.
One of the best things about traveling to a new place is the people you meet and conversations you have with random strangers. We were getting ready to leave but ended up chatting with this really friendly guy instead. He said he has visited St. Elmo several times and was telling us a bit about the area. He said there was a cool trail up one of the side roads – Hancock Pass Road – called the Alpine Tunnel Trail. We love spontaneous side trips so we decided to check it out. We didn’t have time to hike all of the way to the historic Alpine Tunnel but the views were great.
We hadn’t pre-planned where we would stay that night but I found an awesome dog friendly place to stay the day before while passing the drive time surfing the internets – the Mountain Goat Lodge.
The woman who runs the place was nice. It turns out that she lived in Western Washington where we live but left for less rain, more sunshine, and to start her own little ranch. The property consists of a big lodge where you can rent a room, a little group of the cutest retro campers, a hot tub, and a barn and greenhouse that guests are welcome to poke around in. The owner makes her own cheese and you can schedule a 2-hour class during your stay where she teaches you how. Even cooler than all of that stuff was the fenced, off-leash area for dogs to play in!
If you rent a room in the lodge, it comes with breakfast in the morning… which I hear is to die for. We opted to stay in a tiny retro camper though because we love to pretend we live in a tiny home (you can see what it looks like on the inside here). Each camper has it’s own little patio where you can watch the sun set.
By the end of the day. Chester and Gretel were exhausted. If you have been following us for a while, you know it is rare that they “snuggle” or touch. Even when they do touch, it is usually an accident and because one is totally oblivious of the other’s presence. One of them (usually Chester) will move away once contact is made. As you can see here, no one was budging. I like to call this one “extreme touching” 🙂