Colorado History 101


Bud and I were reminiscing of a weekend trip we took from our home driving to Julesburg Colorado, across I-80 into Laramie, Wyoming [also stopping at FORT Laramie] and down a highway to an old abandoned stage station [Virginia Dale] and another stage stop called Livermore, Colorado to Laporte, thru Fort Collins, and back home, following the old Overland Trail Route from Denver to Laramie,  Wyoming. From all angles of the road trip, a mountain is visible. I'll get to that in a second. In the 1850s there was a stage station operator called Jack Slade. I found a book recently published about him, and am reading it right now. He [Slade] is historically elusive once he arrives in the west...but there are legends and hearsay of his where-abouts and dealings with the Overland Trail that goes through Colorado into Wyoming. I've always been more curious about the man, and hope to learn more from the author's research on the subject and time frame.


Virginia Dale Stage Station - Livermore Hotel
circa 1850-1980[?]
Reason for the question mark is 'cause I don't know if they're still in existence beyond 1980



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When I was young, and single, still living with my parents, during the summer we'd often go up northwest in the Rocky Mountain Front Range so my father and brother could take their boat out on this huge reservoir and fish!! Of course, I had the least interest in fishing as the sport, but I didn't mind going out on the boat on a hot, summer day. I was always fascinated by the mountain behind the reservoir.


sorry for the yellow quality of photo[s]
They're close to 50 years old and the film color is fading


In fact the reservoir had the same name as the mountain.  I'm hoping it remains a landmark/icon.   The mountain itself has a few folk stories.  Some, from American Indian Tribes, etc. Bud, a native Coloradoan, had a good friend that lived on the south end of the water.  It was a thrill to see the eaglets, and the beautiful golden heads of the fledglings' parents on their land. At the time of year one season, there was an awful drought and the reservoir was VERY low in water capacity. The water table was really down and we could see foundations [as pointed out with the black arrows on image-enlarge it] of an old quarry town called Stout, Colorado. After dams were built and completed, the abandoned town was covered with water the year I was born...destroying a bit of history of that North Colorado area. Since then, I've read several stories of this area less than an hour's drive from where I grew up. Anyway, back to the mountain. As I say it's an icon for that part of the Front Range!

I am sorry, I got sidetracked in thoughts again...back to the mountain.  Having a conversation about the Overland Stage Stations we visited long ago made me think of it.  The mountain and most of what areas open to the public were pristine and uninhabited for the most part, now old friends in Colorado tell Bud and me that it's more or less ruined with homes and cut trails, no longer a wilderness.  I like to remember how it was back when we hiked to see the golden eagle nest...:  Horsetooth Mountain.  Over the last week or so it's been too hot to be outdoors for any length of time, so, I sketched it...

17 comments :

  1. How wonderful! Your drawing is superb. Our family went to Colorado on vacation last year and loved it. I can see why they call this mountain Horsetooth!

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    1. Yes, it's aptly named!! It even looks MORE like a horse's tooth from the back side.

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  2. Hello, wonderful memory of your childhood. The mountain scenery is gorgeous. I have been to the Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park and loved it, I would go back anytime to see it again. Your sketch is beautiful. Happy Wednesday, enjoy your day!

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    1. You've only seen a eensy-teensy bit of Colorado. You should go back and maybe explore the Royal Gorge or the Mesa Verde area. Thanks Eileen.

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  3. Sorry it's been so hot where you are, I know how much you love to be outdoors. You are a very talented artist, Anni! :-)

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    1. Oh definitely...I'd much rather be outdoors than cooped up inside.

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  4. Good morning, and what fun, good old memories from before and now lived again. That is some hotel, I wonder too if they are still in business!

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    1. At one TIME it was a hotel....but not any more. I'm wondering if it was still intact.

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  5. Awesome job with the sketch. I was lucky enough to visit Denver and the surrounding mountains about six years ago. I can imagine how amazing it was before houses dotted the view. I hope to make it back to Colorado someday. It's one of the few places I liked (almost) as much as southwestern PA.

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    1. I admit, Colorado is a very pretty state, all seasons, but in the winter you don't wanna visit Denver. The GREEN smog'll killya!!!

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  6. Your drawing is excellent. You are very talented.

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  7. I like your drawing. Nice memories too

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  8. Thanks for the "virtual" trip. Always an enjoyable ride.. Stay staff and hope the storm is not too bad your way.

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    1. no storm....a bit of high surf yesterday, but today...high tide only.

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  9. It just seems that all the wild areas are being built on or trampled over.

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