9/13/13

Street Walkers

We started working Plan B today. Plan B starts with us taking a day off from driving hundreds of miles for the first time this trip. It's true we spent a day in Rocky Mountain National Park and drove the Trail Ridge Road through the park without the trailer attached. Nevertheless, it was over a hundred miles to Grand Lake and back. We weren't anticipating making the same drive with the trailer the very next day, but I suppose that is when Plan B actually started. We drove to Breckenridge, CO yesterday, and we were anticipating moving on again today.

When I checked in at this RV park, I inquired of the little twit sitting behind the desk if there was an option to stay an extra night. (It was raining, and we weren't sure we wanted to.) She said "No, we're kind of booked up." The "kind of" part of that statement was troubling to me, especially since she didn't even glance at her computer screen to see if there were any vacancies.

"Really?" I asked. "Why would that be? You have over 200 spaces, and there is no snow in the mountains. So what is the attraction?"

"Well, there's stuff going on, Octoberfest, and all."

"Hm." I said. "I suppose that makes sense...in September."

As it turns out Octoberfest actually *is* going on this weekend. Nevertheless, Mike and I were highly skeptical of this filled-to-capacity claim when we saw how many empty spaces there were. So, this morning, when we woke up to blue skies and sunshine, Mike decided to give it another try. The twit was still there, but somehow Mike's commanding presence (not) enticed her to check her computer screen again, and lo and behold, our exact space was available for another evening. Go figure.

So that, my friends, is how we ended up having a day of no long-distance driving for the first time this trip.

Breckenridge is a cute little town, a ski resort community, with the thriving economy that goes along with a healthy dose of tourism. It is also a historical town. The town traces its roots to the gold rush, when prospectors panned gold from the Blue River in 1859. Some 250 historic structures reminiscent of the mining era are preserved in one of Colorado's largest National Historic Districts, and the charming Main Street houses galleries, shops, restaurants, and nightspots that inhabit colorfully restored Victorian homes.


Today, we decided to take a stroll along Main Street. We used up every bit of sunshine when it started sprinkling on us as we returned to our car.

We were able to park in a large public lot (free in summer) and make our way to Main Street. Along the way, we passed this monument.


At first, I thought it was a monument to the intrepid skier, but then realized that this particular skier was carrying a rifle. Turns out it was a monument to the American Mountain Soldiers from World War II. 


Mike and I watched a documentary about these soldiers once, and the tiny print on the sign correctly stated that some of the soldiers had been trained at our neighbor to the north in Washington, Mt. Rainier.


As we continued on, we noticed these white bumps on some pine trees. Now, what does this look like to you? We think Breckenridge actually decorates its trees with fake snow when none of the real stuff is available.


There were some wonderful shops along the way. I went inside this next one. It was selling reclaimed items from farms and other vintage structures, like doors and windows, and a whole lot of other wonderful junk.


I didn't see anything I wanted to buy, but it was sure fun to walk around looking at stuff. I saw this, and I knew you'd want to see it too. A vintage row of log cabin blocks framed behind glass. 


Back out on the street, we saw this hummingbird (to the right in the image) sipping nectar from the many flower pots lining the street.


At the same spot, we also spied a Sphinx Moth, also apparently drinking nectar. This sucker was big, and at first, I thought it might be a bird. I tried to get a picture of it, but it was so quick that my picture was blurry. 

It's body was approximately the size of the first two joints of my index finger, and its wings moved fast like the hummingbird.

Most of the structures on Main Street had been beautifully restored, but a few had not. This one, for example:



I'm hoping you can read what the sign above the door says.


MUSEUM
Office of Wm. Pollock
1862
First Clerk and Recorder
Summit County

Cool, huh? Here is another.


This next building was restored, but still wore it's corrugated metal siding.


We noticed that all the fire hydrants had flags, presumably so that they can be located in deep snow. We are at 9,600 feet of elevation, and so I'm guessing there is lots and lots and lots of snow here in the winter time.


We also stopped in at this little shop called "Magical Scraps". What a cute little shop. It seemed to be owned by a young woman who made her living making and embellishing items for sale. She has a website right here where you can see some of her things. I ended up getting tiny leather hand bag that was lined with some of her scrappy fabric...it's sort of like a fanny pack, but has a long strap so that I can wear it over my shoulder.


She had lots of cute stuff for kids of all ages...even big kids, like me. I wish someone would make one of these sock monkey hats in adult sizes. I'd be having me one of these if they did.


She also had a small supply of fabric...very cute stuff that she uses in her sewing, but it was also available cut from the bolt.


We had lunch at a nice little cafe where we sat outside and had a view of Breckenridge Mountain (elevation about 14,000 feet) and the ski slopes.


Today the windows of the many Victorian structures caught my attention, and I found myself taking pictures of them. Maybe I'll start a window quilt one of these days that could go with my door quilt.




If you look at this image above, you can see that some of the unrestored buildings are sided with what we now use as waterproof roofing material with brown wood siding beneath.


After walking up and down both sides of the street, we returned to our car. On the way, we passed "The Dredge" floating restaurant. This is a replica of a dredge that operated on the river during the early 1900's.


This is what the restaurant website has to say about it:
From the early 1900`s up to 1942, there were a total of nine dredges operating in Summit County. Once there was a railroad, there was capability to build these huge dredges. The boilers alone, weighed over eleven tons and were shipped from the east coast, while the timber came from Oregon.
This two million pound floating restaurant is a replica is one of the largest and longest operating dredges in Breckenridge. It was the last dredge operating and stopped forever in this pond in 1942. Its remains are entombed in the silt below us right now.In 1933, starting near Watson Avenue, The Dredge slowly moved through Breckenridge, operating continuously night and day until the end of 1935. Without profits to keep it alive, The Dredge lay idle.
With no maintenance and care, it sank in November of 1937. In 1939 The Dredge was again resurrected by the lure of gold and eastern financiers and was renamed Blue River No.1. It began churning from its sunken location near Washington Avenue and it landed in its final location-here! Later, it was partially dismantled with the last of its remains sinking in 1966.

So with that, we returned to the trailer, and we've just been hanging out the rest of the afternoon.

Tomorrow, we're going to check the forecast in Montrose, Colorado, which is where Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is located. The forecast has not looked very good, and we are loathe to drive into any more rain. If it doesn't look any better, we'll skip that stop and continue onto Moab, Utah, where the weather is looking great.

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

Laurel said...

Check out Sandra Dallas' book called Prayers for Sale. It is set in Breckinridge during the gold dredging times. A good read.

Junebug613 said...

What a neat looking place! I would love that architectural salvage store and Magical Scraps! Oh the hummer! I had a fabulous encounter with one in Phoenix in February. Also there is a wonderful place in south Florida, called Butterfly World. They have an aviary with several different species of Hummingbirds. As you walk around, they zip by you, hover about and occasionally land. I think I have pictures somewhere! Anyway, I love those zippy little things! Sorry you had to deal with a person who has the personality of a doorknob. I hope the weather holds out so you can get where you want.

WoolenSails said...

This was a fun place to visit, love the log cabin piece and the town.

Debbie

Ray and Jeanne said...

So glad you finally got some sunshine and a wonderful day! You and we left Estes Park in time - they had more than 6 inches of rain again last night. RMNP closed at noon today. Essential travel is allowed but there are mudslides, rock/boulder slides, and much flooding. We are heading on to Steamboat Springs in the morning. Hoping to get out of the rain/storm path. Enjoy the rest of your vacation! btw that is a really neat framed log cabin piece. ~Jeanne

Vroomans' Quilts said...

This looks like a wonderful place to stroll and enjoy. I think you are safer moving on to blue skies - we are in heavy rains and cold here as well - yes, areas of flooding again, but not that severe.

Brown Family said...

We did not see much of the town when we were there. It was too cold to be out for Texas sun birds! I can see we missed a lot! I have been mapping your travels fir fun. you have been on some very windy roads!

quiltzyx said...

Beautiful flower containers all over town! And I think I would love that Marigolds farmhouse funk & junk store. :D

It's great that you had a nice sunny day to wander the town - and that the ninny at the RV park gave y'all a straight answer at last.

I think a window quilt would go great with your door quilt. What wonderful old buildings.

Tami C said...

I'm glad you had sunshine today so that you could stroll around that cute little town. I enjoyed the picture of Smitty looking down on you. I thought he had decided that was a good place for him! Hope the weather is favorable tomorrow so you can go to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Good luck!

Lyndsey said...

Sounds like a good day, the photos are great especially the one of the hummingbird. My bird watching husband is a little green as he would love to see one. I love your collection of 'windows'. That's the trouble with holidays they potentially lead to even more projects.

Lynne said...

What a lovely little town and to think you nearly didn't get to visit! Hope the weather stays fine for the rest of your trip.

Diane Wild said...

Glad you are no longer in harm's way and finally enjoying some good scenery. Hope all is well.

Kate said...

Looks like a cool place to visit.

Kate said...

Looks like a cool place to visit.