Cripple Creek, Colorado

IMG_1097Teller County Seat, Cripple Creek was incorporated in 1892. About 1,200 people call this town home. In 1890 Bob Womack discovered gold in the area and the last gold rush in Colorado began. Soon After, the Independence Lode was discovered in the region, known as one of the largest gold strikes in history.IMG_1096Substantial Court House. Colorado voters legalized gambling in the area in 1991 so that is the towns main source of revenue today.IMG_1090Cripple Creek suffered significant loss in two fires in 1896, the town was rebuilt in several months so most structures in town are from that year. By 2005 over 23.5 million troy ounces were removed from the district. There are still large scale mine operations in the area.IMG_1092Bikers were gathering for an event on their way to Sturgis. I went to one antique store but did not see anything that spoke to me. I received several options for a burger but did not make my decision until a couple members of local law enforcement suggested Maggies. IMG_1098Maggies is attached to a casino but you could not hear slot machines.IMG_1103I ordered Maggies namesake burger which was a nice pile of produce, 1/2 pound pattie, bacon and avocado. Served promptly by attentive staff.IMG_1105I was pleased to be joined by my mother as we explored some off the beaten path byways.

Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado

IMG_1056Grand County seat, Hot Sulphur Springs, was discovered in 1840 by William Newton Byers. Byers was the founder of the Rocky Mountain News. About 700 people live here. I found it interesting that Byers bought the land from a Sioux woman, while the land was owned by the Ute’s. The Utes sued to get their land back, and lost.IMG_1052I think this is the Court House. Payday used to always be on the last day of the month and frequently ended in gunfights. Because of this, Halloween was celebrated on the 30th instead of the 31’st to protect the children. That tradition is still in effect today.IMG_1060But I prefer this one.IMG_1045I drove through Rocky Mountain National Park on my way to Hot Sulphur Springs. I have talked to a few people that have been to the park recently and were a little disappointed they haven’t seen any wildlife…… First light is key!IMG_1061I enjoyed the Museum, but besides that and the resort there is not much else in town, It was suggested I get my burger at one location but when it still wasn’t open by 11:00 I went down the street to the Glory Hole. The name reminded me of the homeless shelter in Juneau so I was interested anyway.IMG_1062I walked in through the employee entrance and was made right at home by the friendly staff. Good cheeseburger meeting all my requirements, I didn’t even have to ask for mustard. My debit card was declined when it was charged $917.00 so it took a bit to realize because I felt fairly certain I had $9.17.

Wray, Colorado

IMG_1006Yuma County seat, Wray, was incorporated in 1906 and is home to about 2500 people. The community was named after John Wray, a local Cattleman. Water storage is critical in Colorado, it has taken me awhile to learn that towns in the plains need water towers, while mountain community’s put storage tanks on hills above town.IMG_1009Hands down my favorite Court House to date, It is very clear what the building is. IMG_1014Wray is an All-America City which is quite exciting since I was unable to really find any history on the area, except for the famous Battle of Beecher Island which was about 20 miles from town.IMG_1019I did climb to the top of a small bluff and see a marker from the first meeting of Masons in Eastern Colorado.IMG_0994There was only one thrift store, which I will say was very well stocked, but sadly the gold lame’ and lycra was not speaking to me. So I did not get anything.  I forgot to get a picture of my cheeseburger spot but will say it is called “4th and Main Downtown Grill”, coincidentally located at 4th and Main, upstairs.IMG_1020I will just say this burger shot to the top 5. The staff greeted me and was very attentive (although I was the only patron) I ordered a large kickass burger and that is what I received. Sauted mushrooms, some kind of onion,fresh pressed beef, generous amounts of fresh produce, and perfect bun. In a town that seems to be in an alternate universe, they have adopted an amazing burger joint.

Grand Junction, Colorado

IMG_0986Mesa County seat, Grand Junction, was incorporated in 1882 and is home to about 60,000 people. “Grand” refers to the Grand River, which was renamed Upper Colorado River and “Junction” is the confluence of the Gunnison and Colorado rivers.IMG_0988Stately County Courthouse located in the middle of the Grand Valley. The valley was originally inhabited by the Fremont people in 200 A.D. The Ute’s showed up around 1400 A.D. The area was actually part of the colonial empire of Spain until 1881.IMG_0976Colorado National Monument west of the cityIMG_0984Words or photos cannot do justice to the Colorado National Monument. I took Rim Rock road from Grand Junction to Fruita and some of the most awe inspiring scenery I have seen to date.IMG_0987The downtown area seems to be revitalized with lots of sculptures and street art.IMG_0980I saw several coyote cutouts at the State Park in Fruita, not sure if they are supposed to be educational, but they can scare the shit out of you in low light situations. I spent most of my time in the Monument so did not do any shopping. People I talked to gave me a couple different cheeseburger options but only one seemed to make sense.IMG_0990Jimmy’z on 12th is located across the street from Colorado Mesa University. I am sure the college has an influence on this burger joint but I believe its close proximity to Dalton Trumbo’s boyhood home has helped.IMG_099311:15 am and the line is forming. Place your order, receive your number, step to the left. I ordered a basic double cheese, although there was several awesome looking choices. Fresh hand pressed burger, good condiments, fresh bun. This is the first cheeseburger I was unable to finish. As good as it was, it was just bigger than I realized. If you are in Grand Junction, find Jimmy’z on 12th street and see how a cheeseburger is meant to be.