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ghost town in the colorado rockies

A sleepy "ghost town" called Wideawake....

One of the properties I have that's waiting for me to think of something clever to do with it is a little valley about five miles from the city of Blackhawk in the Colorado Rockies. It's surrounded by national forest land, with the Arapaho National Forest bordering it on one side and Roosevelt National Forest on the other. This is the main road going through the property, which branches off highway 119 not far outside of Blackhawk and then rejoins 119 again a little further north, near the Fritz Mountain Observatory.
The drive up there takes you through about two-and-a-half miles of tree-lined dirt road, and then right around the bend in the picture above, there's suddenly a great big open area that's roughly in the middle of the property. The valley's "pointed" at Thorodin mountain (the one in the middle of this picture), which is 10,555 feet high--not all that high for Colorado, but it's still taller than anybody I know. I've had a few events up here, and I never have to worry about people not having enough room to park.
There are a couple of forest service "roads" that branch off the main road on the north side of the main clearing; this one runs a bit more than a quarter mile further before heading off into Roosevelt National Forest.
There's not much left to show for it, but in the late 1800s, this used to be on the outskirts of a mining town called Wideawake. If you look enough, you can find the remains of what had been cabins and other structures more than a century ago, but a few scattered timbers and some debris that's been mostly erased by nature is barely a ghost of a "ghost town." The most identifiable remains of anything are the old mill and post office, a little ways off the property.

I've got a couple of newspaper clippings about the land that tell of a probably fictional story of a couple of miners stealing twenty sacks of gold back in the height of the Colorado gold rush and burying them around here. If you can see them in this picture, let me know....

This little trail leads off from the main clearing to a very nice, more secluded meadow with a spring.
Here's the north end of that meadow; a few friends held a wedding up here by the spring earlier in the year when it was a lot more colorful. According to the newspaper clippings I have, rumor was that this place is inhabited by elves. They haven't made themselves any more visible than the bags of gold, but if there were any elves, this seems like as reasonable a spot as any for them to hang out.
A lot of the rocks and even the big rock formations are made up of this rather nifty-looking tiger-striped stone that doesn't really show up in this picture. When you wander through the more densely treed parts of the valley and the hillsides, there's always something interesting waiting to be found or at least climbed.

Since casino gambling has been legalized in Blackhawk, the area's being built up pretty fast. Even though the land immediately surrounding this place is national forest, you don't have to go far before you get to where the houses are sprouting up rather like houses do these days. Right now I don't have anything built up here, but I've gotten at least a few inquiries lately about the possibility of doing something with the land. For now, though, it's just a little valley with the tree-covered hills around it and the sky above.

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