Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Cripple Creek Ice Festival 2018~ pt.3

The second weekend of the Ice Festival saw record crowds fill the streets of Cripple Creek. And the additional sculptures added to the magic. 

The sculptures stay up for an additional week for visitors and residents to enjoy. Can't wait to see what's in store for next year!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Cripple Creek Ice Festival 2018 ~ pt.2

While the first day of the event brought a snowstorm to the area, the second day was gorgeous! The beautiful sunshine allowed people to fully enjoy the frosty creations.

In Cripple Creek, no event is complete unless there are DONKEYS!
The City had another shipment of ice brought in before the second weekend because in the past, the ice has melted in the warm temperatures, causing the sculptures to look a bit sad. But this year was different. The cold stuck around all week and the new ice allowed the sculpting teams to create more beautiful-ness. 

Next time we'll take a look at the second batch of sculptures and some night-time views.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Cripple Creek Ice Festival 2018 ~ pt. 1

The Cripple Creek Ice Festival takes place every February for two weekends. What a great way to break up the winter doldrums. Only thing is, it really hasn't been much like winter around here. We have had such extreme temperature swings! Almost Spring-like for a few days, then a storm blows in and brings us a small amount of snow and some frigid temperatures. The last couple years has seen warm temperatures for the Ice Fest and the ice begins melting not long after the first day. But this year was a little different. We had snow arrive on the first day and moderately chilly temperatures continued throughout the first weekend.

The Ice Festival is an interactive ice sculpture event with a different theme every year. The public is encouraged to touch, sit, and enjoy the sculptures carved by the sculpting teams. This year's theme was Renaissance in Ice with five professional ice sculpting teams who turned the downtown area into a medieval wonderland complete with an ice castle, dragon ice slide, carnival games in ice and for the adults a martini ice luge.

The ice was brought in on two semi-trailers over the course of two days- about 180,000 pounds of ice from the Great Lake region of Ohio. That would be 600 blocks of ice each weighing 300 pounds. It was fun watching the process. 

The ice is shrink wrapped for its protection
All manner of items were used to sculpt the ice - axes, chainsaws, blow dryers, kitchen utensils. Whatever gave the carvers the ability to shape the ice.

Next time, we'll take a walk down the street as another storm moves in and we'll view the finished sculptures. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Seeing Pink!

In honor of Valentine's Day, I am showcasing all the pink homes here in Cripple Creek. 
I have often wondered on the frequent walks I take around town, why there are so many pink homes. 
Was there a sale on Pretentious Pink at the hardware store?


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

What's Up With Those Houses?

When Cripple Creek was built, the original part of the town was built on the hillsides so as not to disturb the valuable pasture land along the creek bottom. That was just in case the gold strike didn't 'pan out' .  
And just like developers today, the land planners of yesterday wanted to get as many homes and people into as little space as possible. So homes were built extremely close to each other. So close, that sometimes the roofs would hang over each other.  Making it very difficult to paint between the houses (probably a chore for the children).

Building houses this close together was fairly common in old mountain mining towns. And created a unique set of problems, besides the painting and maintenance, you can hear the neighbors. Their alarm clock. Their phone. Their...well...you get the idea. The picture below is between my house and the neighbor's. I'm just glad I have nice neighbors. Hope they say the same about us! There is enough room between our homes that a grown person can walk. 

Of course, that means any windows that face this space could potentially open onto the neighbor's window. Like our bedroom which opens onto our neighbor's bedroom window. The green seen through the window is my neighbor's house.

And while we do have some breathing room on the west side of our house, this wasn't always the case. There used to be a boarding house next door - situated on what is now my side lawn. I can't even begin to imagine .....

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Life in a Volcano

I live in a volcano. An extinct one. At least I hope it is.

"Geologically Cripple Creek is a freak.", reported the Chicago Times in 1896. "It is a vast crater bed in which the elements once were wont to make merry with nature and play unexpected pranks that must have caused the systematic old dame many a vexatious hour."
The City of Cripple Creek can be seen sitting in a basin
which is an extinct caldera
Cripple Creek sits in a caldera measuring 24 square miles. When the caldera collapsed, giant size rocks were thrown about the basin. The caldera is surrounded on all sides by a combination  of quartz, feldspar, and mica. As eons passed by, more volcanic activity took place causing mineral rich solutions to fill the empty faults and fissures. These hardened over time and became the minerals which are now being mined near town. As more years passed, these mineral rich veins made their way closer to the surface only to be buried once again by granite, gneiss, and schist. Erosion later took its toll on some areas, exposing bits of the precious commodity.

The initial activity took place about 35 million years ago. There are still volcanic cones around Cripple Creek. All sitting quiet. Watching. Waiting.