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A Visit to Blackhawk
by Stormy on August 28, 2007

Hiking and gambling don't go well together, but if you're a marmot, you can make any puzzle fit.

There's nothing like a visit to the great outdoors and today Summer and I decided to head up to the mountains for a day long hike. On the way up we passed through Blackhawk, an old mining town now known as one of Colorado's gambling meccas. We figured that we should make a stop here on the way back. Our destination was Pickle Gulch, a place where we hiked many times before. Pickle Gulch is an old favorite because it's close, offers good camping and some spectacular hikes! All hikes here start the same way, from Pickle Gulch, up a drainage that's used as a jeep trail and into the wilds of the Arapaho National Forest. After a 1000 foot ascent we paused at an old mining town, took some pictures at an overlook facing Mount Evans, then crossed over a nameless hill into Stewart Gulch and continued up the trail. Here we took a detour to an old mining camp on the slopes of Oregon Hill, then tried our luck up Dakota Hill. This hiking two miles above sea level and the scenery is nothing short of gorgeous! The downside was the scenery to our west. Scary looking gray clouds started to gather and as soon as thunder was heard, it was a hint fur us to head back down. The road back was all downhill, but it was a long road and we did get caught in a downpour. The consolation prize at the end of the day was a stop in Blackhawk on the way home. With the sun out once again, we checked out the sites and visited Ameristar Casino, much like I did when I was in Missouri. It was a wonderful opportunity to get away from the rigors of city life.

An abandoned mining cabin high above Blackhawk.
(taken by Max on August 28, 2007)
The view out the window. One could learn to enjoy living here.
(taken by Max on August 28, 2007)
Yes, it's a long way up for two small marmots. That's Mount Evans in the distance on the right side.
(taken by Max on August 28, 2007)
So how do squirrels eat this thing?
(taken by Max on August 28, 2007)
This is more like it! Want to split a shroom?
(taken by Max on August 28, 2007)
Stormy thought Blackhawk's fire engine was pretty cool.
(taken by Max on August 28, 2007)
Nope, these aren't real bears. You wouldn't catch marmots this close to the real thing for nothing!
(taken by Max on August 28, 2007)
Summer and Stormy show off their brand new casino cards. Yes, marmots may gamble in Colorado.
(taken by Max on August 28, 2007)

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