We will start with the two State Parks, Mueller and Chatfield. The only thing they have in common is their size. 197 campsites at Chatfield and 132 at Mueller.
Chatfield is about 35 miles southwest from Cherry Creek on the outskirts of the Denver Metro area. Catering to folks in RV's, all sites have electricity and half have full hook-ups. Most of the sites are pull through, very few spurs. A large lake with good fishing and boating complete the picture. Speaking of pictures, here are two showing the day use area across the lake and a typical campsite:
Mueller is about 100 miles west and almost one mile higher. No lake, just lots of trees and hiking trails. Over 50 miles of them. The temperature was 30 degrees cooler as well. After spending 2 1/2 hours walking Chatfield on the way here, it was a welcome relief. Denver is having record high temps at the moment. But it also suffers from thunderstorms every afternoon at this time of the year. Monsoon season is what the locals call it. Arghhh! Wet tent is season is what I call it. Here are a few photos showing my campsite, my fire after the rain stopped, and a beautiful view:
I left Mueller On Wednesday for the short drive to Eleven Mile State Park. But I did not go straight there. Mueller is one CO 67. A few miles south are the towns of Victor and Cripple Creek, and the road loops back to CO 24 and Eleven Mile. This is where my Dickensian reference comes into play.
Two cities, five miles apart. Both old mining towns, but with one big difference. Which I will get to in a bit. First, the byway:
Victor and Cripple Creek anchor a mining region that yielded 23.5 million ounces of gold between 1891 and 2005. But Cripple Creek is still mining gold from the pockets of it's casino visitors. That is the difference between these two towns. One has casinos, the other does not. Here are some photos of Victor:
Not much going on. Compare those photos to Cripple Creek:
Heck, the city even has a little train you can ride on, plenty of bars, and neat artwork on the brick buildings:
Unfortunately, the towns real claim to fame has closed down. I was going to visit strictly for informational purposes, but to no avail:
Yeah, they turned it into another casino. Now they have 14. Don't believe me? Click Here.
So I headed out of town towards Eleven Mile State Park. I was still a little perturbed about the Old Homestead being closed. Suddenly, right in front of me, was a fine ass strolling naked down the street. I took a photo:
I also saw this sign:
I looked high and low. I could not find my Dad sleeping anywhere…Ba-Da-Bing!
Regards, Park Ranger