First and foremost, my husband turned 30 this past week, quite the milestone. Other than approaching the need for a cane and hearing aide, he looks pretty damn good. I love celebrating him, I cherish his comical persona and adore his grandiose personality. I’ve celebrated six birthdays with him, but this one had to be special. As many of you know, we love to travel, we love to see new things and we live in a state that allows us to be adventurous. I decided to kidnap him for a weekend voyage in cosmic Colorado.
Our trip began in Mt. Princeton where we took pleasure in the natural hot springs. The resort is nestled in the mountains and contained three different pools with temperatures ranging from 90 degrees to 100 degrees. In addition to the pools was the river, this baffled me as I had never experienced a pleasure like this. There were areas sectioned by rocks, acting as individual hot tubs on the bank of the river. We climbed down the rock, nestled our tushes on the bottom of the river and reached our maximum comfort level. Thank you, magma, for calming our evening and gifting us with romantic warmth.
We rose early the following morning and drove out to St. Elmo, a little town rimmed with mountains and painted with history. The mountains showed no coyness in sharing its bright Aspens, open peaks and evergreen lined roads. We rented a 4-wheeler for the day and headed out on the trails, reaching 12,000 feet in elevation.
It was a 60 degree day and the trails were shaded with fall colors. It felt as if father fall kissed our cheeks and welcomed us to the most majestic place in the world. The deep valley’s were wide open, and we stumbled upon a few secret lakes, allowing us to sit in the silence of the mountains and enjoy its stillness.
Throughout our journey we eyed white-tailed deer and archaic buildings. We were fascinated with the many hoary cabins, mining structures and tiny towns that have disappeared with age. So much life and serenity laid in these hills, for a sport where you wear a helmet and fly down a dirt path at 30 mph, I was very relaxed.
We closed our 4-hour ATV tour with a walking tour of St. Elmo. The only thing left for the weekend was to soak in the antiquity of the preserved community. St. Elmo, Colorado; an authentic, untouched and historical “ghost town” from the 1800s.
As with many towns in the late 1800s, this was built with miners in mind, with the Mary Murphy Mine being it’s principal. Men were employed there, women were at home and the town ran on hard work and doleful losses.
The town was filled with hotels, restaurants, saloons and brothels; making this the scene for wild nights, strong laughter and hard-workers. This was a main hub for the railroads, thus bringing business in and taking business out. In the mid 1900’s, the town began its decline as miners made their way to better fortune at different mines. According to Legend of America, by 1926 the town was empty, the railroads were gone and only one family remained.
Annabelle and her brother Tony were the last remaining souls in St. Elmo after the death of their parents. They worked to keep the general store alive and attract tourists, neither of which panned out. The loss of family and friends effected them greatly as Annabelle was seen roaming the empty town with a shot gun, protecting her land. They were both taken to a mental institution and released a short year later where Tony met his death. Annabelle passed away a few years later, and to this day they say she still roams the town, offering her services as its main protector.
With a few minor losses in the fire of 2002, a majority of the structures still remain. As you can see below, homes and businesses alike are still standing with the aide of Historical Colorado. We loved experiencing the town and taking in the wonders of the 1800s, and no, we were not haunted by Annabelle Stark.
Our conclusion? Get out there, see your state and have a blast doing so. You may become versed in historical facts, encounter chilling ghosts or find yourself in the opulent surroundings of your own backyard. Big smiles and thumbs up for Mt. Princeton and St. Elmo!
Matt & Jackie (We will forever celebrate our birthdays with weekend excursions).