Subject: Legends of America - September 2018 Newsletter

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Legends of America Newsletter - September, 2018
That road seemed even narrower when we went over it.  Before we left for our Colorado adventure, Kathy had shown me videos of Skyline Drive in Canon City. "No problem, we can do that", I remember saying.  But by the time I got to the top of the ridge I was saying "Are you sure our Ford F-150 is going to fit on this road? And no, I don’t want to look, just take pictures while I concentrate on not falling off the side."

Our adventure in Colorado was great, but a little short, and we need to return for more. As you will see on our "What's New" page, we binged on Colorado mining and ghost towns, including many we haven't even explored yet, along with those from our recent adventure. 

We almost didn't make it there. Taking a southerly route to see family in the Texas Panhandle, our first overnight in the travel trailer was at Elk City, Oklahoma's city park. Great 'free-camping' right by a small lake. The few trailer spaces they have are on an incline, so instead of just staying hooked up to the pickup, I decided we would disconnect and level out. Kathy and our furry kids went ahead and hopped in the trailer, and I diligently started cranking on the hitch. It wasn't until I stood on the bumper to bounce it off that I realized I hadn't put the chocks behind the trailer wheels. Thank goodness my absent mindedness also extended to forgetting to disconnect the chains. The trailer rolled almost a foot before jolting to a halt. It was a clear shot to the lake only a few yards away.  Close call, and a reminder to concentrate on not giving surprise swims to your wife and dogs. 
In the meantime, Kathy and I both celebrated our birthdays in late August, mine on the 28th and Kathy's on the 29th. A good friend of ours wanted to make sure it was "special" since I turned 50 this year, so she put us up at a casino in Kansas City and invited several of our other friends to join in celebration.  The "50 Cane" was handed down to me with special instruction to date, sign and add something to it for the next friend with a 50 birthday. I'm thinking of adding a miniature trailer hitch, but open to suggestions from you all. 

Lot's to cover here, so I'll close for now. 
Dave "didn't know it could roll that fast" Alexander. 
What's New on LOA

This is only a sample of the latest additions since our last newsletter. Be sure to visit the What's New Page for more!
Conway, Texas – Home of the Bug Ranch – Sixteen miles west of Groom, Texas is the ghost town of Conway, the last town on Route 66 before reaching Amarillo.

Folsom – Along the Dry Cimarron Scenic Byway, Folsom is a semi-ghost town in Union County, New Mexico, with a history of outlaws, floods and dinosaur bones.

Trinidad – Coal Queen of Colorado – Trinidad, Colorado, has a storied history of exploration, a trail stop, old west & native american history, coal mining, sex changes, and now even marijuana.

Coal Mining Towns of the Vermejo Park Ranch – Located west of the Raton, New Mexico is Vermejo Park Ranch, where the remains of five coal mining camps that are an integral part of the area history.
Guffey – Quirky Mining Town – Guffey, in southern Park county Colorado, displays its historic charm in quirky detail to visitors looking for a scenic Rocky Mountain escape.

Ghosts of Clear Creek Canyon Colorado – Clear Creek Canyon road includes several remnants of mining glory from the 1800’s, along with two ghost towns with museums, Vicksburg and Winfield.

Canon City, Colorado’s Skyline Drive – Skyline Drive in Canon City, Colorado is a scenic and thrilling 2.6-mile road that provides unparalleled views of the area.

Million Dollar Highway, Colorado – Consistently voted as one of the top ten scenic highways in the United States, the 70-mile Million Dollar Highway twists and turns through the mountains, providing visitors with breathtaking views of the San Juan Mountain Range and the Uncompahgre Gorge.

Earl Dunraven and the Estes Park Land Grab – Irish aristocrat Earl of Dunraven was much hated by Estes Park, Colorado residents as he wished to own and control all of the area.

Red Mountain Mining District, Colorado – Little remains of the towns that once prospered in the district but, about 50 structures still stand in the area.

Did You Know?
Ceremony and rituals have long played a vital and essential role in Native American culture. Often referred to as “religion,” most Native Americans did not consider their spirituality, ceremonies, and rituals as “religion,” in the way that Christians do. Rather, their beliefs and practices form a integral and seamless part of their very being. Like other aboriginal peoples around the world, their beliefs were heavily influenced by their methods of acquiring food, – from hunting to agriculture. They also embraced ceremonies and rituals that provided power to conquer the difficulties of life, as wells as events and milestones, such as puberty, marriage, and death. Over the years, practices and ceremonies changed with tribes‘ needs.
For your morning coffee... Boot-Hills & Their Stories

Frederick Ritchie Bechdolt wrote the following piece in his 1922 book "When the West Was Young"

Back in the wild old days you found one on the new town’s outskirts and one where the cattle trail came down to the ford, and one was at the summit of the pass. There was another on the mesa overlooking the water-hole where the wagon outfits halted after the long dry drive. The cowboys read the faded writing on the wooden headboards and from the stories made long ballads which they sang to the herds on the bedding grounds. The herds have long since vanished, the cowboys have ridden away over the skyline, the plaintive songs are slipping from the memories of a few old men, and we go riding by the places where those headboards stood, oblivious.

Of the frontier cemeteries whose dead came to their ends, shod in accordance with the grim phrase of their times, there remains one just outside the town of Tombstone to the north. Here, straggling mesquite bushes grow on the summit of the ridge; cacti and ocatilla sprawl over the sun-baked earth hiding between their thorny stems the headboards and the long narrow heaps of stones which no man could mistake. Some of these headboards still bear traces of black-lettered epitaphs which tell how death came to strong men in the full flush of youth. But the vast majority of the boulder heaps are marked by cedar slabs whose penciled legends the elements have long since washed away.

Popular on Facebook 

In case you missed's some articles that have received the most interaction on our Facebook fan pages over the past month. 

This new addition got a lot of action on Facebook - Tucked away in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado is the Alpine Loop National Backcountry Byway, filled with ghost towns and mining camps.

August 17, 1862, the Dakota War (also known as the Sioux Uprising) begins in Minnesota.

(From our primary Legends' Facebook Page)
An explorer, fur trapper, trader, and mountain man, William “Bill” Lewis Sublette was born in Stanford, Kentucky on September 21, 1798.

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I live in Maricopa city and drive by that range everyday. It’s cool to know some more history about it! I have buddies go looking in vekol wash and have found gold. It’s still out there to be discovered! - Matt, ref Sierra Estrella Buried Gold

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