I live in the beautiful state of Colorado and I am blessed. I have, however, taken my state for granted. I am guilty of the, ‘I can go see that anytime’ attitude about local things to experience here, and because I am a native, I mistakenly assume I’ve exhausted most of the ‘must sees’ in my beautiful state.
I want to challenge you as you grow, learn and master the art of the road trip, not to neglect the wonderful things to see and do right in your own state! Your little trailer will take you down the road as easily as across the country and every place is a blessing (some more than others of course….).
As I have been challenged with learning about the little places and quick things to do in Colorado, I am enjoying taking the little path and exploring and seeking out the quirky things that you probably won’t find in a guidebook. I’ll be sharing my discoveries with you as we go!
As in every state, there are many things in Colorado that are not really worth a special trip or a plan to make an excursion to. These are the things that only take 15-30 mins off the main highway, and are for when you have a few extra minutes or need to stop for lunch anyway.
Here’s my first ‘little stop along the way’:
Many visitors to the state of Colorado who make their way from Denver into the Rocky Mountains find themselves traveling on I-70. This highway makes its way into the heart of the Rockies where you will learn about the Gold Rush, the Narrow Gauge Railroad, Buffalo Bill and all that lives and has lived above 8,000 feet.
Along the way, only about 30-35 miles west of Denver, you’ll pass by the little town of Idaho Springs. There is much to see and do here if you do your homework, and much history to be discovered. If you are only passing by however, and have a few extra minutes you can get a close up view of the famous (well sort-of famous) Tayler Water Wheel at this Scenic Lookout and Historical Landmark.
Take exit 241, head west to 17thSt and then turn left. At the end of the street you’ll be able to park the car and trailer right across the street from the tiny Anderson Park where you can see Engine #60 and coach #70 built by the Union Pacific Railroad for use on the Narrow Gauge Line. From the park, it’s a ¼ mile paved stroll along Clear Creek where you’ll see the Charles Tayler Water Wheel.
The Water Wheel was initially built by Charles Tayler (who attributed his good health to the fact that he never kissed women or took baths) to power his stamp mill in 1893. It was moved to its present site in 1946 as a gift to the people of Idaho Springs from his estate.
This little excursion is a nice side trip along I-70 and is definitively worth the 20 minuets that it takes to see the water wheel, the lovely waterfall and enjoy the little stroll.
While you’re there have lunch at historic Beau Jo’s Pizza!