We covered a lot of ground this past year with Western Skies, and this month we’re spending some time revisiting those stories and conversations.

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Aspen Extravaganza

On October 1, 2012 By

While the term arborglyphs is usually reserved for the tree carvings of Basque and Irish sheepherders who used aspen trunks to communicate with one another came to the United States to tend sheep in places like the Pacific Northwest and Nevada (see a beautiful slide show of Basque arborglyphs from Nevada HERE) there’s [...]

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State Highway 67 near Cripple Creek is now open to all lanes. A sinkhole closed the route last Saturday, and the roadway was opened on one-lane traffic earlier this week. The Colorado Department of Transportation says the sinkhole is now repaired, at a cost of an estimated $112,000.

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State Highway 67 near Cripple Creek is now open to one-lane traffic after a sinkhole closed the route over the weekend. The Colorado Department of Transportation has installed a portable signal, alternating the lane between northbound and southbound traffic. The signal alternates direction every five minutes. Vehicles wider than 12 feet are still prohibited [...]

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State Highway 67 remains closed to all traffic just north of Cripple Creek. The sinkhole is on the northbound side of the highway, and efforts to open the southbound lane were delayed due to issues with the temporary traffic signal. The Colorado Department of Transportation expects a new signal tomorrow, and says the highway [...]

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(Click on the image above to begin the slideshow)

While the very names Cripple Creek and Victor still evoke the history, romance and legend of one of the biggest gold booms in America, few people outside the area are aware that there’s still a major mining operation at the Cripple Creek & Victor Mine, [...]

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Cripple Creek is a gold-mining town, ever since the first lodes were found in the 1800s. But, it’s also a gaming town, with limited-stakes gambling approved by voters statewide in 1991. KRCC’s Kate Jonuska traveled to Cripple Creek to investigate these two industries’ complex relationship with the city and with each other. She has [...]

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Few rags-to-riches stories are as American as the story of Winfield Scott Stratton. His name now adorns street signs, buildings and parks throughout the Pikes Peak Region, but the story (embellished as it may be by this reading from Marshall Sprague’s Money Mountain: The Story of Cripple Creek Gold) of just how hard [...]

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This month we’re taking a look at mining, the history of it in Colorado, and how towns have evolved as the ebb and flow of the industry cycles through.

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This 4th of July marked the 120th anniversary of The Independence Mine claim that made Winfield Scott Stratton one of the wealthiest gold barons in history. But as local historian Richard Marold recounts in this audio slide show, Winfield Scott Stratton wasn’t your typical gold baron, and much of his legacy still stands in [...]

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An early (and lighthearted) documentarian of life in Old Colorado City in the early 20th Century, Ira Current was born in Colorado Springs October 30, 1910. He developed a keen interest in photography when he was 16 years old which would soon lead him to a job with Stewart Brothers photo finishing in Colorado Springs. In 1928, shortly after his graduation from Colorado Springs High School (now Palmer High School) he used the salary he earned at Stewart’s ($5 a week) to purchase a Cine Kodak, the first amateur film camera produced, for $25, a tripod for $25 and two hundred feet of film for $5 and produced his first film, “Four Wheels”, a chronicle of soap box style races, inspired by the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, near the Garden of the Gods.

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While the term arborglyphs is usually reserved for the tree carvings of Basque and Irish sheepherders who used aspen trunks to communicate with one another came to the United States to tend sheep in places like the Pacific Northwest and Nevada there’s a strange poetry to the furtively carved initials and hearts that scar the aspens along the old road to Cripple Creek. Usually little more than crude initials, a heart and perhaps a date, these scratchings, taken as a whole, are less acts of senseless vandalism than amorous expressions inspired in part, no doubt, by the irresistible beauty of the aspens.

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If you’re a music lover of any stripe, undoubtedly you’ve heard some version or another of a song about Cripple Creek. There’s the classic banjo tune “Cripple Creek” popularized by bluegrass master Earl Scruggs, The Band’s “Up On Cripple Creek” and Neil Young’s “Cripple Creek Ferry” among others (see below). Some seem to believe the [...]

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