Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Nevadaville, CO - 6th August

I arrived into Denver and was picked up by my host, Peter Batty, who I was to be staying with for the four nights I was to be in Denver. That afternoon Peter and his partner Paula were going to an opera in local town, Central City, about 45 minutes west of Denver. I tagged along, not for the opera, but for the abandoned mining buildings and semi-uninhabited village of Nevadaville. Pressed for time we wolfed down a quick lunch (Paula ate her soup in the car, requiring an elaborate system of balancing and forewarning of upcoming corners) and were soon on our way.

Central City, and its neighbour Black Hawk, along with Nevadaville were gold-rush towns dating from the 1850s. With the mining industry all but disappeared, the towns now rely mainly on tourism with a heavy focus on Casinos and gambling which is banned in most other areas of Colorado. To many the arrival of the Casino industry is a small tragedy, and is perceived as destroying the integrity of the rural towns. However, these wild-west-feeling towns flourished from the extraction of gold by hand from the land in days gone by, and I found it fitting their continued survival should now depend on hands dicing for pieces of gold (albeit now over a roulette table).

Nevadaville fared less well than Central City and Black Hawk on the collapse of the gold industry being tiny in size by comparison and awkwardly located. I walked from Central City along the main road towards the steep hill that leads up towards Nevadaville.

The scenery along the way was quite wonderfully wildly-western and I happen-chanced by some abandoned buildings.

Houses and Stream

I soon made it to the Nevadaville Road, the ascent of which took a great deal of time in the 93-degree heat. Once on the last portion of the climb some truly abandoned mining buildings presented themselves.

An oddly-shaped red storage barn sat propped up by temporary stakes, nestled into the side of the hills.

Further up along the Nevadaville Rd. 19th Century mining buildings lay strewn along the valley.

Wooden Structure

The steep rolling hills, stark blue sky, and fluffy, cartoon-esque clouds provided a fantastic background for the buildings perched on top of a plateau.

Shed (side elevation)

Shed (front elevation)

Winching Station and Furnace


Further up past the remaining houses along the Nevadaville Rd. I came across what looked like a silo-type storage structure with an almost lighthouse look to it.

 Storage Tower #1

Storage Tower #2

With the sun scorching all exposed parts of my body, and my water-bottle nearing emptiness, I turned back down the Nevadaville Rd. to meet Peter and Paula after the opera. I arrived just in time, and we promptly made our way back to Denver.

That night for supper we visited the brewery situated on the ground floor of the building Peter & Paula live in. To top off a successful day, we feasted on their speciality Buffalo Burgers and watered our palates with their famous Rail Yard Ale.

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