Thursday, August 1, 2019


I loved "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" back in the day, so when I looked at possible routes west, I wanted to stop in Leadville, Colorado. Our drive on I-70 through Denver was uneventful. Coming through the mountains was beautiful, with scenic views all along the way. We arrived in Leadville about noon and decided to have our lunch in a park before finding our hotel. Lucy found one on the map on her phone, but it turned out to be a bare track going into the wilderness. We turned around and found the Ice Palace Park that had picnic tables. In 1896 they built an enormous palace out of ice with a rink, ballroom, and much more. Read more here if you are interested, it's a fascinating tale.

Our hotel, the Delaware, right in the middle of town, was built in 1886 by two brothers from Delaware. It is quite historic, which means no elevator and steep stairs! But it is a wonderful old place. There are artifacts everywhere. The lobby is crammed with furniture, clocks, hunting trophies, and almost anything else you can imagine.

Our charming room

Antique furniture in the hallway
Once we got settled in our room, we headed out to see the town. The main business district is only about four blocks long, and we decided to go down one side and back the other. The shops were as expected; lots of outdoor equipment, souvenir shops, and antique/thrift stores. The view below is looking to the west right from the main street, down an alley to the mountains.

There are a lot of interesting historic buildings, two of which are shown below.

This mural was on the side of one of the buildings.

We walked down a side street to see a historic Jewish synagogue that is now a museum. There were a lot of Jewish merchants here in the late 1800s. On our way back, we rested on a bench with a young woman who was here working in a pizza restaurant. We had a nice conversation about a wide range of things.

As we were heading back to the hotel, I suddenly began to feel faint and sat down on a big step. We knew, but hadn't fully realized, that this town is above 10,000 feet elevation. Lucy wanted to go get an oxygen canister (many people use them here) and some water, but just then a local woman stopped and insisted we get in her car so she could take us back to our hotel. We accepted her offer and were very grateful. After we had water in the lobby, Lucy went off to get the oxygen. Both things made a big difference, and after a short time, we were ready to go and have our dinner. We both were feeling some effect of the altitude, but the oxygen was miraculous! It helped us get up the two long, steep flights once we got back to the hotel, too. This turned out to be a bit more of an adventure than we expected, but it's all good and we are fine.

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