What's happening with the Cauleys? travel blog

First stop - Western Museum of Mining

Skinner Automatic Steam Engine & Westinghouse DC Generator

500 HP Corliss steam engine

Photo of miner working underground

Cornish Steam Engine - 1838

40 ft. Steam engine used in the Michigan copper district -1900

Osgood Steam Shovel - 1920

Train used for hauling material out of mines

Entrance to Garden of the Gods Park

2.136 mile drive through park

Amazing rock formations

How does that rock stay up there?

Fun place to climb

Tommy in front of huge rock formation

Balanced Rock

Stunning views

Awesome rock formations

Another incredible view

Steamboat Rock

(Note: Click on "View all photos", then double click on first photo to open to size of screen, then click on "Slideshow,5 sec" to automatically advance photos).

Friday, August, 26, 2016 - Tommy had been saying that he needed a haircut, so I finally volunteered to cut it for him. We've had a set of clippers for years, but it's been a long time since I used them, so I took out the instructions to review how to cut a man's hair. He seemed a little hesitant about the whole haircut idea when he saw me reading the instructions, but I assured him all was good and he could always cover it with a cap if it didn't turn out well. He's been wanting a really short cut for months and luckily, it turned out well and he's still talking to me.

It was close to noon by the time we left the campground and our first stop was at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry, located at 225 North Gate Blvd. in Colorado Springs. The museum was established in 1970 with a mission to preserve and interpret the rich mining history of Colorado and the American West. We arrived just in time to briefly wander through the museum and take the 1 p.m. tour.

The tour began with a 20 minute movie explaining and reminding us that most everything we use in our daily lives comes from the earth in the form of minerals or rock and has to be mined out of the ground and transformed before it's useable. We seldom think about this as we go about our daily lives. We simply go to the store and buy what we need or want.

The museum houses antique mining equipment and steam engines as well as over 4,000 artifacts pertaining to mining. During our tour, some of the pneumatic machines were connected to compressed air, so we were able to see them in operation. Those machines originally operated on steam. Our tour guide was wonderful, she was knowledgeable about the history of mining, as well as all the machines and how they worked. She also had a great sense of humor which enhanced the tour.

The museum sits on 27 acres and has outdoor exhibits including live burros, an Osgood steam shovel built in Marion, Ohio in 1920 and an operation stamp for gold ore. The tour guide made the whole tour come alive by demonstrating how the different equipment works.

We probably spent an hour and a half or more at the museum, but it was definitely worth it and I'm glad we arrived in time for the guided tour. The tour wouldn't have been nearly as interesting without the demonstration of the machines operating.

Our second tour today was the Garden of the Gods City Park, located at 1805 N. 30th Street in Colorado Springs, which was a free self-guided driving tour. We stopped at the Garden of the Gods Visitor's Center to pick up a map and walk through the museum and gift shop before beginning our drive through the park.

The park consists of 1.364 acres, has 2.136 miles of paved roads and more than 15 miles of hiking trails. Charles E. Perkins donated the land to the City of Colorado Springs in 1909 with the provision that it would always be a free park open to the public. It was designated as a National Landmark in 1971.

The park is popular for hiking, technical rock climbing, road and mountain biking and horseback riding and attracts more than two million visitors a year, making it the city's most visited park.

You can see by the photos that it was a beautiful, sunny day and the park was full of people enjoying the views, climbing among the rocks and taking photographs. I can see why the park is the most visited park in Colorado Springs.

We thoroughly enjoyed the day and was ready for a relaxing evening at the campground. I wanted to do a little research online and get ready for another fun day. And so, until tomorrow ... Cheers!

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