During the early 1980s, a Polaroid Square Shooter was part of the camera bag. To have a developed photo in a couple of minutes made it very appealing. The trade-off for instant photos was the price of the 12-print film pack.
Our stack of Polaroid prints from those days are fading a bit more every year. One of the many projects is to preserve this collection. And, part of that collection includes a subset of some travels around Colorado.
Cave of The Winds/Williams Canyon
Located just north of Manitou Springs are the Cave of The Winds and Williams Canyon. Williams Canyon is a narrow limestone canyon, with numerous caves. Cave of The Winds is the tourist attraction that takes the visitor into the most accessible portion of the cavern system. Other sections of the cavern system have limited access, better suited for the experienced spelunker.
Williams Canyon was the exit road when visiting Cave of The Winds. A flash flood in 1995 rendered the road unusable. Repairing the road was determined to be cost prohibitive. In its place, the road was developed into a hiking trail. In terms of hiking, it is considered to be moderate in difficulty and much less traveled.
The western portion of the state, near the Utah border, is considered to be a high desert plain.
While some may consider this part of the state to be considerably less scenic than the mountains, off the main highway are hidden canyons, dry river beds, and towering buttes. Colorado National Monument, west of Grand Junction, is a remarkable visit. You wouldn’t know a canyon is there when traveling on I-70.
The mining town of Cripple Creek lies about an hour and 15 minutes west of Colorado Springs. In the height of the 1890s gold rush, Cripple Creek was the second largest city in the state. Many made their fortune in Cripple Creek, others struck out. Gold mines, now abandoned, dot the landscape.
The main highway into Cripple Creek is State Highway 67, considered to be one of the most scenic drives during the fall. For some, Highway 67 is a challenging drive with steep drop-offs on one side of the road.
The more gentle drive into Cripple Creek is the back way. No steep drop-offs on the side of the road, no steep grades or switchbacks. It’s equally scenic, with meadows and forest along the way.