I didn’t appreciate what a boon the high country climate is to old structures in Colorado. Back home in the Midwest, the humidity turns old wood to pulp within a generation. But here, intense sunlight combined with the thin, arid, atmosphere combine to merely dessicate abandoments, while leaving them intact and standing. Thus, remnants of the state’s mining legacy can be found everywhere in the mountains. This was a welcome surprise.
The first afternoon, while driving around aimlessly just enjoying having arrived in the mountains, we stumbled across a row of cabins on the side of the road. They were clearly abandoned, and I learned later they were worker housing, presumably built by the mining company. Even after decades, details inside speak to the rustic life of the miners who once lived there.
Below are some of the mines themselves that remain standing. One of these I saw on an early morning ascent of Mt. Sherman.