With S’mores, horseback rides, barrel racing, mutton bustin’, hot air balloon rides, firepits and live music, the COS Rodeo bring lively images of what the magic of the world looked like as a child…
As a young adult….
And as those who will always remain young at heart. Treasuring the simple, beautiful things about life and the magic it holds….
A big thank you to everyone who came out and participated in our 2017 rodeo. COS Rodeo 2018 renews the spirit June 20th with the same exciting layout. Western Wednesday’s wouldn’t be the same without the amazing people who participate and attend!
-The Adventures Out West team
It all started with Bob Womack, panning in the mountain creeks 18 miles (as the crow flies) west of Colorado Springs. In 1890, he hit pay dirt and the race for gold was on. In no time, the unnamed cattle field of fifteen was a town of 50,000 people.
It was not known as Cripple Creek in the beginning. It was just a cattle camp for the Welty family who had moved up from Colorado Springs because it was getting to populated due to General William Palmer and his railroad. One day while building a shack over the spring that fed the creek, a rifle accidentally discharged, scaring a calf. The critter wanting out of there right now, tried to jump the creek but banged up his leg real bad doing it. Papa Welty said, “well boys, this is some sort of cripple creek” and a town name was born.
Soon the railroads came and the town was filled with a variety of people. Men in city clothes might be mine owners, brokers or politicians. Mule skinner, miners, gamblers in fancy shoes and others rubbed shoulders on busy Bennett Avenue. Ladies in Paris gowns might be of the “Upper Tens” (the rich folk) or the “sporting women”. They lived on Myers Avenue, 433 yards of dance halls, parlor houses and pawnshops.
Womack’s mine, the El Paso Lode and the Independence mine, owned by Winfield Scott Stratton yielded millions of dollars. Stratton sold his holdings for more than ten million and went on to buy massive amounts of land in the Colorado Springs area, much of which carries his name. Womack sold his mine as well but died broke. His name lives on in present day. Cripple Creek which for years was a Summer tourist destination. In 1994, the State legislature allowed low stakes gambling to be legal and the small shops that catered to tourist needs and wants became large houses of “try your luck at the one armed bandits and card tables”. Now everything is electronic. You do not need to pull the handle anymore. Just put your money in the slot and hit the button. Bob Womack’s Casino is there along with the Midnight Rose, the Brass Ass (which used to be a store selling brass articles), Bronco Billy’s, the Double Eagle and many more.
Oh yes, they still dig for gold but not like 100 years ago. At today’s price per ounce, more than eleven billion dollars came out of the Colorado Rocky Mountains around Cripple Creek during the mining period.
Colorado Springs: After 200 years of trying Zebulon Montgomery Pike has finally succeeded in climbing Pikes Peak, with a little help from his friends at Adventures Out West. Pike took part in this year’s bicentennial celebration by taking a Jeep Tour up the once un-scalable mountain. Pike commented on how professional his cowboy driver was, and is quoted as saying “This view is amazing, could their be another like it?” to which the unnamed cowboy said “Yep, you should see it from one of our hot-air balloons.” Well Pike still being the adventurer agreed that he would have to try flying now that he conquered Pikes Peak.
The morning of Pike’s flight he was understandably nervous considering that he had never flown in anything before. The pilot and crew eased Pike’s fears with their humor and knowledge of the balloon system and the weather. The last time he was upon these plains he was lost and hungry on a yearlong expedition of the west. Once airborne Pike marveled at the views of his “little” mountain and was moved to tears by a dream now realized, and that dream was to see the top of Pikes Peak. Now he had not only stood on the top, but he could also now see the top from his bird’s eye view from the basket. Although Pike was fascinated by the views of the peak he also could not help but marvel in the scenery and wildlife that was directly below him.
When asked if he had a good time on his trip Pike responded “This trip to Colorado Springs in my opinion is every bit as memorable as my first trip 200 years ago, but this trip has been made special by the pilot, crew, and tour drivers of Adventures Out West!”
Julie Penrose, widow of entrepreneur Spencer Penrose who built the BROADMOOR in 1918, built the Carriage Museum in 1941. The Museum features the many carriages that Mr. And Mrs. Penrose collected throughout their lifetime. El Pomar Foundation operates this prominent historic resource in keeping with the Penrose commitment to preserve and promote the regions history and heritage. The Museums extensive collection contains 33 horse-drawn carriages and five motorized carriages, including three Pikes Peak Auto Hill Climb race cars (circa 1920’s), Mrs. Penrose’s 1928 Cadillac limousine, and 1906 Renault.
Among the exhibits are two presidential carriages, including an 1841 Williamsburg Brougham used for the inauguration ceremony of William Henry Harrison, the 9th President of the United States. The other presidential carriage, an 1862 “C” Springs Victoria, belonged to the 21st U.S. President, Chester A Arthur.
Museum doors re-opened to a brand new 8,500 square foot facility adjacent to Broadmoor Hall. Several new exhibits are featured, along with a Broadmoor casino table, authentic Native American artifacts, antique firearms and collection of vintage riding tack-saddles, harnesses and stirrups. The Museum is open to the public and free of charge.
Rumors persist on the recent sightings of the missing payroll stagecoach that left Cripple Creek on July 21, 1881 with four passengers and a miners payroll of approximately $120,000.00 in gold dust. The stage driver, Silas Peabody, and his shotgun man “Big Stick”, a loyal Mescalero Apache, have been sighted recently in banks and bars in and around Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City trying to exchange the gold dust for drinks, Poker games, and cold cash.
The most recent sighting of the stage coach was in the vicinity in what is today Bancroft City Park, in Old Colorado City. The authorities were called in to retrieve the coach but by the time they arrived it was gone. Over the years the coach has been sighted on the Pikes Peak Highway during the Hill Climb, at Colorado College during prom and even back in Cripple Creek.
A $50,000 reward is still in effect for the return of the gold dust. Be on the lookout for Silas and his 1875 vintage Overland stagecoach, if sighted please do not approach, “Big Stick” is known for being the fastest shotgun man in the west, and not for his sense of humor. If seen please contact the authorities at once. If the coach is found you will claim your reward.
The strangest part of the whole story is that all four passengers, of Silas’s ill fated stage, arrived at the Colorado Springs Stage Depot the next morning with no recollection of how they got there, or what happened to the stage. The passengers said the coach had a foul smell about it and the ride was the smoothest they could remember.
JJ Montana reporting
The Pikes Peak region is flush with wildlife, from eagles and hummingbirds to elk and mountain lions. Many of these animals make their homes here in our back yards. The local population of the white-tailed deer spend their entire lives jumping fences and dodging cars trying to get to the next garden. The deer have nicknames such as Half Horn, Old 3 Legs and Dam Varmits. But compared to the dog-eating mountain lion, the deer are tame. Every year in Colorado Springs a dozen or so family pets become prey. The mighty mountain lion can weigh 130 lbs and can jump 20 feet. Dogs, cats and the occasional jogger end up on the plates of kitten lions. Check out the nature center at Helen Hunt Falls for more information on these and other beautiful Colorado animals.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued a NOTAM (notice to air men) about flights in the Manitou Springs area.
Last week during the most recent sightings of Bigfoot, airplane piolets noticed a high degree of Magnetic deviation in the Manitou area. For years Manitou has been considered a hot bed of paranormal activity. Witches, Crystal gazers and even the Ute Indians believed Manitou had spiritual powers. Bigfoot uses Manitou all the time as a portal between universes. Under the bridge leading to the Garden of the Gods you will see the mysterious designs left behind by aliens passing through.
With the confirmation of the abnormal magnetic field by the FAA, the FAA and NASA have teamed up with local balloonist to try and find the portal with high-tech laser beams. They are going to use crystals found in the local granite and samples of the mineral waters to create a prism capable of opening the doors. As a precaution NASA has built a 300 million dollar doggie biscuit to give to big foot in case they come across him.