Leadville is home to one of the last legends of the Old West. Not a gunfighter or gambler but a tiny old woman who displayed extraordinary grit in the name of love and pride, and possibly madness. Her story has spawned books, movies and a famous opera.
Baby Doe Tabor’s scandalous affair and subsequent marriage to Horace Tabor has been well told. After Horace’s death, she returned to Leadville in 1901 at the age of 46. The 30 years she lived in a small cabin are more mysterious.
Her solitary life has drawn the attention of authors, researchers and paranormal detectives. But the elderly woman remains an enigma. Who was she? What kind of woman lives alone in a shack on the side of a mountain for thirty years? Read more
It was mid-summer when we purchased the 1984 65-passenger Bluebird school bus. At that time, it had been almost a full year since I had broken the news to my husband – I wanted to go back into the food service industry. I can’t be sure if he fully believed me then, but I am certain he believes me now. “If I can fit it down my winding driveway, I’ll take it,” I exclaimed to the previous owner of the school bus, despite being utterly unsure of where this adventure might take me. But it fit down the driveway like it was meant to be, and it hasn’t left our property since. After some explaining and very little coercing, my husband nodded for me to go ahead with my plans and insisted he be allowed to come along for the ride. Read more
Some hikes are just worth repeating, and the trek to Mayflower Gulch in the Tenmile Range is absolutely an adventure to revisit time and again. In the summer, the basin is filled with wildflowers, and in the winter, Mayflower is a snowy wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels.
Photo by Ericka Kastner
Mayflower Gulch is the site of the historic Boston Mine Camp, which had its heyday back in July of 1884, when a thick vein of gold was found in the Fletcher Mountain basin. Miners quickly realized the vein wasn’t pure, however, and the camp fizzled out. More than 130 years later, the well-preserved cabins are still partially intact and make for a fabulous winter nordic ski or snowshoe to the site, particularly under a full moon.
The old mining road to Mayflower Gulch is accessible approximately 16.5 miles north of Leadville on Hwy. 91. The pullout for parking is on the right side of the road coming from Leadville, and the lot is typically packed on weekends year-round, indicating the popularity of the hike. The best time to visit is early morning on a weekday in winter, where you’ll be more likely to have the route to yourself. Read more
The scene reminded me of something out of Road Warrior, a fenced-off section of sagebrush and desolation in the southern San Luis Valley, and behind the closed gate was a veritable junkyard of car and truck bodies, old camper trailers, ramshackle structures, various heaps of well-pipe casings, cement blocks and other scrap.
The sign at the gate got my attention.
“WARNING. TRESPASSERS WILL BE SHOT. SURVIVORS WILL BE SHOT AGAIN.” Read more