Saturday, June 10, 2006


Unfortunately we picked the wrong hills for gold panning yesterday.  That's not to say we didn't have fun. We ended up driving along the Gold Belt Tour route, which is a winding dirt mountain trail, treacherous in some places, but the scenery is absolutely breath taking.  We saw chipmunks, lizards, dozens of bird species... and a cow elk... who had just... JUST given birth.  She cautiously watched us for a while before moving in to the nearby tree line.  No, we didn't go down to look for the newborn although the curiosity was great.  We just looked from the roadside.  Now that was a losing plan right from the get-go because even the newborns have the instinct to remain silent and motionless when separated from its mother, and its spotted camouflage helped it to blend in to the thick cover when it was born.  Still, we wanted to see the tiny creature... without disturbing it or stressing out its mother.  And no... we never did see the tiny fawn although I'm sure its momma knew exactly where it was and probably never took her eyes off of us from her concealed spot in the trees.

So gold panning was a bust, our next stop in our search for riches was Cripple Creek, which once upon a time used to be a big mining town.  There are still mines in operation there on the outskirts of the mountain town, but the major industry now days is GAMBLING.  It was 7pm by this time and we were hungry.  We had $40 in our pockets (okay, I had $0, Dickidoo had $40), so we decided to eat at one of the Casinos.  Our favorite, Bronco Billy's (my favorite investment opportunity) offers a delicious steak dinner for $6.45.  We knew we could feed the 5 of us for under $40.  But we didn't have to.  A regular visitor and fellow investor, saw Dickidoo waiting to be seated with the Oompas and offered him 5 coupons each good for a free meal.  (Thank you again Fair Lady). 

When the little light up coaster announced that our table wasready, the Oompas jumped up and cried out 'Jackpot!  I'm a WINNER!'  Art waved a single piece of confetti that he had picked up off the floor in celebration.  Unfortunately that would be the only celebrating we would do at the casino.  Dickidoo gave me a $20, which, with my luck didn't last long at all, even though the entire family, and a friend from work who was sitting at the next table over, blew good luck on the bill.  We left the waitress a $10 tip and I used the last $10 in a last ditch effort at riches.  When I met up with the family outside... 15 minutes later, the guilt trip was immediate.  Dickidoo had promised the kids ice cream if I struck it rich.  I came out empty handed.  I would hear about my failure to provide all the way home.

All in all it was a wonderful day.  A beautiful drive through the mountains, a chance peek at the wonders of nature, a free meal and lighthearted quality family time... Yeah, I think we struck gold yesterday.


mzgoochi said...

Oh well, better luck next time with the panning for gold. That bottom pic is awesome Dorn.

deslily said...

"Family Gold Panning" sounds like it should become a ritual, gold or not it sure sounded like a good day!

elleme2 said...

All the gold in the mountains couldn't buy what you found that day.  Sounds--and looks--wonderful.

missheathyrmarie said...

Awww!  I love this entry!  Sounds like an awesome day of family fun, and togetherness :)  Great pics, as always Dorn!

princesssaurora said...

You have struck gold for sure... you are a wonderful lady, in fact I have struck gold in finding you here in J-land.   Thank you!!

be well,

demandnlilchit said...

I WANNA go panning for gold!! WAAAAAAA!!! Or maybe straight to the diamond mines for me! lol lol lol

am4039 said...

wow a steak dinner for 6.45. What a deal. Sorry you didn't strike it rich, but it does sound like you had a great time.

deshelestraci said...

Regardless of not finding wealth, it sounds and looks like an eventful and amusing day.  I didn't realize that CO allowed gambling.  Too bad you didn't get to see the little one.

rgossett4195 said...

You can never put a price on such days!  sounds like a bunch of fun!

glopsey said...

Hey Girl.

Your kids look like they're being slaved by some evil person looking over them. Poor child!!! Someone save the children!!!

Okay, enough of that. I thought I'd come to you asking for naming my new pets (four new pets).

The pets I have may give you the willies though!!!

Okay, here it goes....

....I need help naming my new pet rats. I describe them in my journal and at the bar and grill. Could you throw some ideas my way?

Thanks if you do, thanks if you don't.