The Jeep Geek

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Random Thoughts from the Trail

The Jeep Geek and some friends were out off-roading this last weekend. As he was coming down the mountain this scene presented itself. The thought came to him that life is not as fragile as some make it out to be. Here is a tree that has been there for hundreds of years, right up by the tree line. This tree began as a seed that fell on a boulder. There it rooted in a small about of dirt that blew into a crevice. Even though the boulder would limit its growth, constricting the roots and impeding the trunk’s growth, the tree thrives in one of the harshest environments in Colorado...limited rainfall, high winds, high altitude and cold weather. It is fighting for life despite all that would stand in its way.

Life finds a way.

The Jeep Geek and friends were on a trip up to the high country to visit a couple of ghost towns: Waldorf and Santiago. These are must visit sites if you have the equipment to get there. Stock Rubicons can reach them easily.

These towns were associated with mines owned by Edward John Wilcox (Waldorf Mining and Milling Company). They were started in 1868 as gold mines, but imagine their disappointment when very little gold was found, but in its place was silver. These mines pulled about $4 million dollars in silver out of the ground before they were exhausted.

Waldorf had a post office from 1906 to 1912. It was billed as the highest elevation for a post office in the country...11,666 feet above sea level. The town started to boom when the Argentine Central Railroad was built in 1906. Tourists from Denver arrived that year, and the train brought ore from the mines back to Denver. This railroad went up to the summit of Mt. McClelland.

Waldorf Colorado Post Office 002

Here is a picture of the old post office. Danny Tomlinson tells us he actually mailed a post card from this post office when he was 6...The Jeep Geek thinks he was joking...he doesn’t look a day over 90.

WaldorfMcClellanMt1900s

If you want to see how it looks today, go over to the lifestyle tab and see the pictures we took yesterday.

Robert Leaman Brown wrote a wonderful book titled “Jeep Trails to Colorado Ghost Towns” that documents the history of 59 ghost towns that you can travel to. Or, you can join The Jeep Geek and Danny Tomlinson (The Jeep Geek’s staff historian) as we go visit many of these on Sundays during the warm season.

The Geek abides

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