Sunday saw our last breakfast with the tribe this year. It was sad to have to say goodbye to everybody, but we’re already looking forward to doing it all again next year. We really have become one big extended family over the years, and all of us enjoy our adopted brothers and sisters.
Miss D. and I headed for the Rocky Mountains after breakfast. We’re in Cañon City, just outside the Royal Gorge, site of one of the most famous railway wars of the Old West. We’ll take the train through the Gorge this morning, to get a visual feel for the area, because I’ll be writing about it in a few years, in what I plan to be the fifth novel in the Ames Archives series. (One has to plan several books ahead, so that the volumes dovetail in time and space and follow a logical sequence.) I’m told the ride is spectacular, so we’re looking forward to it.
After our morning excursion, we’re planning to drive through the Wet Mountain Valley, where Walt (in Volume 2 of the series, “Rocky Mountain Retribution”) acquired a horse ranch (which he’ll be expanding and stocking with brood mares in Volume 3 of the series, “Gold on the Hoof”, currently being written). I want to see Westcliffe and (particularly) Silver Cliff, site of a very large silver mining operationin the early 1880’s, as I’m planning to have those operations have a major impact on Walt’s operations in the area. It was a time of great financial skullduggery, with the ordinary miners and farmers of the area often treated as so much collateral damage as the money men sought to put one over on each other. It makes most Wall Street operations today look positively civilized by comparison.
We’ll overnight in Cañon City for one more night, then head south for Cimarron, NM, one of the great boom towns of the 1870’s. Notorious gunfighter Clay Allisonwas only one of the “big names” who held sway there. Lucien Maxwell‘s original Maxwell House was there, and for a while it was quite the place. I’d like to show Miss D. some of the history in the area, which almost defies belief, but really happened. We’ll head homeward on Wednesday, having learned enough to keep me busy for months. I’ll probably have to make one or two follow-up research trips to nail down specific details, but I’ve got enough to be going along with for now.
I’ll put up one or two more articles for timed release during today. Normal blogging should resume on Thursday, the good Lord willin’ an’ the crick don’t rise.