Sunday, March 17, 2013

Lookout Mountain and Buffalo Bill


In a prior post about the Miller Coors Brewery in Golden, Colorado, I promised I'd show you a trip my husband and I, and one of his New York Co-workers, took up to the top of Lookout Mountain. If you look closely you can see the mountain in the distance on the photo above, on an uncharacteristically overcast day in Colorado.

With an elevation of 7, 581 feet, Lookout Mountain is one of the larger foothills which overlooks Golden, Colorado.  On a clear day the Denver metropolitan area can be seen clearly from the mountain 12 miles to the east.



From the town of Golden we drove onto 19th Street, which briefly goes through a residential neighborhood, and then leads to a section Lariat Loop Byway to the top of the mountain. The Lariat Loop Byway is a 40-mile route built in 1914. This byway is a combination of two historic routes: the Lariat Trail Scenic Mountain Drive ascending Lookout Mountain and the Bear Creek Canyon Scenic Mountain Drive. In combination, these routes were part of several of the “scenic circles” developed and promoted by Denver in 1915-1920s to help Coloradans experience the mountains in proximity to the Denver Metropolitan area. These roadways were designated to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. An video about the interesting sights that can seen along this byway can be viewed on this link.

Two Stone Pillars in the photo above mark the northern entrance to the Denver Mountain Parks and the Lariat Trail.


As we begin the drive I could see threatening clouds on the horizon, but the view of Golden was amazing. A part of the Colorado School of Mines football field can be seen at the bottom of the photo. The Colorado School of Mines is a distinguished engineering and applied science university.


Even though the clouds hung low, the views were beautiful.


We actually passed into the clouds at this elevation...


...and it began to snow!


Our road view changed from foggy....


...and misty.....


...to a snowy white out!  it was too late to turn back, we had to keep going.
 

We finally reached our destination at the top of the mountain...Buffalo Bill's Grave and Museum.


As you can see from the photo collage above, the parking lot and lookout to the valley had hardly any visibility and the walk up to the grave site was slippery, but we continued to walk up anyway.


 
Buffalo Bill's grave, and that of his wife, was covered with snow.  It had a stone marker and the grave site was surrounded by an iron fence,
 
 
 
Some close ups of the plaques on the grave stone. Click on the photo above to make it larger, and then again when it opens, so that you can read the inscriptions.
 
William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody (1846 -1917) was an American soldier, bison hunter and showman. He was born in the Iowa Territory (now the U.S. state of Iowa), in Le Claire, but lived several years in Canada before his family moved to the Kansas Territory. Buffalo Bill received the Medal of Honor in 1872 for service to the US Army as a scout. One of the most colorful figures of the American Old West, Buffalo Bill became famous for the shows he organized with cowboy themes, which he toured in Great Britain and Europe as well as the United States.


The Pahaska Tepee Cafe and Gift Shop was a welcomed place near the grave site to buy a cup of coffee and warm up a little. The building was named "Pahaska Tepee" after Cody's hunting lodge of the same name outside of Yellowstone Park. Pahaska was a native American nickname for Cody, that meant "longhair."


Unfortunately, the Buffalo Bill Museum was closed on Mondays, so I bought this fascinating retrospective book about the museum collection in the gift shop.  It is also a biography about Buffalo Bill called: Buffalo Bill: Scout, Showman, Visionary written by the museum director, Steve Friesen.

Information about the book from it's web site:

"William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody was America's first celebrity. He lived during a time of great geographic and technological expansion, a time when American mass media became dominant. Cody was there at every step, the right person at the right place at the right time. It was through those brilliant efforts that Cody the man became Buffalo Bill the celebrity and, eventually, Buffalo Bill the legend."


I enjoyed learning more about Buffalo Bill, beyond the myths and legends I knew about him. He was the ultimate frontiersman and showman and brought the lure of the American West to all parts of America and Europe through his "Wild West" exhibitions.To watch a fascinating historical video about Buffalo Bill, with scenes from his life and his Wild West show go to this link on the Biography.com web site.

Someday I'll return to Lookout Mountain on a more scenic day, and drive more of the Lariat Loop Byway.  There is quite a bit to see and do and I know you'll also enjoy learning more about this area of the front rangeof Colorado!




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Many thanks to all the blog hosts!
 
 
 
 


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53 comments:

Barbara F. said...

Wow, brave souls to continue driving and then walk up a slippery slope! But it was worthwhile and great photos. The mountains are so majestic. I would have needed a Coors (or two). xo

Regina said...

Great place! Thanks sharing Pat!

Enjoy the new week.

xo

diane b said...

You were committed tourists on that day. I didn't know that is where BB resting place is. The scenes were magic even in the poor weather. It actually gave feeling to the shots.

eileeninmd said...

Neat museum to visit, Pat! I do have to say I am not sure if I would want to be on a mountaintop during a snowstorm. You were brave! Great shots, thanks for sharing! Have a happy week!

ellen b. said...

You are hardy travelers to just keep going! I love your adventurous spirit. Blessings...

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Looks like you had quite an adventure Pat! Have a great week:@)

Riet said...

That was an adventurous day Pat and I did say it before, what a beautiful country you live in. Stunning photo's.
Have a nice week.

Old Kitty said...

Oh my goodness that was one cold, snowy and slippery trip! Well done you! I can totally see why it's called Lookout Mountain!! The views are gorgeous and I do hope you get to go in summery weather!

I can't play the videos in the link about Buffalo Bill but that's ok - his bio makes for very interesting reading! The world of celebrity hasn't changed much! LOL!

Take care
x

Ingmarie We said...

Thank you for the lovely photos. An interesting trip but the weather could have been better.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Wow, I cannot get over the change in the weather at that elevation. Imagine living up there! You've come a long way from Brooklyn Pat and I'm so glad you are taking us along. I saw a lot of cowboy movies as a child. Buffalo Bill was quite a guy.
Sam

Karen Harvey Cox said...

That ride sure looked snowy, and the path would have turned me back. What an adventure and as always you include such detail to the places that you visit.

There is so much to see where you are, and I enjoy coming along.

Karen

acreativeharbor.com said...

Wow! Fantastic photography and quite the trip ~ wonderful post ~ Enjoy ^_^

Vee said...

Fascinating! I had no idea that Colorado was Buffalo Bill's final resting place. Golden is home to a dear friend of mine so it was interesting to see the city pictured. You sure are plucky people traveling on in snow and walking up the slippery path to visit the grave.

Pondside said...

Now that was an adventure! The one thing about mountain living, is that there is never certainty about what sort of weather is waiting at the top.
I was interested in the Canadian connection - in those days the border was very fluid and people moved back and forth with ease. So many of us have family on both sides.

Nellie said...

Thanks for taking us along on this trip. I didn't slip even once.:-)

We have a Lookout Mountain in Tennessee that had importance during the Civil War.

Have a happy Monday!

Kris said...

Hi Pat. I am enjoying your Colorado posts as much I did your New York posts!
xo Kris

Betsy Adams said...

Wow---neat!!!! That's something else for us to do when we get back to Colorado.

Your comment about warming up with some coffee reminded me of the day we were on top of Pikes Peak last Sept. It was so cold and snowy up there. We HAD to go inside for some hot chocolate and a donut.. That helped with the elevation wobbles!!!!! ha

Great post and great photos. Thanks!!!
Hugs,
Betsy

Donna said...

Wow, what an adventure! Unbelievable photos!

Lorrie said...

What beautiful views on your way up the mountain. Those dry barren hills dusted with snow are so striking. How interesting to read about Buffalo Bill's life.

Sara said...

Hmmmm, I never thought about him having a wife before. I wonder what her life was like. Did she travel around with him or stay home and raise the kids, if they had any. He certainly had an interesting life.

Debra @ Homespun said...

Great tour and beautiful pics and views but I was getting nervous on the road when it started to snow! !!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Thank you all for your comments! We felt bad the day of touring was so nasty for my husband's co-worker, so I think it encouraged us to continue on when we not have done so, otherwise.

Sara -- yes, Buffalo Bill had a wife and 5 children. His only son passed away very young and two daughters also passed away young. His wife did not travel with him and their relationship was strained. They even contemplated divorce, but they reconciled in later years.

Sadly, two of BB's great grandsons died recently in a airplane crash in Florida:
http://www.denverpost.com/frontpage/ci_22605389/buffalo-bills-great-grandsons-die-plane-crash?source=rss

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I didn't know Buffalo Bill was buried there! I loved reading this interesting post, Pat! Your photos are beautiful, too. You were very brave to drive up a mountain on those snow-covered roads! I couldn't have done it.

So sad about his great-grandsons!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

That's our Pat -- neither rain, nor sleet nor snow can keep her from her appointed rounds for her blog readers!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I guess you just never know in Colorado! It can be 70 one day and snowing the next. Still, great views and such an interesting side trip!

Michelle said...

Truly an American Icon and such a colorful life he lead.

Ann said...

that was some weather change you went through. What a great view on the ride though.
Looks like a very interesting place to visit. Too bad the museum wasn't open

Pamela Gordon said...

This is an interesting post on Buffalo Bill. I imagine the views up that trail would be beautiful on a summer day so I hope you get to go back and see it again. Have a great week, Pat!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Like the others said...you are hardy travelers and not easily detoured. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us!

GailO said...

Now I am going to have to start a list of places I want to visit in Colorado!

Do you have a NYC/Brooklyn index of your posts?

Gary said...

Great tour!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Jeanne said...

Good morning Pat, This is a good day with time to enjoy my blogging friends. A rare treat these days. I am a busy woman and I love my life. My sisters are always after me to slow down. It won't happen. I want to die in my boots as they say. HA!

I did not know BB was buried in Colorado. Leave it to you to discover everything of interest where you live. You are inspiring. I mean it!!! We have skied in Colorado when a white out comes suddenly and you can not see a thing. I bet it was scary but I agree it was worth the weather change. Smile.
Happy days are wished for you always.
Jeanne xo

Dana said...

Wonderful tour! Thanks for sharing this. :)

backroadjournal said...

You were hardy souls to continue your trip but I enjoyed coming along for the ride.

ladyfi said...

Those mountains are majestic.

islandwonder said...

Brave! I would have made a U-turn. Great tour.

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

Scary trip with the white out conditions, but I applaud how hospitable you were to your husband's coworker. Enjoyed the visit today.

RoeH said...

Gosh it's been a long time since I was up there. Probably '71 or '72 when I lived there. I can barely remember it. It just disappeared from my brain.

Light and Voices said...

Holy Cow! What an adventure you had going up that mountain. I bet you will remember that trip for a long, long time.
Enjoyed the post.
JM Illinois (flat land here)
U.S.A.

xinex said...

What a beautiful place! Your photos are fabulous...Christine

Tracy said...

Such FUN... and venturing out in such weather too! It's wonderful to be seeing some of your new experiences in CO, Pat. LOTS of new to discover and enjoy. Thanks, as always, for taking us along. :o) Happy Days ((HUGS))

La Petite Gallery said...

That ride was hair raising. In the sixtys my husband had a friend in Denver and we drove at night up to Rabbit ear Pass. Pat I was so scared I was on the floor of the car. The Jazz club was great and we didn't go back till Morning.
White out's are scary , I told my Daughter to pull over and wait.
Love Bill Cody he was interesting, so was Anne Oakly.
yvonne

Sandy said...

What a wonderful place to venture out too... I just love your photo story and I want to go there the next time I make it to the area!
Love it
Sandy

Cindy said...

Wow, what a fascinating place to visit. I feel like I have been there, it would have been back in the 90's, I think. I love learning about these fascinating people from history books and historic sites and museums.
Thank you for taking us with you.

Gracey is not my name.... said...

That must have been a fun ride...not! I've been to Buffalo Bill Cody's home in North Platte, NE...long time ago...

Claudia said...

I was in Iowa for one of my shows last autumn and visited his birthplace. I visited some of his sites in CO and you are bringing me full circle. You know on your trip where it snowed? I would have turned around. But the vistas - or my - so beautiful!

podso said...

Pat, what an adventure! I guess the weather can change quickly, can't it? It's nice you are getting opportunity to explore your new state ... and maybe entertaining coworkers helps in that!

La Petite Gallery said...

Pat, Thanks for comment. Let me know if you get a small greenhouse, I might be better off just doing that if it's not too
big a price. yvonne

Proud Italian Cook said...

Wow Pat, beautiful majestic scenery but I'd be holding on to the arm rest! Colorado is such a beautiful state. My hubby and I haven't been there in years but we always had a soft spot for Estes Park, I hope you visit there too Pat!
Looks like life is good for you and yours in Colorado!

Margaret said...

Hi Pat, I've heard of Buffalo Bill. I enjoyed learning more about him and seeing Lookout Mountain. Pat, you are a marvelous storyteller and very brave! I loved how you took us up Lookout Mountain photo by photo! And admire your courage being able to take these marvelous photos! By the whiteout I would of had my eyes closed praying... The older I get the less brave I am on winter or mountainous roads :( I vowed never again after we drove home from Winnipeg in Dec. 2010. I was happy to read you made the drive to your new home safely, a long drive! I think your husband is like mine, a safe confident experienced driver. I'm a good weather driver, and prefer even big city driving over long distances. It has been 8 weeks now since I broke my Lt. humerus. Your blog and your warm adventurous spirit has helped me keep up my spirits:) Thank-you (((Pat)))
Margaret from B.C.

Roz Corieri Paige said...

I remember when we took our kids up to the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave after touring the Coors Beer plant in 1995. It was a great trip. We ran into snow 12 feet high in Estes Park that had just been cleared hours before . . . and it was in JUNE!!! You are in for a lot more beauty in Colorado at any time of year! I almost accepted a faculty position at Colorado State in Ft. Collins, but the South called our names a little bit louder. So now we enjoy our visits to the Rocky Mountain state!

Great post Pat about my old home-state-of-Iowa native Buffalo Bill.

I hope that you have a beautiful week!

Lisa@GrandmasBriefs said...

Great photos, but that sure looks like it had to have been a scary drive. :-D

Annesphamily said...

You will have to head back that way and visit Mother Cabrini's Shrine! I was thinking about it when the new pope was elected. I was up there when John Paul II became pope. With my folks and a friend from California! I think she thought we took up there to convert her to Catholicism! LOL! It is very lovely to look down from that beautiful place! Glad you are getting around and seeing lots of fun sights. When the weather is more Spring like you need to take the grands to The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs. It is a wonderful zoo experience.