Sunday, August 03, 2008

Silver Plume, CO

There is a monument up above Silver Plume which is visible from I-70. Each time we pass it, Kyle and I have wondered what it is for. Many times, we have said that we should hike up there to investigate the monument.

Friday was the day. We drove into Silver Plume, a town with a population of about 150 in the winter and 200 in the summer. We looked for a spot where we could start hiking toward the monument, but nowhere seemed obvious to us. Kyle pulled the jeep over and asked a resident if there were any hiking trails nearby. The local artist (all of the modern scrap metal art in his lawn gave it away) told Kyle that the 7:30 Mine Trail started just up the hill from the stop sign. It was about a two mile hike along that trail to reach the monument, which he informed us was a gravestone. We parked the jeep in front of an old church and headed toward the trail.

The hike was great! The cool thing about the hike was that there were so many things to see along the way. We followed old track used to guide mining cars, we entered an old mine shaft (very carefully, of course!), we peered into deep shafts that had been permanently closed off, we saw a great view of the Georgetown railway and even saw the train pull into the Silver Plume station. It was very entertaining. The views were spectacular during the entire hike.

When we got to the monument we found out that it was a gravestone for Clifford Griffin, and Englishman who was buried near that spot. The stone was incredibly large! I can't imagine how difficult it must have been to haul it up there. I decided to google his name and this is what I found:
A slightly more disturbing account of his story can be found here:

After taking a little break (and a few pictures), we headed down the mountain. I found out later that the gravesite is 1,200 feet above the town of Silver Plume, where we started. No wonder it felt like the trail was pretty steep at times--it was! Another amazing thing about the trail was that we only saw one other person the entire time. Just as we were approaching the bottom, we saw one man who was just starting the hike.

We walked back down into town and passed a small antique shop that we decided we would pop into once we put our stuff in the jeep. We had parked the jeep on the street in front of an old church. I found this picture on someone's flikr site. The antique store is on the right and the church is on the left:

As we were peeling off our Camelbaks, a nice lady started chatting with us. She was watering flowers around the church property. She asked if we had been hiking and we told her we had just finished the 7:30 Mine Trail. We commented on how neat the building we were standing in front of was. She said, "Thank you. We bought it a few years ago and renovated it. It's our home now. Everyone thinks it still a church, but now it's actually our house. Would you like to come in and take a peek?" We quickly exclaimed, "yes, please!"

We were amazed when she brought us throught the place. Her daughter's experise as an architectural engineer and lighting specialist, combined with her husband's construction knowledge enabled them to do the renovation within the family. She told us it had been featured on HGTV's show reZONED. So, I did a little researching and I found the video clip. Although I can't give you a link directly to the video, go here:,,HGTV_22056_68627,00.html

In the box on the right side of the screen, type in: Amazing Colorado Church House and click Search Videos. Click on the link to Watch Video and you'll see what we saw. Amazing is right! We met Marilyn and Max, the older couple who are Kendra's parents. She was the sweetest ladey and very justifiably proud of their home.

Our day in Silver Plume was unforgettable!

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