Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Gaming towns

My trip to Cripple Creek was fun. If you are a gambler this would be a great place to spend your days off. If, like me, you don't like watching money spin away, not even one penny at a time there is not so much to do there. Needless to say there was plenty of time for me to make a few notes. Here is what I wrote on January 5th.

Sitting here on a bench outside of a casino I realize people are amazing. It is a long drive into the mountains, on steep winding roads. When you get here the sky is an amazing color of blue, perfectly set against the scattered green trees and brown grass. The air is crisp and it is warm enough so that only a light jacket is required during the day, but still cool enough that some spots of snow remain. Yet very few of the people who are visiting here take more than the few minutes it takes to walk from one casino to another to notice the beauty of their surroundings.

They go from one smoke filled building to another. The noise of machines whirling and dinging is surely still ringing in their ears. They sit and pay money to stare at a machines spinning around. While for free they could be looking at the snow dusted mountains. For the ones who don't care for nature there are old buildings with boarded windows to be wondered at. I noticed one small, wood building standing on a few pillars about five feet high. You could look straight through to open side to the hill it was snuggled up to on the other side. It looked like somebody had dug the basement out from under it. Why?

One afternoon was spent pleasantly walking around town looking at churches. The next visiting the only museum open for the season. I had to stop and rest at the top of one of the hills, luckily for me there was a shrine in the Catholic churchyard to look at while I waited for my heartbeat to go below the audible level. One of the churches had a date and Christian scientists wrote in parenthesis on the corner stone. The museum I wanted to visit was closed for the season, it was a closed down parlor house. The one that was open was nice and worth the five dollars it cost, but not spectacular.