Phoenix Gold Mine Tour – Idaho Springs, Colorado

Phoenix Gold Mine - EntranceA couple of years ago we only had a few days for our anniversary so we spent a long weekend in Idaho Springs here in CO. It’s only an hour or so away and was a nice but short getaway. While in the area we decided to a tour of the Phoenix Gold Mine. We had been to a few cave tours like Carlsbad Caverns in NM, but never a gold mine. This was new and different for both of us, and we were excited for our tour.

Phoenix Gold Mine - 5I am going to share a little history about the mine before I share our experience. According to their website, the Phoenix Gold Mine is a family business was purchased in 1868 by their family of 4th generation Colorado Miners. They estimate that the mine has produced over 100,000 troy ounces of gold. For those of you who didn’t know, like me, one troy ounce is equal to 1.097 standard ounces.

Phoenix Gold Mine - 1In 1988 they decided to share their passion for prospecting, mining, and panning for gold with others by offering tours. During the tours they talk about geology, history, and mining equipment. You will see 2 different gold veins (gold in its natural setting). Both gold veins are beautiful and quite different because of their mineral content. You will learn about how gold is extracted from the rock and processed to its pure form in our underground mill. It is quite an interesting process.

Phoenix Gold Mine - 2The day of our tour we got there a little early and waited while the group in front of us finished their tour. We met some of the people that were going to tour with us and were given these fancy hard hats to wear during the tour. You can see our group all ready to go in the picture below.

Phoenix Gold Mine - USOur tour guide was not only a guide, but one of the owners. Not surprisingly he was very informative and knew everything about the mine and its working. He explained things in a way that we could understand and really appreciate the impact they have had here in Colorado and area. I felt we were very lucky to have him lead us around and answer any questions we had.

Phoenix Gold Mine - 3Sadly I don’t remember all the stories he shared, but he was definitely entertaining and I highly suggest doing your own tour and see what you can learn and maybe go home with a trinket of gold if you wish to try your luck at panning for gold.

Phoenix Gold Mine - 4Tours are given on the hour and each tour is about 1 hour. Tours include a hands-on gold panning lesson with our combo package. Things to note, tours consist of less than 500 feet of walking, but temperature is approximately 45 degrees Fahrenheit. A light jacket or sweatshirt is recommended. One other thing, the Phoenix Mine Company is also dog friendly and more than happy to accommodate your furry friend(s) as long as they are on a leash, get along with other dogs, and are comfortable around other people.

Phoenix Gold Mine - 6We had a great time touring the mine and definitely learned a lot. If you are in the area, I highly suggest doing a mine tour, especially the Phoenix Gold Mine. Here is a link to their website. You won’t be disappointed. Please drop a comment if you have been on this tour or a similar tour. Would love to hear about your experience. Happy Travels.

Phoenix Gold Mine Visitor Information

Address:

800 Trail Creek Road – Idaho Springs, CO 80452

Phone:

303-567-0422

Hours:

Monday thru Friday 10 am – 4 pm
(Reservations  required for the 4pm tour)

Prices:

$25 Adults (17- 64)
$20 Children (4-16)
FREE Babies (0-3)
$20 Seniors (65+) & Veterans (show ID)
15% Clear Creek County Residents (show ID)

Directions:

Take US-6 W and I-70 W to 3rd Ave in Idaho Springs. Take exit 239 from I-70 W. 

Parking:

Free

Accessibility:

Q: What is the accessibility for someone physically challenged?

A: Tunnel openings are wide; the pathways are mostly flat with ore car rail. There are no steps. Some can navigate the path with crutches or a walker. Manual wheelchairs have been accommodated with extra assistance. Please call ahead & they will be happy to assist.

Gold Panning Lesson

A: They can provide a stool or chair to sit on during the panning lesson if you ask for one beforehand.​

Parking

A: They have a few handicapped parking spaces available beside the gift shop which is located near the mine entrance. Parking lot is covered with gravel. If Creekside Panning is open, you may also park alongside the road by the panning building for easy access to gold panning (please let one of their staff members know that you are parked there).

 

West Virginia State Capitol in Charleston – The Mountain State

West Virginia State Capitol - Front

We finally made it to our 45th state and a new capitol in the city of Charleston, West Virginia! We were there late in the day so there wasn’t a whole lot going on. However we were still able to do a self-guided tour and learn a little bit about the building and its history.

West Virginia State Capitol - Flag with Gene

I will start with a bit of that history. The West Virginia State Capitol building is actually the third for the state, and was officially dedicated on June 20th, 1932 by their current Governor William B. Conley happily on the state’s 69th birthday. What a day that must have been. It had taken 8 years, and three construction projects before it was ready for public usage. The west wing was built first between 1924 and 1925. Once that was finished, the east wing was constructed in 1926 and 1927. Between 1930 and 1932 the rotunda was completed which connected the west and east wings.

West Virginia State Capitol - Dome

Atop the capitol is the 293-foot gold dome which is stated to be five feet taller than the dome of the United States Capitol.  Either way, it is covered in copper and gold leaf, and was originally gilded by Mack Jenney and Tyler Company in 1931. The dome was later restored to the original plans of Cass Gilbert in 2005, which included the reconstruction of the eagle at the top of a 25-foot bronze spire built on a 34 and a half-foot lantern.

Rotunda

West Virginia State Capitol - Chandeller

Most rotundas in the state capitols are amazing, and this state house was no exception. Suspending 180 feet from the floor of the building on a 54-foot brass and bronze chain is a 4000-pound chandelier. It is made of 10,000 pieces of Czechoslovakian crystal, is eight feet in diameter, and is illuminated by 96 light bulbs. It is quite impressive.

West Virginia State Capitol - Us Inside

I love marble and was also impressed with how much of it was at the West Virginia State Capitol. They state the two thirds of the interior consist of marble. The walls are made of Imperial Danby, and the floors are a combination of white Vermont marble and dark Italian travertine. It was very beautiful. I think it even had more marble than the South Dakota State Capitol in Pierre.

Ground Floor

West Virginia State Capitol - Rotunda1

On the first floor of the west wing side of the capitol you will find the Governor’s Offices, the Governor’s Reception room, as well as the Secretary of State’s Offices. On the east side, you will find the Attorney General offices, the Agriculture Commissioner office, as well as the Bill Drafting and Legislative Services office.

Second Floor

West Virginia State Capitol - Chambers

On the west wing side of the building you will find the Senate Chamber, the Senate Majority leader’s office, and many other Senate related offices. On the east wing side of the capitol you will find the House of Delegates Chamber, the House Speaker’s office, the House Majority Leaders office, as well as many House related offices. Couple of interesting things to note, that while the chambers are similar, there are quite a few specific differences. Two rows of coffers grace the arches above the Senate chamber, while the House has only one. There are carved eagles in each of the chambers which are also a little different. The ones in the Senate have their wings spread, while the ones in the House are closed. Another unique difference between the two chambers is their ceilings. The Senate is dome shaped, while the one in the House is flat.

West Virginia State Capitol - Side

I was very happy to be able to see and explore the West Virginia State Capitol. I have to say we had a nice time walking around the building while getting a little turned around at times, lol (it is actually WAY bigger than it looks) but everyone we spoke with was very friendly and quick to answer any questions we had.

West Virginia State Capitol - Gardens

However, a tour is not complete without checking out some of the statues on the Capitol Grounds.  Below is a list of some of these statues you might like to see:

  • West Virginia Veterans Memorial
  • The West Virginia Female Veterans statue
  • Spirit of West Virginia
  • Booker T. Washington
  • The Liberty Bell
  • Mountaineer Solder
  • “Stonewall” Jackson
  • Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight
  • Soldiers and Sailors Monument
  • The Coal Miner Statue

West Virginia State Capitol Visitor Information

Address:

1900 Kanawha Boulevard East Charleston, West Virginia

Phone:

304- 558-4839

Hours:

The Capitol is open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday and Holidays.

Price:

Free

Tours:

State Capitol tours, and tours of the Governor’s Mansion are available for guests, school groups, etc., by calling Capitol Tours & Information – (304) 558-4839

Individuals and groups may also tour the nearby Culture Center and West Virginia State Museum – (304) 558-0220

Directions:

From points North: Take I-77 South to the Greenbrier Street/ State Capitol Exit (Exit 99), turn right off the exit ramp onto Greenbrier Street, then turn left at Washington Street into the State Capitol parking lot.

From points East: Take I-68 West to I-79 South, then to I-77 South. Take the Greenbrier Street/ State Capitol Exit (Exit 99), turn right off the exit ramp onto Greenbrier Street, then turn left at Washington Street into the State Capitol parking lot.

From points South: Take I-77 North to the Greenbrier Street/ State Capitol Exit (Exit 99), turn left off the exit ramp onto Greenbrier Street, then turn left at Washington Street into the State Capitol parking lot.

From points West: Take I-64 East to the Greenbrier Street/ State Capitol Exit (Exit 99), turn right off the exit ramp onto Greenbrier Street, then turn left at Washington Street into the State Capitol parking lot.

Parking & Shuttle:

Shuttle service is provided between the Capitol Complex and the Laidley Field parking area in three shifts, a morning shift, a midday shift and an afternoon shift. The shuttle departs from Laidley Field starting at 6:45 a.m. All other shifts the shuttle starts at Building 3. The last run of the day begins at 5:15 p.m. Each complete run of the shuttle is approximately 10-15 minutes depending on traffic lights and traffic.

The shuttle does not operate typically between 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 1:45 p.m.-3:00 p.m. The Schedule also includes a number to call if more information or assistance is needed. The stops include: Laidley Field, Capitol Parking Garage {North Side}, Building 3 {North Side}, Building 5, Building 6, Capitol Building East Wing, Capitol Building West Wing & Cultural Center Entrances. The shuttle bus is handicapped accessible.

Accessibility:

All public entrances to the State Capitol are wheel chair accessible.

Food:

The Capitol Complex Food Court is located in the basement of the main capitol building. It is open Monday-Friday – 7:00am – 1:30pm. Menus, contact information and more are available through the Food Court’s website: https://www.wvcapitolfoodcourt.com/

50 Pub Pass Craft Breweries in 2023 – Breweries 1-5

Join us as we kick off the 2023 Pup Pass season! I won four passes to the Denver area and Northern Colorado area, thus we are going to visit 50 craft breweries in 2023! Please follow us along on this adventure as we share videos from each brewery by clicking on the subscribe button. If you are unfamiliar with Pub Pass, check the link below as we share some details about how it works. I also list all the breweries on these two passes.

BTW, if you are in the local area, let us know as we have 3 passes for Den and NoCo (we had bought two before I won four) and we would be glad to meet up and share a free beer with you. 🍻 Here are breweries 1-5 that we first visited in 2023.

PLATT PARK BREWING COMPANY

Breweries - Platt Park Beers

We had agreat time during our visit to Platt Park Brewing. We enjoyed some of their many different styles of beers and had a lively conversation with one of their wonderful employees, Christian. He is also from CA originally so we had some common interests. There is a list of some of the beers there were serving when we visited in Feb 2023, as wells as information about the brewery, in the description area of the video. 🍻

Address:

1875 S Pearl St Denver, CO

Phone:

303-993-4002

Hours:

Monday – 11AM – 10PM
Tuesday – 11AM – 10PM
Wednesday -11AM – 10PM
Thursday – 11AM – 10PM
Friday – 11AM – 12AM
Saturday – 11AM – 12AM
Sunday – 11AM – 10PM

A BIT TWISTED BREWPUB AND BBQ

Breweries - A Bit Twisted Brewing - Beers

The next place we visited is called A Bit Twisted Brewpub and BBQ in Aurora. We had a wonderful time during our visit, enjoyed some of their many different styles of beers and had a lively conversation with owner and BBQ pit master Matt. He shares a little history about A Bit Twisted Brewpub and their wonderful BBQ options. There is a list of some of the beers there were serving when we visited in Feb 2023, as wells as information about the brewery in the video description. 🍻

Address:

3095 S Peoria St Aurora, CO

Phone:

720-350-4905

Hours:

Monday thru Wednesday – 03:00pm – 09:00pm
Thursday – 12:00pm – 09:00pm
Friday – 12:00pm – 10:00pm
Saturday – 11:00am – 10:00pm
Sunday – 11:00am – 09:00pm

CRTSTAL SPRINGS BREWING COMPANY

Breweries - Crystal Springs Beers

The 3rd of our Pub Pass breweries we visited was Crystal Springs Brewing Company in Louisville, CO. We had an enjoyable time during our visit and enjoyed some of their many different styles of beers. We also had a fun conversation with one of the employees, Russo. He shares a little history about Crystal Springs Brewery and some of his favorites. Again, there is a list of some of the beers there were serving when we visited in Feb 2023, as wells as information about the brewery in the video description area. 🍻

Address:

604 Main Street. Louisville, CO 80027

Phone:

720-572-7975

Hours:

Mon-Tue: 3-8pm
Wed-Thu: 3-9pm
Fri: 2-9pm
Sat: 12-9pm
Sun: 12-7pm

MOUNTAN COWBOY BREWING COMPANY

Breweries - Mtn Cowboy Beers

Here we are at Mountain Cowboy Brewing Company in Loveland, CO. We had a wonderful time during our visit, enjoyed some of their many different styles of beers, had a blast playing games with our friends, and had a fun conversation with two of the employees. They shared a little about the location in Loveland, as well as their location further south in Frederick, CO. We will be making it to that one later this year. They also have a coffee roastery which was quite interesting. Anyway, there is a list of some of the beers there were serving when we visited in Feb 2023, as wells as information about the brewery in video description. 🍻

Address:

6402 Union Creek Dr, Loveland, CO 80538

Phone:

303-952-4433

Hours:

Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday: 7 am – 9 pm
Wednesday: 7 am – 9 pm
Thursday: 7 am – 9 pm
Friday: 7 am – 10 pm
Saturday: 7 am – 10 pm Sunday – 8 am – 8 pm

SIX CAPITAL BREWING COMPANY

Breweries - Six Capitol Brewing Beers

The sixth brewery I am sharing is Six Capital Brewing Company in Aurora, CO. We had an amazing time during our visit and enjoyed some of their many different styles of beers and good food. Spoke with a Six Capitol employee named Taylor who was energetic and fun to talk to. We look forward to visiting again one day in the future, and hope you can too. In the meantime, the list of some of the beers there were serving when we visited in Feb 2023, as wells as information about the brewery is in the video description. 🍻

Address:

16701 E. Iliff Ave Suite B Aurora CO 80013

Phone:

720-598-6816

Hours:

Sunday 12–8 PM
Monday 3–8 PM
Tuesday 3–8 PM
Wednesday 12–9 PM
Thursday 12–9 PM
Friday 12–9 PM
Saturday 12–9 PM

This is just the first five of 50 craft breweries we will be visiting with the Pub Pass during 2023! Each one is so unique and have different styles of beer, food, etc. Some are dog friendly, some are not. We always check before we visit if we want to bring our little fur baby.  Please come back soon as I will post 6-10 once I have posted all ten videos. In the meantime, enjoy the videos and plase hit the like button. Also, don’t forget to hit click the subscribe button if you want to follow along on our beer tour adventures on You Tube. Please let me know if you have been to any of these breweries and let me know your experience(s).  Cheers! (or as they say in Germany Prost!)

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum – Santa Fe, New Mexico

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum - Bldg

Located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum is something I had wanted to visit and explore for quite a while. I was very happy to be able to see it on our latest trip to the area. For those that may not know, the Georgia O’Keefe Museum is in honor and dedicated to the artistic legacy of none other than Georgia O’Keefe. More about her life throughout this post. For now I want to share more about the museum itself. Continue reading “Georgia O’Keeffe Museum – Santa Fe, New Mexico”

End of Summer Tour – 8-Days in NYC, Niagara Falls and Washington D C.

End of Summer Tour - Summer

I am happily looking for to saying GOODBYE to summer as I do not like the heat or humidity. I am gladly looking forward to the fall season and the crisp fall weather. However, I know I am not like everyone, and many or sad that summer is ending and want to extend it as long as they can. Why not do an end of summer tour right here in the US? I found this fun-looking 8-day tour through Trafalgar where you will spend time in NYC, Niagara Falls, and Washington DC. FYI, this trip does take you to Canada so you can see both sides of the falls, so you will need a passport. Here are the details. (from Trafalgars website) Continue reading “End of Summer Tour – 8-Days in NYC, Niagara Falls and Washington D C.”

Albuquerque, New Mexico- 8 Fun Things To Do in Duke City

Albuquerque

Hi there everyone.  In a couple of weeks, Gene and I will be heading to Albuquerque so I did some more research on the area and check out some of the things we wanted to do while in New Mexico. We have actually been to Albuquerque quite a few times and have fond memories of the Balloon Fiesta, and our Breaking Bad tour. However, there are always more things to see and do, or explore in a different city.  Thus I did some research (so you don’t have to) and found 8 must-see attractions in the area. These are in no particular order.: Continue reading “Albuquerque, New Mexico- 8 Fun Things To Do in Duke City”

South Carolina State House in Columbia – The Palmetto State

South Carolina State House - 1

One our desire to see all US State Capitols we marked off the South Carolina State Capitol while in the Columbia area in June of 2012. We had just done a tour earlier of the Georgia State Capitol and I was looking forward to comparing the two. This capitol, most commonly known as The South Carolina State House, is located in the center of Columbia and lies at the confluence of the Saluda River and Broad River which merge at Columbia to form the Congaree River. It was there that in 1860, the South Carolina Secession Convention took place and their delegates voted for secession, making South Carolina the first state to leave the Union in the events leading up to the Civil War. I was looking forward to exploring this historic capitol building. Continue reading “South Carolina State House in Columbia – The Palmetto State”

Shoreline Architecture River Cruise – Chicago, Illinois

Shoreline Architecture River Cruise 8

On my first trip to Chicago by myself in September 2008 to see the Anaheim Angels play the White Sox and do a tour of Wrigley Field, I played around a little before and after work. One afternoon I was able to do the Shoreline Architecture River cruise in Downtown Chicago.  Tours depart from two docks, one at Michigan Avenue and the other at Navy Pier. I was already down by the Navy Pier, so it was easy for me to jump on the tour from that location. Continue reading “Shoreline Architecture River Cruise – Chicago, Illinois”

Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York – Home to the NY Yankees

Yankee Stadium - Outside

While in NYC in May of this year, we were finally able to see and take a tour of Yankee Stadium. It was my 20th MLB Park and I was so excited to be 2/3 of the way into my quest to see all 30 stadiums! There is so much history behind the Yankees and Yankee Stadium. I just wish I would have been able to see the stadium often referred to as the House That Ruth Built. Sadly it was demolished after the new stadium was opened on opening day on April 16, 2009.

Continue reading “Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York – Home to the NY Yankees”

Memphis, Tennessee – Our Top 10 Things to See and Do

Memphis - Welcome

In October of 2020 Gene and I was able to finally visit Memphis Tennessee on a birthday road trip. We had a blast and had a whole list of things we wanted to see and do. Of course, we never have time to do everything on one trip. Added to that, we met with friends who live in a different part of Tennessee and they had a list of their own, lol. With that in mind, I decided to create a list of some of the most exciting things to see and do in Memphis so you can plan your next trip. These are not in any particular order. Except Graceland is first as I grew up loving Elvis and couldn’t wait to visit his home.

Continue reading “Memphis, Tennessee – Our Top 10 Things to See and Do”