Pikes Peak Pebble Pups

Pikes Peak Pebble Pups

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Cripple Creek Tribute

By Jenna Salvat

The soothing sky is blue as a robin’s egg,
Awakened by the rising of the shining sun.
The vast and rolling hills are touched and warmed
By the feathery fingers of the morning’s breath.

The air is saturated in the smell of fresh pine and morning dew,
Captivating one’s senses in the fragrant aroma.
Budding wildflowers dapple the terrain
Like the splashes of color on an artist’s canvas.

Patches of snow, scattered about like quartz crystals,
Slowly melt with the arrival of spring.
The serene silence is broken and melted like the ice
With glorious songs of birds, fresh from their night of rest.

Sunrise is nature’s waking call from the dark, dangerous night.
In the distance lie houses, nestled in the valley of the hills,
The living place of miners; the place to rest their aching feet
The hills tower down upon an old miner,
Who just stumbled out of his cabin

Shovel and pick in hand, he trudges through the mud
And the water from the melting snow.
He hikes up a hill to look for telluride minerals,
And slashes the soil and rock with his shovel.
Sparks alight and fly about.

Deep underground lies a drift, lit by lanterns
The miners drill, a charge is set.
The miners rush about the tunnel.
A loud BANG echoes through the labyrinth
As the miners set off sticks of dynamite.

Their hard work is synchronized
By the sound of iron hitting rock.
The rhythm accompanies the eternal heartbeat
Of the Earth’s living drum.
The dark paths are like a puzzle,
A game the miners play.
Some strike it rich, others find no pay.
A shout is heard in the tunnel,
Joy spreads throughout the men.
A glistening gold vein is exposed
Among the cold grey breccia.
Excited, some men rush out to spread the news.
Others stay by and start to mine the gold out.

Dust and smoke fill these chambers,
The miners wheeze and cough.
A miner’s job is tough work,
It is no walk through the park.

Evening starts to approach the town,
The miners walk home.
Their bodies ache, their sore legs shake,
As they rush to rest alone.

The birds quiet their songs.
The houses are illuminated by candles.
The day is done, the treasure won,
As the night starts to take over.

It is the crickets turn to sing out,
As dusk falls upon the landscape.
The moon starts to peek at the fields.
Its familiar glow casts down upon the mines.

In the moonlight, a small crystal twinkles,
Atop the precipice of the hill.
Deep beneath here the gold still lies,
Waiting to be found.

Cripple Creek, looking west from Gold Hill. The Midget and Conundrum mines are in the foreground and Mount Pisgah is in the background. Teller County, Colorado. October 3, 1903, plate 4-A in U.S. Geological Survey. Professional paper 54. 1906. Photo public domain. Courtesy of the US Geological Survey.

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Meet the author: Jenna Salvat is a member of the Pikes Peak Pebble Pups where she is an Earth Science Scholar and program leader. Jenna is deeply interested in the Earth sciences, archaeology, and poetry. She is in the 9th grade at Coronado High School.

Welcome! This is the gateway to adventure and discovery

Through this blog pebble pups and junior members of the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society can access their lessons, work on assignments and projects, and receive details about field trips in the Pikes Peak Region. This Internet program is also suitable for young people who are interested in Earth science but do not live near a rock club or gem and mineral society or for young people anywhere who want a deeper dive into these topics. The only requirement is that all participants must be members of the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society and must fill out the CSMS membership form (under important websites) and send their registration and membership fee in. Steven Veatch is the senior instructor and will need an email from you with your name, address, phone number, and permission from your parents to participate in this program.