Monthly Archives: September 2010

Fall Tour Over Boreas Pass

Mt. Silverheels

Mt. Silverheels from Boreas Pass

Every year, I look forward to taking a fall daytrip when the aspen leaves are at their peek of goldness in the high country. This year, we found splendid scenery by driving over 11,000+ foot Boreas Pass, from Como in Colorado’s South Park, over the Continental Divide, into Breckenridge. You might say we “crossed over the Great Divide” (a common western expression for dying), and lived to tell about it!

The Boreas Pass road follows a narrow gauge railroad route built in 1880 by the Denver, South Park, and Pacific Railroad. The line reached Breckenridge in 1882 and Leadville in 1884 during the race among newly organized railroad companies to be the first to transport goods and people across the rugged Rocky Mountains. And rugged it is. The Boreas Pass Road climbs and winds its way across the Continental Divide, allowing fabulous views, and many OMG moments. Travel across the pass is an exciting adventure and a step back in railroad history.

Those who follow my writing might also be aware of the tale of Silverheels, the good-hearted dance hall girl who stayed to nurse the residents of Buckskin Joe back to health during a smallpox epidemic in the Fairplay Mining District camp after other residentsĀ  had left. Mt. Silverheels was named to honor this fascinating legend of female courage and pulchritude. Boreas Pass allows rare and beautiful views of the backside of Silverheels, decorated and framed by leaves of pure gold.

Joyce B. Lohse, 9/22/10

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Posted by on September 22, 2010 in Western history, Western Travel


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Harvest Time

Chile Prep

A messy job

I love fall. When the morning air gets crispy, it is time to take a drive along Federal Blvd. in Denver, with the car windows open, to smell the aroma of roasting chiles. As if by magic, stands spring up along this busy city thoroughfare. A tent in a parking lot marks the spot where one can stop and buy produce from New Mexico. Before your eyes, Hatch chiles are thrown into a cylindrical cage, which is turned by a crank briskly over a propane fire to roast them to perfection, leaving them with blackened blistered skins.

The drive home is a little difficult. With the bushel of mild roasted chiles safely stashed in back of the vehicle in a tightly closed plastic bag, a beautifully distracting aroma wafts over us and overwhelms the senses. After the chiles rest and cool in the bag at home for a couple of hours, our work begins. Fortunately, my Hub and I are a formidable chile processing team. We spread the blistered beauties on the kitchen counter with cutting pads, bowls, and water. Handling them with care, the black blistered skin slides off, followed by a whack of the Sudoku knife to remove the top. When the messy process is completed, we pack our bounty in one pound sealed bags to store in the freezer for use during the winter.

Chile Prep 3

Beautiful results to enjoy all winter!

Although this subject is more foodie-oriented than history-oriented, one of my favorite ways to enjoy Western history is by connecting with agricultural produce and cooking items from the Rocky Mountain Region. You would be hard pressed to find anything finer than a chile rellenos casserole, or a bowl of Denver Green Chile in the stew pot, when the leaves turn gold and the temperature drops in Colorado.

Joyce B. Lohse, 9/10/10


Posted by on September 10, 2010 in Denver history, Western Travel


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