Tag Archives: South Park

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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I’m Your Huckleberry


Now, use your best Virginia twang, just like Doc Holliday in the film, Tombstone, and say … “I’m yore huckleberry”. A verbal expression is a different way to touch history. I became curious about this quaint expression, so of course, I Googled it. This is an old fashioned phrase that means, I am the person for the job, I’m your man, or in my case, I’m the woman for the job. Before I went around saying it in public, I thought I had better check on the meaning. After all, it could mean something entirely different, such as, I’m your fruit tart! On the contrary, this is a fairly useful term, in response to a friendly request, although it will require explanation to those not familiar with it, or not enamored with the dialogue of the film, Tombstone.

I was fortunate to go adventuring again last week with my research pal, Christie. We ended up, again, in the South Park district of the Colorado mountains, poking around some ghost town buildings and another old cemetery. Each cemetery has its own personality, and I found this one to be more melancholy than others we’ve visited. Many of the graves were for children, and the hardships and heartaches of life in the 1880s at almost 10,000 feet elevation was palpable. Touching history is not always joyous. Regardless, be assured that whenever I have a chance to learn and experience those far away times and stories from the past, “I’m your huckleberry”.

Joyce Lohse, 5/26/09


Posted by on May 26, 2009 in Western history


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