Plan to arrive in Colorado Springs in time to do a bit of exploring and take a trip up Pike’s Peak. On Day Three, after spending a full day exploring Colorado Springs, you’ll be heading for Florence, the Antiques Capital of Colorado. From Florence, it’s on to Victor on Phantom Canyon Road to begin exploring the story of the Cripple Creek and Victor Mining District. Next up, Cripple Creek, to explore more of the story of mining in the Old Wes, tour a present day mine and ride the narrow gauge railroad. On Day Five, it’s a short drive from Cripple Creek to Florissant on Teller One Road to visit one of the original ranches now a part of the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. From Florissant you’ll be traveling on High Park Road to Canon City, and from there back to Colorado Springs on Shelf Road. At this point, you will have traveled all pioneer roads built to connect the mining towns with the outside world that make up the Gold Belt Tour Scenic and Historic Byway.
One of the more interesting stories in the region you’ll discover is that of Adeline Hornbeck, a determined mother who made a home for her four children in the 1870;s. Adeline originally came from Massachusetts with her husband, Simon Harker, to farm and raise cattle. When Harker died in 1864, Adeline faced life as a widow with three young children, managing to make money from crops and livestock. By 1866, she was able to purchase of a homestead, buying 80 acres for $100. Two months later she married Elliott Hornbek and had a son. In 1875 when Hornbek disappeared under mysterious circumstances, once again Adeline became the sole support for her family, continuing to manage a successful ranch.