Updated: September 27, 2022
Pikes Peak Wonders Woman Amelia Dall explored the Pikes Peak Region, and you can too! Curious where Amelia stopped on her journey around the region? Use her itinerary as inspiration for your own adventure!
The Museum of Colorado Prisons is quite unique; it shares a stone wall and armed towers with a prison that has been in continuous operation since 1871. Visitors can browse through exhibits covering more than 140 years, it’s a piece of history, come live the history.
The Mission of the Royal Gorge Regional Museum & History Center is to collect, preserve and interpret the history of the region for all future generations. There are three main gallery areas within the Municipal Building with rotating exhibits throughout the year!
Touted as one of America’s most scenic drives, Skyline Drive's steep, cliff-side climb makes you feel as though you are “off-roading” from the comfort of your passenger car. With no guardrails, visitors can peer directly down out of their window and get a sense of what it was like to travel the road in the early 1900s.
Colorado Jeep Tours offers scenic off-road jeep tours all around the Pikes Peak Region. Amelia took an interpretive tour of Red Canyon, which offers views similar to those found in Garden of the Gods in the Springs! They visited an area famous for the excavation of many complete dinosaur skeletons.
Amelia next traveled to Florence, the antiquing capitol of Colorado! She wrote the following guidelines on how to go antiquing like an archaeologist!
How to Go Antiquing Like an Archaeologist
By: Amelia Dall
I, and I think (actually, I assume?) many other archaeologists, have reservations about antiquing. I do think upcycling and/or recycling antiquities is great, and is eco-friendly! However, the question I ask when I go antiquing is if the shop also sells Native American cultural resources or any other illicit antiquities. I look around, and assess in my head whether there are any and if there is even at least one, I then leave.
Archaeologists pay attention not only to the artifacts from excavations, but also their contexts: where they were buried, which time period, analyze their purpose, and so on. Looting and antiquities trafficking destroys the context of the artifact. All information that would have been known about a particular culture, and the education that could have been shared, is lost.
You may be thinking “what’s the big deal?” Well, first of all, antiquities trafficking is a yearly millions-to-billions dollar business and most often conducted by criminals looking to launder money, or fund terrorism, to name a few of the examples. The Islamic State is known to loot, and there is evidence of their activities.
“Traffickers are offering large artifacts, including mosaics, architectural elements, and Pharaonic coffins – all still in situ. These individuals are finding buyers before they put in the effort to remove the objects.” – ATHAR Project
When antiquing, it is important to keep all of those information in mind!
1. Ask for Provenance
2. Have Ideas Ready!
3. Always Be Ethical
In Colorado, a quick drive from Canon City, is the small town of Florence has been dubbed as the ‘Antique Capital of Colorado’ for the estimated 20 antique shops along main street! Named after the daughter of a pioneer and settler of the town, James McCandless, Florence also has bakeries and other eateries, as well as a museum.
Willie’s, a massive building on the far end of Main Street, was not open when I was there unfortunately and did not seem to have anything on their shelves for sale. However, to get to the remaining antique stores from Willie’s, parking on Main Street is recommended. Almost immediately, you are showered with a row of antique themes: salvaged items, vintage décor, handmade gifts, wooden furniture, among various other stock. The old buildings on Main Street gives off a very antique-y vibe as well. Which makes a person understands right there and then why Florence is named the Antique Capital of Colorado. A unique must-see on Main Street is the Blue Spruce Gallery, which is a co-op of about 20-plus artists and on display are all sorts of artwork; pottery, jewelry, paintings, drawings, antiquities!
Visit Florence and be transported back into time!
El Pueblo History Museum showcases the region’s many cultural and ethnic groups through innovative exhibits including the Borderlands of Southern Colorado and Steel City. The property includes a re-created 1840s adobe trading post and plaza, and the archaeological excavation site of the original 1842 El Pueblo trading post.
Amelia rented a bike from Pueblo Bicycle Tours and Rentals and took a two hour tour of the Creative Corridor, Levee restoration and other downtown murals!
The Pueblo Arts Alliance is a non-profit that helps to develop and promote the arts community in Pueblo. The first Friday of each month features activities in each district starting at 5 p.m. You can visit more than 35 art galleries, restaurants and businesses for free! And on every day of the month you can visit the famous Neon Alley. Situated off South Union Avenue in the city's Downtown, the lights and signs are all vintage and from all around the United States!
The Paint Mines Interpretive Park is one of El Paso County’s most unique open spaces. The Paint Mines are named for their colorful clays that were collected by Native Americans to make paint. Brightly colored bands, caused by oxidized iron compounds, are found in varying amounts throughout the many different layers of clay.
Academy Riding Stables offers scenic rides through the famous Garden of the Gods Park. You can book a ride of varying length all year long - whether you're a professional or a beginner!
The Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is located a short drive outside of Colorado Springs and was created in 1969 to protect one of the world's richest fossil deposits. It's also an incredible place to stargaze - it's far enough away from light pollution to provide dark, star-filled skies.
Located in Victor, Colorado, the Victor Lowell Thomas Museum is an original 1899 building that houses two floors of artifacts, books, exhibits and photographs depicting the life in Victor from its beginnings to the heyday of gold mining. It displays memorabilia once owned by famous journalist, author and world traveler, Lowell Thomas.
One of the most accessible museums in the U.S., the USOPM takes visitors through the history of Team USA and the Olympic and Paralympic movements. Visitors can try their hand at various Olympic and Paralympic sports, read about accomplished athletes and view an extensive collection of artifacts!
Amelia met members of our VCOS Staff at Uva Wine Bar for a private wine tasting. The wine bar was opened by a couple with a lifelong love of wine. They regularly offer live music, food and wine pairings and other events.