The lure of gold brought Fifty-Niner’s in droves to the Kansas-Nebraska territory laden with packs, picks, pans and shovels - hell-bound for adventure and facile wealth.
Placer miners squatted beside frigid streams, dipping their pans and filling their sacks with nuggets bound for the assayer's verdict.
Mine towns sprang up where the veins were strong. In ******* Creek, Leadville, Independence and Central City, the valleys rang with the strident cacaphony of drills and explosives - burrowing shafts deep into the ore-rich valleys and mountain slopes.
Headlamps lit and shadowed mazes of timbered tunnels where men piled rock high into mine cars headed for the mammoth crushers at Idaho Springs.
Whiskey freely flowed in saloons and hotels where raucous miners let off steam with every mode and cast of ***** talk pleasures
In time, the veins were spent and profits dwindled. When the drama ended and the curtain fell, the miners vanished - leaving only ghost towns behind and a new state named for its reddish river – Colorado.
This is the second poem in a cycle called Echoes from Colorado