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Rocky Mountain Profiles, winner of the 2016 "Old West Award" and 2007 "TWM Award" .

Location advisor to CBC for the video " Geologic Journey: The Rockies".  

Published in numerous magazines and  books Including the 2011 Release of "Colorado's Best Ghost Towns" by Kenneth Jessen.

Winner of the BDGTWS Award for 2013, 2014,2015, and 2016

Fan Mail and Testimonials from site visitors and clients on trips.  I like to have fun. Some Humorous, some serious.

Subject: what a wonderful website!

I transferred into Colorado a few years ago, but haven't had the time to go out looking around much. Now I have more time (on the weekends anyway).  I was wondering if you allow stragglers and/or tag-alongs. I suppose I would mostly be interested in day trips (on weekends) or a weekend get-away. It sounds like you have a great time going out and showing off the state!

(I also come with my own jeep if that makes a difference J )

 Rocky Replies

Only under the following conditions:

1.      You take pictures

2.      You enjoy yourself

3.      You supply your own gas, food and drink

4.      You don't mind bumpy roads

5.      You don't whine

6.      You share your pictures

7.      And lot's of other miscellaneous useless stuff.

Short answer is no problem. I do know that the next three weekends are definitely out of the question. (Fathers Day -don't forget your dad, then a trip to pick up my new Rubicon -YEAH,  and then a 4th of July celebration in Minnesota.)

Stay in touch. I assume you are in the Springs. If that is correct then as I plan trips to that area I will let you know. If you have a place you are interested in near there let me know. Sometime you should make sure you take the old stage road ( Gold Camp Road) from behind the Broadmoor Hotel to Cripple Creek, then to Victor and then to Canyon City via Phantom Canyon road and back to the Springs. Neat short day trip. Lot's of stuff to see.

Mike Sinnwell

PS - Thanks for protecting the USA and my family.

 Web Site Visitor replies

AWESOME!  I THINK I can handle all of the following with the possible exception of #5 (I AM A WOMAN YOU's a standard feature, however I will try to keep it down to a low roar!!)  Bumpy rides I don't mind (driving over cliffs I don't care for)...I love taking pictures almost as much as I love sharing them.  ....this isn't just about 4-wheelin' though is it?  I didn't care for it (crawling over rocks) just for the sake of doing it...I want to see the sites of the state.

If you haven't checked out the wolf preserve near Florrisant...that is pretty cool. (Hwy 24 W, mile marker 272). I've taken a couple of folks there and they enjoy it. I've included a couple of pix.

 Is there somewhere close by to see Buffalo? I've been horseback riding on the Air Force Academy and a friend thinks she can get me in to Garden of the Gods as a regular group...  should be fun.  I have driven up and around Cripple Creek and Gold Camp Road...I do love it out that's very pretty!  I'll have to try Phantom Canyon...sounds great!

Yes, I am in the Springs and I LOVE being here in Colorado...I'm never moving again!!

Mike --Your trips sound fun and I am looking forward to whatever you dream up that I can tag along with- I hung up my uniform officially in 1999, but still have to be part of "the family".  You sound like you were "family" at some point yourself!

There's nothing else like it!  No one has ever "thanked" me before, I just don't know how to respond...awe shucks...yer welcome (I guess will hafta do...and thanks for letting me!!)   

I'm looking forward to meeting you and your family...they sound delightful!

See ya in a couple of weeks, --and have a GREAT Father's Day (and yes, I've already taken care of the Cool Dude that's taken care of me)!!!

A viewer writes – WOW! What a web page. I've been traveling to ghosttowns for many years, mostly Colorado, some in New Mexico, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. Been to several of Ken Jessen's appearances around Northern Colorado, use his book 'Railroads of Northern Colorado' to chase ghost railroads (Fallen Flags). Don't get around so much anymore, I'm 82 years young now.
Keep up the good work. It is A PEARL OF GREAT PRICE to have the info available.
Thanks for all  you do
Dan Kube

Seasons Greeting Mike:

Thank you so much for copying me with your holiday e-mail.  I also thank you for creating and maintaining the web page that includes historic sites located in Colorado, but especially for having a section that pertains to Tiger.  I am grateful that you allowed my posting about my life in Tiger to remain on your web page.  Making the posting was very cathartic for me.  If you would like, I will convert a couple of black and white photos in a jpeg format that my mother took while we lived in Tiger (circa 1958-1960) and will e-mail them to you for your consideration of including on your web page.  I will provide descriptive captions.

I also will purchase a copy of the book referenced in your e-mail and will donate it to my employer (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) Employee Library.  I have been a senior level manager for the past 22 years.  I travel frequently and was in Lakewood, CO for a few days of business last week.  I never venture away from Denver because I do not want to degrade the mental photo album of the Arapaho National Forest and surrounding area that is housed in my head.

I think that your hobby is unique and that it contributes to a segment of American History that will be instructive and inform future generations.  My hat is off to you Mike.  As a young boy, I used by stepfather's surname "Stec."  However, when I joined the Army at the age of 17, I revert back to my legal birth surname "Perez."  My friend just call me Dana.

 I very much appreciate that you took time to communicate with me.  Until next time, Happy Holidays Mike from a friend and fan in Gresham, Oregon.



Subject: Apex-Gilpin County


I was doing research on the Internet on Apex, CO when I came across your website. I have just been assigned to do a case study on cleaning up the Apex mine site located in Apex near Central City. The project involves permanently sealing the mine openings in the area and correctly removing or covering any mine tailings still on the site in order to minimize water contamination coming from this site. All surface buildings will most likely remain intact unless they pose an environmental threat. Since I have just been assigned this project I haven't actually been up to the site yet. I am very familiar with the Gilpin and Clear Creek county areas, however the information for this particular area is somewhat limited and I have yet to meet with the Clear Creek Watershed Foundation for specific information. Could you tell me how to get to this area from I-70 or Hwy 6? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for you time.


Mining Department

Colorado School of Mines

Subject: RE: Apex-Gilpin County


For a small fee I will take you there. (Only kidding) Several easy ways to get there. I will give you a couple. Just be careful on the gravel roads this time of year as the altitude along with the snow pack can make for some hazardous driving. I took a tourist up there in December of last year and it freaked them out as I had to use four wheel drive and bust through some snowdrifts. There are people living in Apex as well as homes scatted along Pine Creek so unless you go immediately after a snow storm the road should be cleared to Apex. This time of year you will most likely have to come out the way you went in. In the summer there are some really nice camp grounds in the area and several more scenic ways to get there. One of the biggest mines is on the road leading out of Apex to the north. This time of year it may not be cleared.

Assuming you are starting from Golden I would take US 6 to 119 towards Black Hawk/ Central City.

When you get to Black Hawk you have a choice to make.

1 - You can either go thru Black Hawk / Central city following Eureka Street in Central City past the old Opera House and Teller house. You will exit Central City north west of town on a gravel road that will take you to Apex. Just follow Eureka street and when you get to the top by the cemeteries the road forks, (there are three cemeteries at the top of a hill) follow the road on your right, usually marked CC3, or Apex Valley RD and it leads to Apex. As you come to Rd 4 turn left. or

2 Continue on 119 until you get to Road 4, also known as Apex Valley RD, this road runs parallel to Pine Creek. It should be about 2 miles past Black Hawk. Turn left and follow the gravel road into Apex. Probably an additional 5 miles to Apex. If you go past Missouri Lakes on 119 you missed your turn.

If this doesn't help I can meet you in Black Hawk some time and lead you there. I would like to read anything you plan to produce as a case study as I am always interested in these old sites and any history or interesting stories you may uncover. At least you don't have to do the Summitville site.

THANKS for the interest in my web site. Pass it on.



Thank you very much for your help, it is greatly appreciated. I will be sure to send you a copy of my case study after its completion. My team and I will be working on this issue over the next few months and will most likely be finished around late April. I will keep you up to date as we progress with our findings. Once again thank you.


Wow! Thank you so much for all the useful info. I'm coming from Dallas, TX. I have a few weeks off between Spring semester and Summer in early June. I've spent a lot of time camping in Colorado, but never any further SW than Crested Butte/Gunnison. I don't have a real agenda laid out as of yet, still working on that. I've got all the camping gear that I need, but imagine that I'll also spend a couple nights in a B&B in Silverton or Telluride.

I'll look over the map and try to figure out which area will work out best. And thank you again. The info you sent is going to help tremendously and I really appreciate the suggestions.


 No problem I enjoy sharing my favorite State and sites with people.

Took a browse around the website--

You never really appreciate how beautiful Colorado is until you aren't there any more. Missouri can't compare. And once I buy your jeep from you we can go 4x4 together in those big old mountains.

love you,


PS--can you remind me how to zip files again? I need to be able to do that to put together my book. Thanks!

I could not agree with you more.

Men in tights...............what a good laugh,  have not seen that photo for awhile.  Good timing, although the boys are not in wrestling this year  the Wabasso Rabbits TEAM is going to state for the first time and 10  individuals also are going (almost unheard of having that many form one school.

nice to see the photo again,    I have no idea who the other person is in the "guess who" photo.

Love the monthly updates



Hi Mike,

I loved the chapel pictures and actually enjoyed all of them. I forwarded a picture to an Arizona cousin of the bighorn sheep. Her husband worked for the forestry service for many years and had written a book about the sheep so she has a special interest in them. She wondered about the location where the pictures were taken. A national park or some place else. They are really excellent pictures and appear to be taken fairly close up.

I check your site fairly often and also enjoy the family pictures and the funnies.

Again, thanks.


Your Welcome

Hi Mike, spoke with you last week about getting info. on Hidden Valley Church.  Still looking for a great place for a wedding. Could you give me info. on who I would contact to take a look at the church to see if it would work for us.  Thanks so much for your help.  The church sounds like exactly what I am looking for!


Have a good day!





Hope the wedding is a joyous event. Also the honeymoon and the marriage.

Check out this web site and it will provide lots of details. Hope it works for you.


Carl: (Alias Rocky, Alias Mike)

It's been a long time since I've been able to check out your web site.  The wife is talking to me again and she says I can talk to you again as long as I don't talk about Cleater. Me and the kids are getting along well yet. I see you have others interested in the area.  Cleater was a great part of the journey.  Crown King was OK too....maybe a bit civilized but not too bad.  The rest room facilities were interesting after we left town heading north east and west. (same road)  we actually met some idiot driving that road.  Makes you wonder where his brains were.  Guys like that would probably take the trail west from Mexican Hat to the park too.  You want to avoid people like that.

I don't get a chance to visit your site often enough but do enjoy it.  Makes me lonesome for the mountains though.

Wife is coming...gotta go. Be good......change your ways



I will forgive you misspelling CLEATOR.

Yea, you are right I will suck some poor easterner into taking the road out of Mexican Hat and down off the rim to the water. Just waiting for the right sucker. Last troops I sent that way ran into a deer, and saw a bear standing in the middle of the road. The bear managed to get out of the way in time.



The next time someone asks for info on a nice pristine place to visit (referring to the Sedona request) you should recommend Cleator AZ. I feel quite sure it will be nearly the same as it was 30 years ago.  I suspect that Raymond and Charlie are long gone as well as the sheep dip tanks. Good place to get gas anyway.


You are absolutely correct. As a matter of fact that is exactly where I sent them. After they visited Cleator they went on to Crown King and Jerome. The next time I saw them the wife was mad, and the kids and Dad were smiling. At least some of them enjoyed the trip. Read the story of my last experience in Cleator.



This (your February Collage - Stuck in the snow) is about your going to "look" for snow to get stuck in.

My question is WHY?  I have to drive through this crap daily to just go to work or to even get down my driveway.


Why do you think I live in Colorado instead of Minnesota? DUH!


I am getting out and walking back.

The Wimp

Comments - Every once in awhile the roads get a little rough and scary for some people. The above comment was made by a wimp in the group. He walked back to the improved road.


Thanks, again, for all the driving around you and Mike did for us--especially with your foot still in recovery.  We really do/did appreciate it as both of us and the girls had a great time!  I don't think they'll EVER forget this trip!!!  And neither will we!

Mannie/James/ and girls

Comments - Glad to have you visit and be our guest, next time don't wait 10 years to do it again. The chipmunks will starve.



Just had to tell you that I took a smaller piece of marble to the dental office and put it under a rag wheel with some pumice.  It cleaned up real well.  Then later I thought about putting it in denture cleaner and into the ultrasound.  Boy did that do the job!  The marble is snow white.  It is really pretty.

Thought I would pass this really important information along.


Comments - Some people will do anything- Actually sounds like at neat idea. Just hope she doesn't put your dentures in with it.

Original request:


I need to pick your brain a little.  We are planning to take a vacation to Sedona AZ. from the 6 - 15 June.  I know you spend some time in AZ and was wondering if you know anything about that area.

How far are the kids from there?  Any chance of seeing them?  I think I've got Tina's e-mail right but do not have Spikes.  I also do not have an address for either one so do not know where they live.

Any feedback would be appreciated.



Sedona is about 100 miles North from Phoenix. Spike lives on the north side of Phoenix so he is closer to Sedona. Tina lives in the South East suburbs (Higley) so she is probably another 30-40 miles from Sedona depending on how you get there.

Not sure what you plan to do or see in Sedona or why you would pick Sedona to spend 10 days. It used to be a rather quaint place to visit. A small town, friendly atmosphere with great scenery if you knew where to go looking. The last time I was there, last year 2002, I was disappointed. It had gotten extremely overcrowded and I would describe it as completely losing the once pristine beauty and old west charm. Sort of reminded me of many of the other places in Arizona that have gotten overrun with tourist, fast buck operators, get rich quick scams, big money etc. You probably don’t understand at all what I mean. I have seen this happen before. A place like Sedona becomes “popular” because of some of the areas special features. (Scenery, location, history etc.) So it becomes a place all the “big money people” want to go. Pretty soon all the people want to go there.  

Now you have all the stuff that comes with that growth.

bullet Family style restaurants are replaced with fast food restaurants.

bullet Old cabins by the creek and lot’s of camping spots are replaced with Motels and no parking signs.

bullet Single lane dirt roads leading into Sedona (and Oak Creek Canyon) are replaced with highways (still single lane) Now just really congested.

bullet 10 cars a day into the area replaced with 10,000 cars a day.

bullet Old timers replaced by Snot nosed kids and their big money parents

bullet Trails you could explorer by yourself are replaced with “guided tours.”

bullet Primitive areas are now “sacred native American” areas and are off limits to tourists without a guide.

bullet Friendly bars with friendly people that grew up there and appreciate the beauty and history are replaced with “upscale, hip Sports bars owned by people that only care about profits and frequented by the likes of Barbara Streisand.

bullet Old general stores replaced by “Art Galleries”

bullet Slide Rock open to the public and only a few people knew about it is now replaced with our great BLM and State Parks control with no  @#%# signs all over the place and lines of people waiting to use it.

Other then these items it is a great place to go. Where else can you see great scenery while being trampled by thousands of like minded souls?

 I would recommend going to Cleator AZ instead.  (I don't think he will listen to me cause I think his wife really likes Barbara.)


Original request.

Ok, Mike - since I didn't have a chance to talk to you when I called, you just missed out!!  I thoroughly enjoyed my short visit to Colorado the 1st of April.  Driving the back way up to Estes Park, I found the chapel at St Malo, which I had previously visited - it's called St Katherine's Chapel, by the way!!  The chapel I want to know about is in your archived site - and Katie took the picture.  Under the heading it tells of having to use 4x4's to get to the chapel - no cars could make it.   Where is this chapel located???

Thanks for the info!




If your trip took you across the Peak to Peak highway (Colorado 72) between Estes Park and Nederland you went right past it. It is on the east side of the road at Peaceful Valley. If you look up above the guest ranch you will see it sitting on the top of a small peak. It was owned and operated by the guest ranch when I went to it. They would not let you drive up to it. They would however take you to it in their 4X4s or on horseback. I was invited to a wedding in the chapel otherwise I would not have gotten into it. Even the Bride and Groom had to ride in an open 4X4 to get there.

  TAKE care


 PS – How did the 35th party go for Barb & Lloyd?

Original request.

Hi Mike,

My future wife and I Stumbled upon your page as we were reading about frequent landslides around McClure Pass, and really enjoyed it!  Good humor! and we're fellow jeep owners.... 99 Sahara.

 We've been Coloradoans for about a year now, and look forward to having family pics of our own.

Thanks for the 1/2 hour of enjoyment!!




Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it. Out of curiosity what part of Colorado and where did you come from? Joan and I moved here in 1983 from Minnesota. After a few short months here we decided this was home. We have lived in AZ, CA, CO, IA, MN etc..

My jeep is a little older, 1998 - 60K miles runs great. Told my daughter I was going to give it to her next year. Good excuse for me to buy a new one.

Hope you do have some Family pics to take soon also. When you get some little ones make sure you keep them away from Joan. She has a habit of loving all little kids and taking care of almost anyone’s when they decide they need a break. We are the only “old” people in the neighborhood that have a basement full of kid’s toys, and a back yard full of kids outside toys but no kids at home. I even have sleds, bikes, sandboxes, tree house, slides etc.


Original request.


Can you remember the name of the purple rocks that we got in the mountains?  It was in a quarry.  That particular day it was lighting out, and we saw a fire start.  Joe is doing a project in school.  He needs the name of the rocks and where he got it.  If you can help that would be great.





 I guess I can help. Not sure how much info he wants as there is lot's of history in that old town and the mineral is also pretty important. I also don't want to do his work for him. (i.e. his research) so I will just give you bits and pieces.

 Where we were:

Jamestown (Boulder County) Colorado. Jamestown is positioned 40.11 degrees north of the equator and 105.38 degrees west of the prime meridian.

 The town, today, is relatively small. I would estimate about 250 people. Jamestown is one of the oldest mining camps in Colorado . It was there before some of the more famous gold and silver strikes were made. The first cabin built at the site was around the 1860 by a George Zweck who worked the area for several years before some galena was found and the first rush began. About 400 miners populated the area but the boom lasted only three years and Jamestown was all but deserted for the next ten years. The second boom began in 1875 when some rich gold float was found. Up until 1915, the Jamestown district produced more than five million dollars in gold, silver, lead, copper and fluorspar. The latter mineral became important during the first World War and another fluorspar boom occurred during the second World War. The town had two large hotels, along with churches (we saw this) and a school, saloons, dance halls, gambling halls and parlor houses.

 What you have: Fluorspar (you probably guessed by now).  

The fluorite was in exposed veins that we found throughout the rock face of the old mining hole we were climbing around in.  It was in a brittle, easy to break, rock base material. That is what Joe was picking up.


Hope That helps.

This is a copy of a recent correspondence from a prospective client. Not a testimonial but it is interesting. Testimonials follow this correspondence.

Original request

Hello Mike,

The highest peak in Colorado is Mount Elbert in the Sawatch Range at 14,433 ft. I would like to be on the summit two years from now. August 22, 2004 which happens to be the twentieth anniversary of reporting for active duty in the US Army. I am interested in a quote on what it would cost me to get there and any advice you would care to offer.

If Rocky Mountain Profiles is interested in the booking the trip, please let me know. It looks like a 6 to 8 hour climb up.

Sincerely,  Joe



 Quite honestly I would rather drive to the top of Mt Evans. It is a hell of a lot easier and the hike from the parking lot to the summit (14,264 Feet) is a LOT shorter. What is a mere 169 feet higher really worth. That is about as far as you have to hike from the parking lot.

Ask Pat/Julie and kids to tell you about where they saw the baby Mountain Sheep. Also ask the boys why they got a little dizzy and nauseated when they hopped out of the car and started running. (Tell people all the time that the altitude will bother them - but nobody listens)

We went there a couple years ago in July. Started in sunshine, drove through rain, sleet and finally snow. By the time we got to the top there was about 4 inches of snow on the ground.

But then again if your heart is set on Mount Elbert it will cost you a grand ($1000) a day per person for my services. (does that give you an idea how anxious I am to climb that SOB) Of course that grand a day/person does include room and board for two days.



Hello Mike,

Kelly and the kids would enjoy Mt Evans but the additional 169 feet is the difference between the highest point and the fourteenth highest peak in Colorado. Anything worth doing is worth doing right and settling for something less would bother me the rest of my life.

Don't feel obligated, Kelly and the kids look forward to visiting Colorado again in two years and the Mt Elbert thing would involve only me. The 190 mile drive from Niwot, a motel in Twin Lakes, and the hike could be managed easily by myself. Your company would be enjoyed if you are up to the challenge, haven't been booked already and it's worth the thousand a day for Rocky Mountain Profiles.

Judging from the logs and pictures it is hiked constantly by everyone from ten-year-olds to old ladies.

I'm curious to know if you've been there before and look forward to seeing you in two years if not sooner. Maybe by then I'll be cashing large royalty checks and we could take the company car (Klann Research and Development, LLC) which would be a dark gray Hummer.

Sincerely,  Joe



Some people just never are satisfied. Just to forewarn you. Don't believe everything you read on the web site about people climbing Mt Elbert. At these altitudes, in good shape, you will still be stopping every 100 to 200 feet to rest and catch your breathe on the way up.  

I'll go but it will cost you.


Mike I liked the site. I'm a little slow so that's why it took me so long to check it out!   or maybe, I'm the working wife?

It was Great! Makes me want to go for a ride. Maybe next time we stop in to EAT!!

Love Ya


Comments- Some people will do anything for a free lunch.

Good Morning, Mike -


I work in Algona with Barb, & she shared your web site with me.  Funny how those of us who love the mountains live in other places!! I do have a daughter in Denver, and DO plan to live in Colorado one day - I am looking into the Rocky Mountain Botanical Center in Boulder, and one day will get into the alternative healing arts.


Thanks for the web-site - whenever I get homesick for the mountains, I'll return to it for my "mountain fix"!!



Comments - Damn, more people wanting to move into my state.

Dear Guide,

I feel a little sorry for those greedy tourists you left at the mine. I just might be able to find a little sausage to feed them. I'll make sure it's brought along next trip! The vaguely concerned wife,

Art and Dawn Rohlik Wood Product Specialties

Comments - Don't worry I came back about a week later and picked them up.

Hey Mike

This tourist would love to see the chapel! Next time? Maybe?

Comments - Got lots of Money? You will need it for this trip.

In reference to the recent " Old West Award"  Congratulations on the award, Mikey. I know the considerable time and work and love you put into this site and it shows. You done good!!!


Your the one who did all of the great work  And it is a fantastic site !!!!

Congratulations !!!!!

Larry (In Casa Grande, AZ)

Way to go Mike

Yea to ya, I see no reason why you should not receive the award. Your site shows a lot of us Colorado types what's up der in dem der hills.

Congratulations, It is a beautiful site. I continue to be impressed