Nobody puts on a Western parade like Leadville, Colorado during Boom Days. This festival is a celebration of historic Leadville’s mining past as a boom town, at an elevation of 10,200 feet above sea level. The parade and festival, which take place during the first weekend in August, are the perfect excuse for the inner cowboy and cowgirl to come out and play in the cool, fresh mountain air. I was in town, with my traveling pard, Christie, not only for Boom Days, but also for a booksigning in the charming, independent Book Mine bookstore. I signed books along with another Women Writing the West member, Ann Parker, who writes mysteries set in Leadville. The whole day was splendid and a wonderful celebration of the Wild West. There seemed to be fewer horses and mules than usual in the parade, perhaps a nod to the tight economy. But it was fabulous in every other way.
It was a busy week for this western author. After traveling to Leadville on Saturday, Sunday found me at ParkerFest, at the Douglas County Library display, along with author Cynthia Becker. We had a great time, although the crowd was more interested in buying produce and crafts than biographies.
On Wednesday, I presented pioneer stories to the Longmont Genealogical Society. Talk about a wonderful group! We had a great time, and they were enthusiastic about my stories and books. I’ll return to Longmont any time.
Now, it is time for this cowgirl to stay closer to home and regroup, write some articles, do some research, and enjoy the rest of the summer. Bring on the good times, and some of those wonderful West Slope Colorado peaches!
Joyce Lohse, 8/15/09