Mother Nature’s spring wrath struck a serious blow last week, with the casualties extending well beyond the realm of motorists, travelers and residents.
The storm, which assaulted Cripple Creek, Victor and southern Teller with renewed vengeance with 10-plus inches of snow and the virtual shutdown of the area (see related story) produced another serious impact. It put on hold the scheduled season of free roaming time for the Creek’s herd of donkeys, often viewed as the most loved personalities in the district.
The Two Mile High Club, caretakers of the Cripple Creek Donkeys, delayed the annual donkey release to the city. The release was originally scheduled for May 15. Two Mile High leaders agreed to postponed the release for safety reasons due to the recent snowstorms in Cripple Creek and the immediate upcoming forecast for the mountain region.
The weather recently took an ugly turn, and the immediate forecasts aren’t that great either.
Still, officials and locals are anxiously looking forward to the event.
The donkey release is an exciting event as the donkeys are turned out from their winter pasture into the city of Cripple Creek, as they have been for more than 90 years. The release is reminiscent of the early 1900s when mine management released the donkeys from working in the mines as more modern technology replaced them. During the summer and fall, the donkeys freely roam around the downtown area and rate high as one of the most popular attractions, with more questions about the donkeys from visitors than any other subject.
“The safety of those making their way to attend this event and our beloved herd of donkeys is paramount,” said Brandon Westhoff, president of the Two Mile High Club, “The Club will announce a release date next week.”