Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Going To Prison

I would like to welcome my newest set of "Followers" and they are Mark and Chris.  THANK YOU very much for joining my group.  I hope you find something worthwhile when you read my posts, and please leave a comment from time to time to let me know what you think.  Much appreciated.

We went to prison on Monday in Canon City, Colorado.  It was actually the Museum of Colorado Prisons and it was right in town.  This was a most interesting museum and they had so many artifacts and displays that covered 130 years of prison history in this region.  The museum itself is housed in the original women's prison that was built in 1935.  Adjacent to the museum is the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility that was opened in 1871 and is still a functioning prison today.  The guard tower was above the museum parking lot and we could see the guards inside.  We could also hear some voices from over the very high block wall and those could have been from some of the prisoners in the exercise yard.

The museum was opened in 1988.  We were able to enjoy a self-guided tour using the MP3 players provided with our admission price of $6.00.  Before entering the museum building you can visit the gas chamber that is in the area outside the front door. 

Once we returned to the indoor exhibits, we were able to walk through a cell block hallway.  They had many displays and there was audio narration via the MP3 player.  Each cell was done featuring a different theme relating to prison history or life.  One of them featured many of the histories of the various women inmates which detailed their life of crime.  Mug shots were on the wall, too.

There were stories of the various prison wardens and guards that worked at the prison.  Displays of confiscated weapons, disciplinary paraphernalia and uniforms of both inmates and prison staff were shown.  One cell was done to show what a typical women's cell would look like.  There were 2 women per cell and there sure wasn't much room to move around in there.  Guess that is why they call it "prison". 

We talked to one of the employees at the prison before leaving and she told us that there are 14 Federal and Colorado State Prisons in Fremont County.  That includes the "super-max" Federal Prison that holds the Unabomber, Ramzi Yousef (World Trade Center bombing) and the Oklahoma City bomber accomplice among many other "worst of the worst" criminals.  The prison industry is the primary source of employment for the people of Canon City.  It was sure another interesting place we have seen on our tour along Hwy. 50.  Note:  I am not certain about handicap accessibility here.  There were many steps to enter the building and I did not see a wheelchair entry. 

After our prison tour, we drove a short distance to the Skyline Drive.  This is just west of the city limits.  Skyline Drive is a 3-mile one-way road that gives you some great views of the area.  You drive across the top of an 800 foot hill.  It was quite the thrill ride!  This paved, scenic road is free to experience.  It is narrow and steep so no RV's are allowed.

We had an enjoyable 3 days here in the Canon City area.  Today we are driving to Gunnison for another enjoyable visit in a Colorado town. 

Until next time.....so long for now!


Cindy said...

That prison looked really interesting to visit.My parents always camped for weeks in that area..and never visited the Prison..different strokes for different folks. lol

Have fun!!

Cindy and Walker

Happytrails said...

What interesting things you get to see as you travel this wonderful country. The prison looked to be very interesting and informative.
Skyline Drive sure looked kinda scary but what a nice view!

Drive safely and enjoy the journey!
Mike & Gerri

Rick and Paulette said...

I don't know why, but I've always liked visiting prisons. Maybe it's just to remind me of how lucky I am never to have been confined in one! Thanks for the tour of another one.

Carol K said...

It's a good thing I read your blog and not just your title. I would hate to think that any of my blogging RV friends would end up in prison!

Your review reminded me of when we visited Alcatraz. It's an eerie experience to visit a prison, even one that is now a museum!

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

Now that road was really nifty.... but the prison museum is a tad bit strange. but interesting....

Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

Buford Embry said...

Interesting but it is a scary place to visit. Seeing the prison lets in a lot of imagination, like how hard life is inside the prison and how limited the activities are for the prisoners. Being in prison is isolating indeed, but those who committed a crime should adhere to the consequences. Still, like any other citizen, they should be given the right to defend themselves.

Buford Embry