COBWEB CORNERS: A pleasant little valley
By Mel McFarland
There are several spots in this area that fit the description in the headline. There are also two streams called Camp Creek in this area. One of these we see all the time. It starts up in Queen's Canyon, above Glen Eyrie. It was given the name because the first settlers in the area, from Leavenworth, Kansas, camped along it. They were probably a ways up the creek when a storm raised the creek's water. Looking for shelter in the Garden of the Gods, they found a cave at the base of one of the big rocks. We know this because some of their names were scratched into the soft rock walls. You will not be able to visit the cave because it's been sealed since 1965. A couple of years ago there was an attempt to have it unsealed and scientifically studied, but the City of Colorado Springs said no.
A group of early visitors started a community near the confluence of Fountain and Monument creeks named El Paso. Not many buildings went up but several lots were sold, and after Colorado Springs was started nearby an occasional visitor would arrive looking for lots they had bought in the original community, only to find they were now part of Colorado Springs.
A few months after El Paso, another settlement started further west, named El Dorado. Its settlers found the two Ute Pass routes, but this camp too faded and became Colorado City.
Camp Creek became an excellent area for raising crops. Truck gardens provided large amounts of food for Colorado City and later Colorado Springs. After World War II, the area around Camp Creek started to change. Roads were cut and houses built in a subdivision called Pleasant Valley. A large portion of one of the farms was saved, now called Rock Ledge Ranch.
One reminder of farming history behind Rock Ledge was removed many years ago, the lake where irrigation water was saved for those times when Camp Creek was low. If you know where to look, you can still see where it was.
It has been a long time since Camp Creek wandered freely down the valley, and it has its own curiousness. Where does the channel go at 31st and Bijou? It drains into Fountain Creek after going under Colorado Avenue in a pipe! I remember, even 50 years ago, when the creek path was a few hundred feet east of 31st, it was hard to follow south of Pikes Peak Avenue.