Driving along Colorado Route 133, I had the bizarre experience of, for a brief moment, feeling like I had driven out of Colorado and directly into a West Virginia coal camp. Somerset, Colorado took me by surprise. It’s a tiny town, and as you can see, its welcome sign proudly proclaims its coal mining heritage.
Coal isn’t just an historical footnote for Somerset — the good people who live here are still cranking out the stuff that keeps our lights on. Route 133 squeezes through town, past part of the Oxbow mining operation and the A-frame post office. Tin-roofed houses, chain-link fences, a shed, a broken-down car, and even a satellite dish all crowded the edge of the suddenly-dirty highway for a brief moment. But as quickly as it arrived…
… it ended, and I was back in the Colorado I knew.
East of Somerset, it’s only a few miles to the turnoff of County Road 12 — the dirt road to Crested Butte, Colorado. If you’d like to go ahead and jump there, you can.