Join Me for a Spooky Adventure: Exploring the Argo Gold Mill and Tunnel in Idaho Springs, Colorado

Hey there, fellow adventurers and fans! If you’re ready for an exciting Halloween escapade filled with history, a hint of humor, and a sprinkle of the supernatural, you’re in for a treat. Today, I want to take you on a journey to Idaho Springs, Colorado, where the Argo Gold Mill and Tunnel await with ghostly tales and hidden treasures. What’s more, this unique location has found its way into my upcoming book, “Fallen Angel,” and my previous work, “Elfshot.” So, let’s dive into the depths of the Argo Tunnel, where history meets the otherworldly.

The Argo Gold Mill and Tunnel: A Step Back in Time

Imagine this: it’s 1912, and you’re standing in the heart of Idaho Springs, surrounded by the clamor of the Gold Rush era. This is the Argo Gold Mill and Tunnel, a place that once buzzed with the hopes and dreams of prospectors. A visit to this historic site transports you back in time, and I’m thrilled to be your guide on this adventure.

The Argo was a marvel of engineering in its heyday, boasting a remarkable 4.5-mile-long tunnel that snaked through the mountains, leading miners to their dreams of wealth hidden deep within. As you explore its dark and mysterious corridors, you’ll hear tales of hardworking miners and their relentless pursuit of gold, all shared by knowledgeable tour guides.

Ghostly Encounters

Now, let’s dive into the spine-tingling stories that have surrounded the Argo Gold Mill and Tunnel for generations. Countless visitors and staff have experienced strange occurrences and eerie sensations, often attributing them to the lingering spirits of miners from the past.

The Phantom Miner

Perhaps the most famous ghostly encounter is that of the Phantom Miner. Picture this: you’re walking through the tunnel, and suddenly, you catch a glimpse of a spectral figure in old-fashioned mining gear. Some have even reported hearing faint echoes of pickaxes striking rock. Could it be the spirit of a miner, forever trapped in the quest for gold?

The Mysterious Elevator

Here’s a curious one: the elevator that sometimes moves on its own. People have felt an inexplicable drop in temperature and a sense of unease when they ride it. Is it a playful ghost’s prank or something more sinister at play?

The Crying Woman

Deep within the tunnel, some have claimed to hear the faint sobs of a woman. Legend has it that she was a miner’s wife who anxiously awaited her husband’s return from the depths. Did her grief linger on even after her beloved miner’s tragic fate?

Idaho Springs: A Hub of Haunted History

Idaho Springs itself is a treasure trove of ghostly tales, and the Argo is just one piece of the puzzle.

The Goldminer Hotel

Take the Goldminer Hotel, for instance, right in the heart of town. Guests have reported mysterious footsteps, whispers, and that eerie feeling of being watched. It’s said to be haunted by a miner who met his end in one of the rooms. Does he still seek the elusive gold that slipped through his fingers in life?

Charlie Tayler Water Wheel Park

This park, named after an early settler, boasts a water wheel that often turns on its own, especially under the moonlight. Locals believe it’s the handiwork of Charlie Tayler’s spirit, who had a deep affection for the wheel during his life.

The Argo in Urban Fantasy

Now, let’s switch gears to the literary world. I’m thrilled to share that the Argo Gold Mill and Tunnel have played important roles in my upcoming book, Fallen Angel, and my previous work, Elfshot. These stories take the supernatural elements of the Argo to new heights, weaving them into a story filled with mystery and intrigue.

In Fallen Angel, the Argo Tunnel becomes a portal to another realm, where angels and Dark Elves plot to slaughter all humans. Meanwhile, “Elfshot” brings a fantastical twist to the location, involving Drow, magic, and hidden secrets within the tunnel’s depths.

So, my dear fans, if you’re on the lookout for a Halloween adventure that combines history with the paranormal, join me in exploring the Argo Gold Mill and Tunnel in Idaho Springs, Colorado. Who knows what secrets and spirits await us in the shadowy depths of this historic site? Together, we’ll uncover the mysteries that make this place a true gem for the curious and the adventurous.

Elfshot Releases Today, PLUS FREE Sample of Elfshot

I know you’ve all been waiting for Elfshot, so the waiting is over! Elfshot is now available on Amazon for $4.99 or you can read it free if you have Kindle Unlimited.



To whet your appetite, I’ve included a sample for you to enjoy. Check it out:


MH Bonham

Chapter One

“Excuse me, sir, but your demon appears to be growing.”

I glanced at the harried waitress before looking at Tuzren. Beau Jo’s Pizza was surprisingly packed for the day after the almost Apocalypse. When we arrived, the staff put us on an hour-long waiting list. Other humans and Supernaturals hung out in the bar or stood around us and made idle chatter, totally unaware that the four people who hung out patiently waiting for their name to be called were the same people who saved all of humankind.

We humans are surprisingly resilient creatures, which has served us over millennia, but we also can be totally clueless. There wasn’t even a titter when the server called out my name, Ironspell. It was probably best. I didn’t want to be reminded that even though I stopped a poisonous alchemical gas from killing off all humans, millions had died.

Eventually the waitress seated us at a table which was somewhat in the middle of the room. Which meant just about everyone jostled by us, one way or another. But we were here at Beau Jo’s and, by golly, we were eating the best damn pizza on the planet.

We had just gotten through the first round of pizzas when the waitress noticed a problem with Tuzren. A middle-aged woman with slightly graying brown hair falling down in wisps from her ponytail, she set another large pizza with extra meat in front of my girlfriend, Luna. The waitress had enough tact to not mention Luna’s half-changed state. Luna was a werewolf with a shifting problem—she couldn’t control her transmutations and was more than halfway shifted to her wolf form. “Thanks!” Luna said brightly and smiled at the woman—a simply terrifying expression if one wasn’t familiar with werewolves. The waitress smiled back and left us to our double meat everything.

Now, I studied the object of the waitress’s concern. Damn if Tuzren didn’t appear larger as he chomped merrily into the Beau Jo’s pizza. Right now, he was as large as a Labrador Retriever, whereas just a few hours earlier, he’d ride on my shoulder and I’d hardly notice him. An innocuous demon, as demons go, someone had summoned him to this plane only to abandon him because he was too small for their purposes. I had found him Dumpster-diving near Bonnie Brae Denver and took pity on him.

“Hey, Tuz, what’s the deal? We can’t feed you after midnight or ever get you wet?” I asked.

“Nah, that’s gremlins,” Tuzren said between bites. “Apparently this pizza has magical properties.” He smiled at me with cheesy goo running down his chin. “Don’t worry. It’s not permanent.”

“Good, because I’d have to have you ride in the truck’s bed,” Elryn spoke as she picked at her salad.

“Says the Elf who eats salad at the best damn pizzeria on the planet.” Tuzren pulled another slice and held it out to her between his clawed fingers. “Oh, come on. Live a little and have some.”

Elryn winced. “I’d rather not.”

“Are you a vegan?” Luna asked. “You know they have vegetarian pizza.”

“I know,” Elryn said.

“They have gluten free and dairy free,” Tuzren added. “You know, in case you’re intolerant.”

“I’m fine.” Elryn’s face said she wasn’t.

“What’s wrong, Elryn?” I added another slice to my plate. “You’ve hardly said a word since we got here.”

“I’m all right, really. I just don’t like pizza.”

I gaped. “What? Why didn’t you say something?”

“Are you even alive?” Tuzren asked. The demon had grown to about human height and about twice as wide as a normal human. His Denver Bronco t-shirt looked like a tiny afterthought on him. The chair groaned under his weight. “Everyone loves pizza. You can’t ‘not like’ pizza and be alive. Did a vamp get to you or something?”

“You know, they have pasta.” Luna opened a menu. “If it’s the tomato sauce…”

“I’m fine. Really, I am.” Elryn took a forkful of lettuce and popped it in her mouth. She chewed, making an exaggerated face of enjoyment.

“Honestly, Elryn, you could’ve said something. We could’ve gone anywhere.” I tried to meet her gaze but she looked away.

Tuzren swished his tail and accidentally knocked over two guys wearing cowboy hats who were walking behind our chairs. “Oops,” said Tuzren.

“Hey, watch where you put your tail,” the first guy said. He wore a wife-beater shirt and jeans. He also had at least a hundred pounds on me and about three inches or so in height. Even though it had just turned 11 am, the guy looked half in the tank already. His buddy wore denim that looked stylishly well-worked in. Probably a couple of guys from the resorts around here. Given how over-the-top Western they looked, it was probably for show. I bet if you quizzed them, you’d find they were from California or another urban center. Still, it was better not to piss off the locals.

“Sorry, guys,” I said. “Can we buy you a couple of beers?”

“Is that a demon?” Wife-Beater asked. He cracked his knuckles for emphasis.

“Why yes, I am,” Tuzren said, his voice an octave lower than his normal voice. He turned around and met their gaze solidly. “Is there something wrong with that?”

“Demons and Elves.” Denim-Guy spat. “They don’t belong here.”

Suddenly Beau Jo’s got very quiet. I could feel all eyes on us. I winced as I heard a growl issue from Luna. I stood up slowly, opened the wallet when I kept my badge, and flashed it to the men. “Police officer. Sirs, I don’t think you want any trouble.”

Murmuring went through the restaurant. A few teenagers, probably with fake IDs, tried to melt into their seats. Wife-beater squinted at my ID.

“That doesn’t even look real.” With that, he threw a swing.

I caught his arm in mid-throw, arm-barred it and took him down easily with an added wrist lock. His buddy held up his hands and retreated. “Hey, man, I don’t want no trouble.”

“Get out of here,” I said. Denim-Guy needed no more urging. He left.

I was handcuffing Wife-beater when an Idaho Springs police officer came in. He looked like the clean-cut average officer with the chiseled jaw and crew cut hair. My guess is he was around thirty. “I hear there was an altercation?” He walked up to me.

“Hello Officer…Duncan.” I hesitated and read the name badge. I handed him my badge. “This fellow and his cohort decided to take offense to my friends here. This one took a swing at me.”

“Officer Ironspell?” Duncan said.

I nodded.

Whispers and exclamations ran through the restaurant. I glanced at Elryn, who shrugged. Luna beamed at me and the demon chortled in amusement.

“Well, you’re always welcome in Idaho Springs,” Duncan offered me his hand as he grasped handcuffed Wife-beater. He glanced at the man. “Now, Johnny, how many times do I have to tell you to quit getting drunk and bothering the tourists?” He grinned at me. “A night in the drunk tank will sober him up. He’ll be fine.”

“I’m sorry, Mike,” Johnny muttered.

“I’m going to remove the handcuffs—are you going to behave?”

“Yeah, yeah, I’m sorry. Me and Jesse were just havin’ fun…”

“Doesn’t sound like fun getting in a fight with a police officer.” Duncan unhandcuffed the man and handed the cuffs back to me. “Thanks, but I’ll take him from here. Enjoy your pizza.”

“Thanks, Officer,” I said. I sat back down and looked at the cooling pizza. I wondered if they even had a microwave to reheat them.

Just as Duncan walked to the door with Johnny, Duncan’s radio went off. “Duncan, we’ve got a situation at the Gold Nugget Mine.”

The hairs on the back of my neck stood up as I listened. The waitress handed me the bill.”

I glanced down. Almost $500 for pizza? I remembered the beer we had. How many had Tuzren drank? I put my credit card down and the waitress promptly scooped it up.

I glanced at Elryn, who was also listening attentively.

“Roger, that. What’s going on?” Duncan keyed the mic.

“We have tourists trapped and possible terrorists in the mine. Elevator stopped working and before communications got cut off, people were screaming and Salazar heard metal banging. He thinks it’s Drow.”

Duncan frowned and then looked at me. He pointed at Johnny. “You wait here.” He walked over to me. “What do you make of that?”

I shrugged. “Tommyknockers, maybe. Could be Hobgoblins. I’d get the Supernatural Unit of the Army involved.” I met Elryn’s gaze. She gave a slight nod.

“Good luck with that,” Duncan muttered. “You see the latest news? The National Guard and military have been called out to calm everyone down. It’ll be a week before they’ll respond. We’re it.”

“We’re? Uh, we were just here after saving the world. I really hadn’t planned on rescuing people today.”

The waitress came back. “Excuse me, sir. But your card’s been declined.”

Silence ensued. I began to stutter, but then I remembered the Hostess snack cakes. Tuzren had stolen my card and maxed it out to bring Twinkies, Ho Hos, Ding Dongs and other snack cakes to distract the troll guards at the Dark Elves’ entrance. I figured he would’ve just given them my name and address, but no. “Uh, I might have another card you can try.” I pulled out my wallet and started rooting through it. I glanced askance at Elryn, who shook her head and I felt my face flush with embarrassment. I guessed I was going to be washing dishes to make up the tab. They clearly stated “NO CHECKS.”

Duncan smiled. “Let me get that tab. I’ll expense it out to the Idaho Spring’s budget.”

I glanced at everyone in my party. Luna was laughing and Tuzren gave me a thumbs up. Elryn rolled her eyes.

“Okay,” I said. “Let’s go rescue some tourists.”

Elfshot is Now Completed!

Today I wrote “The End” on Elfshot! Elfshot is  now completed in its first draft. And imagine that, you get a sneak peek at the ending, even though it doesn’t spoil anything in the story, so you can rest easy and look at it. (Okay, there’s a minor spoiler in it, but I won’t let on because that would, like…spoil the story.)

It sits at a comfortable 54,725 words. That will change with edits.

Anyway, my plan is for Elfshot to go live in early October. (The October 14th listing on Amazon gives me a couple of weeks of slippage in case life gets in the way…)

Elfshot Update

Another Elfshot update.

Word Count: 42,009

Snippet from last night’s writing

The chamber looked like it had once been a guest hall or something that housed a lot of people or things. Columns flanked its sides that led into smaller alcoves which housed statues of what I guessed were famous Dark Elves. Above them, the ceiling stretched for at least three stories in a type of dome that had no opening to the outside and yet shown with a luminescent glow that lit all the way down to the floor. We could see across the great expanse toward the single door guarded by two of Vindar’s soldiers. The Ignore Me spell seemed to work as their eyes passed by us without noticing the two apparent Drow soldiers and a demon on the other side of the hall.

Painted murals extended from floor to ceiling, worn over time by dust, heat, and earthquakes. They depicted scenes I didn’t recognize. Above us looked like the Norse god Freyr handing something to what I suspected was a Dark Elven king. The god was amazingly beautiful with long blond hair and a blond beard—even to a heterosexual man such as myself—he was attractive in a manly sort of way. A large golden boar stood before him and the Dark Elf king had one hand on its flank as if giving the boar to the god. Another god with red hair like fire and beardless, presumably Loki, was standing next to the Dark Elf king.

I had seen paintings of the gods before, mostly done in sort of Romanesque-type images, but this was not in that style. They appeared life-like and in clothing that the Northern tribes would’ve worn given the period of the design. My gaze shifted lower to the images of a battle. Dark Elves and Light Elves battling each other. The king of the Dark Elves stood in the center, fighting what appeared to be the Light Elven king. Another mural depicted Dark Elves breaking their chains with hammers. And yet another one showed a battle with newer armor and Dwarves attacking the Dark Elves. I turned and saw yet another mural showing two worlds, both lush and green, colliding in a terrible cataclysm. A chunk of one world spiraled off into space, while the two suns were caught together in a slow dance of death.

Back to Word Counts

So far Elfshot now stands at 29,021 words out of a projected 60,000 words.

Still have no fucking clue where this is going exactly. I have an inkling, but since I threw out the outline, it pretty much is going forward surprising me about as much as it will surprise you. It already has a twist–and I suspect it will have more twists by the time I’m done with it.

All good!  Have you gotten your free copy of That Dragon was in No Way My Fault? It’s now free on Amazon Kindle.

Using Word Counts for Motivation

I’m thinking it’s time for me to start posting word counts on my projects. The idea is pretty simple: I’ll feel embarrassed if I don’t add to the word count and therefore will aim to post a good word count the next day.  My goal is to write 1000 words a day. In the past, I could write 2000 words easy, but nowadays, getting 1000 words in a day is a pretty good number. That’s not counting the extra work on the side I’m doing for pay.

Word Counts

So, without further ado, here are my word counts for Elfshot: 24,502 out of a projected 60,000 or 24,502/60,000.

Today’s Work

I think I got 1000 words in, but I don’t remember what the word count was. Hence the reporting. That way I can keep an eye on things and make sure I hit my deadlines. Wrote on Elfshot today. Looks good.

Elfshot — Or Pounding My Head Against the Wall

I’ve been trying to work on Elfshot, and I’ve learned one thing. You know what’s great about pounding your head against the wall? Stopping.

No, seriously.

A Type of Writer’s Block and How I Got Through It

It took a few days and a conversation with my spouse before I realized that I needed another twist in the story. So, I forced myself into the chair in front of my computer and found out what happened next. Elfshot is actually a complex story, which means it needs me to think about it a lot.

What’s Happening in the Ironspell Chronicles

Surprisingly our hero, Bob Ironspell-Cabas got stuck in the world of the Dark Elves thanks to a goddess. She gave him a mission to eliminate the enemy’s weapons.

Only enemies aren’t necessarily the bad guys. Oh, some are, but some aren’t, and it’s starting to sink in that there are shades of gray (not the S&M book by that name) and not necessarily good guys and bad guys. There are good guys. There are bad guys. But not everything is clear cut in this series, which leads me to some fun places to go.

OMG I Didn’t Outline!

One problem I’m having with Elfshot is that I’ve been working off of an incomplete outline. This is coupled with the fact I veered off the last part of the outline. Ah well. The writing will surprise me as well as it unfolds.

A Preview of What I Wrote Today for Elfshot

I thought I’d give you a snippet of what I wrote so you might enjoy:

I followed her down several tunnels until we came to a corridor with several doors down it. It was surprisingly well lit with mage lights and what appeared to be florescent fungi and moss along the walls, casting the tunnel in an eerie blue-green glow. The Drow fashioned the doors out of stone, much to my surprise. We took the third door on the left and it swung open with just a touch, like the door at the entrance to the caverns. She led me into a room, which I discovered was a living room with an upholstered couch, stone table, and several wooden chairs.

To my surprise, cool, fresh air circulated throughout the room. I could see a much younger female Drow in what appeared to be the kitchen, complete with a hearth and wooden shelves, as well as two boys that looked equivalent to human children ages five and eight.

“Li’alla, we have company!” The elder Elf called to the woman.

Li’alla turned and looked at me. Too skinny to be pretty, she met my eyes with her gaunt gaze. “Oh, Nana, what have you brought?”

“Nana! Nana!” the two boys shouted as they ran out of the kitchen.

Nana smiled and bent down for a hug. “How are my two rapscallions doing? Have you been minding your mother?”

“Yes, Nana.” The children spoke in unison and I tried to hide a grin. Children were alike all over, no matter how different they were.

Li’alla wiped her hands on a worn dishtowel before coming out. “And who did you bring us?”

“Li’alla, I want you to meet Ironspell. Ironspell, this is one of my granddaughters, Li’alla.”

Li’alla looked horrified. “Oh Nana! What foolish thing have you done?”

“Which one? There are so many.” Nana winked at me.