Waking up at seven in the morning with the intention of walking eight miles down Colfax Avenue to the capitol building does not sound like the most appealing of plans; but throw hundreds of Mines students, an ore cart and free burritos into the mix and that eight mile march becomes a can’t miss Mines tradition.
Students gathered in the Jones Road parking lot early Friday morning in wait of buses. Burritos in hand, students loaded the buses and headed off to the starting point—a parking lot on Colfax Avenue. The flock of students and the anticipation grew until the final bus arrived. Police halted traffic, and the mass of students began the journey to the capitol. The school fight song rang throughout the crowd, almost harkening back to the fall’s M-Climb.
Modes of transportation for the eight-mile journey lacked no variety. Some rode unicycles, even stopping along the way the perform stunts. Others skateboarded; some rollerbladed. Some were lucky enough to hitch a ride in the ore-cart. Senior in mechanical engineering Gabe Alvarado happened to be one of those lucky few, participating in more of an Ore-Cart Ride than an Ore-Cart Pull for a portion of the trip.
This year was Alvarado’s first year participating in the Ore-Cart Pull. “I got up this morning and was like, this is going to be terrible. It was terrible and then a friend gave me a drink, a ‘drink,’ okay a beer. I drank it, and then I went to some liquor stores and got more.”
Though drinks are likely the highlight of the trip for most, the walk provided plenty of entertainment to its more sober participants. Causing a traffic jam, receiving support from passing drivers and walking with hundreds of friends and peers made the journey enjoyable.
In addition, fashion statements abounded in the crowd with students sporting everything from onesies to space tights to a beer mug hat worn by Alvarado.
Alvarado found the hat in a box of Halloween stuff a few years ago. “I was like, ehh, this is kind of cool. And then today I was like, yes, I’m going to wear this. Just because it’s a beer hat. I mean, why not? Honestly, I like to stick out. So I was like, f- it, I’m going to wear the hat.”
As the walk neared the end, excitement grew. With the capitol in sight, students took off running, sprinting the final stretch of the eight-mile walk. Those pulling the ore cart sprinted to keep up. When they arrived and the ore cart was settled on the steps of the capitol, the entire body of students erupted into the fight song. Following the fight song, a proclamation from Governor Hickenlooper was read, officially declaring the start oEngineering Days.
Alvarado says the Ore-Cart Pull was the best experience of his life and encourages all future Mines students to take part. “Even without the alcohol, I have to say it’s an experience that you have to do before you graduate. My roommate slept into this and I’m gonna give him s–. Literally this is so much fun. Anyone who graduates from Mines has pulled an ore- cart seven miles to the capitol. What’s not awesome about that? There’s no other school that does anything like that.”