As they headed for Pike’s Peak, they met some members of the discouraged Russell party, but the Lawrence group determinedly continued. Camping near Garden of the Gods, they enjoyed the magnificent scenery, and several small parties climbed Pike’s Peak (including the first woman, Julia Holmes, to do so). They found no gold, however, and moved north to Cherry Creek. At Cherry Creek they joined some members of the Russell party who had not yet given up.


They prospected but found no gold; hearing of gold diggings down near Fort Garland in the San Luis Valley, the group turned southward. They found old diggings, but yet again, prospecting failed to yield any gold. By that time, some discouraged members of the party had given up and returned home or gone on to Taos, New Mexico, to check out that area (Holmes among the latter). Then, at last, the group that had remained near Fort Garland heard exciting news.


The Russell party had returned to Cherry Creek and finally found some placer diggings. One of the party, William McKibben, who had a fine sense of history, described what happened when Green Russell returned to camp and “gave us the astounding intelligence that he had discovered a mine where we could realize $15 per day”