Colorado is ranked No. 11 in economic performance among states based on a variety of indicators, including disposable income and poverty and unemployment rates. That's according to a study by Pacific Research Institute, a free-market think tank cited in a report by the Denver Business Journal . Yet figures don't reveal the emotions expressed by those who are struggling at the bottom. Keenly aware of that fact, The Washington Post deployed a scribe and photographer to travel the nation to see how Americans are getting by in a chronicle called, "Half a Tank: Along Recession Road ." The team hit Colorado this week to examine the recession's impact on the mining industry , where the "miner sits high on the financial totem pole. If he falls, everyone beneath him feels it." The Post also profiles a family  that lost their business and home in Michigan and moved back in with family in Colorado. The Denver Post  recently featured personal stories related to the economy as well, sending photographer Joe Amon to the unemployment office in Capitol Hill, where he spoke with the jobless and underemployed.