we drove into town from Boulder Canyon, we spotted this car filled wich
girls that had been tubing in the canyon. A creative way to
transport the tubes, but I would have let the air out.
and Alia. Ali is all grown up now. I, by contrast, am
Boulder, we headed south to Colorado Springs to pickup our HiLo
trailer. Along the way we stayed at a campground south of town
and spotted this new water tower under construction in Ft. Carson.
I never knew how these things were built, but it appears that they
build a crane in the center of the tower and then dismantle it when
construction is complete.
picked up the trailer at the RV dealership and then towed it to La
Junta with the Unimog. We had to remove our cargo basket to haul
the trailer, which meant that we had to leave it at the dealership and
return at a later date to pick it up.
finishing in La Junta, we headed back to Colorado Springs to drop off
our borrowed equipment and get our cargo basket. When we were
done, we headed into the mountains to camp. We stayed at a
reasonable place, but it was quite crowded. After having been on
the road for so long, we forgot to check the calendar.
Rats!! It was Saturday and all the family campers were out in
abundance. Next morning, we decided to head up Pike's Peak.
Again, we were thwarted. It turned out that there was a timed
mountain climbing event going on and there were tons of folks on the
mountain. Above, you can see part of the narrow switchbacks on
the grade to the top.
were tons of bikers out as well. It turned out that there was a
huge biker's rally at Cripple Creek with thousands of bikes in
attendence. On the ascent of Pike's Peak (PP) we passed this
unlucky biker who had dumped his ride in the middle of the dirt
road. A ranger stopped to assist him, so we did not stop to help.
the way to the top of PP, we got some great views of the areas to the
north of the peak.
road is narrow and steep with many tight turns. The mog was not
happy about the combination of altitude and grade. And, to make
things worse, I had gotten a load of dirty diesel and my fuel filter
was becoming clogged causing the truck to produce great clouds of white
the top, we got a view of the large mines to the south of PP. I
think these mines are in the Cripple Creek area and are seeking
gold. But, whatever they are mining, they moved a lot of dirt!
the peak, the terrain changes to alpine tundra with minimal vegetation.
Springs and the neighboring cities maintain several drinking water
reservoirs on the flanks of PP.
summit is high. Being a "flat lander" and living at sea
level, I was panting like a dog trying to catch my breath.
finish line for the Pike's Peak Ascent was right at the top.
There were so many contestants that the race organizers were running
shuttle buses to carry the runners back to their cars at the starting
line. The race started at Manitou Springs and had an elevation
gain of about 7K feet. Pretty hard core.
Peak also has a cog railway that goes all the way to the top.
of the cheering squad for the race.
sign says it all better than I could. The views from the top were
ever mountain in the west has some kind of radio repeater facility and
PP is no exception.
the way down, we got some better views of the gnarly road.
news. Something has broken in this fellow's vehicle on a very
steep part of the road. Yes, it is as steep as it looks.
road passed some interesting rock formations. Note that this
switchback is more than a 180 degree turn.
of the rock faces were very steep and most of the chutes had rock slide
and avalanche zones.
was all kinds of support equipment in place for the race. This
truck was one of the bigger ones that we saw. Note the faces of
the workers as they try to "process" the mog. Next to the truck
was a mandatory brake check. There was a deputy there with an IR
thermometer shooting the front wheels of the cars that were
passing. Two of the cars in front of us were told to turn off the
road for a 30 minute cool-down period. When he saw the mog, he
did not know what to do. Truth be told, the road was so steep, I
was in 2nd gear nearly all the way down and never used the
brakes. My speed was very slow, much to the chagrin of the cars
behind me. But, having boiled the brake fluid out of the truck
several times, I had no intention of letting that happen again.
So, I just let them stew in the eau de mog.
PP, we headed to Flourisant to see the fossil beds. The views of
the surrounding meadows were very nice when contrasted against the
bright blue sky.
fossil beds were somewhat underwhelming, but they did have this nice
specimen of a redwood tree in situ. The steel cable is helping
maintain the structural integrity of the stump.
stated above, there were a ton of bikers in the area. In the
parking lot, I spotted this monstrosity. All the detraction of a
motorcycle, but none of the advantages.
the fossil beds, we headed south to Cripple Creek and encountered the
of bikes and tons of people, mostly in the bars and restaurants.
Cripple Creek, we headed south toward Victor. Along the way, we
passed this huge tailings pile from the gold mining efforts.
of Victor, CO was a roadside museum that had mining artifacts.
Look at this tire; it is about 12 feet in diameter and cost $25K
new. The size is a 50/90R57. This means that the tire is
steam powered hoist winch.
tailings and overburden pile was huge and was the result of efforts
spanning about 100 years.
the far side of Victor, we spotted this abandoned head frame and mill
and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2010, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.