|Day One July
7th, 2001. After settling in a campsight (the "Lost
Burrow--4-miles North of Cripple Creek) and about hitting a bear cub with
the Suburban, we put on our riding gear and
headed off. Don’s
kickstarter was working great and with bellies full we headed South out of
Cripple Creek on a beautiful unpaved rocky jeep trail that went beside
Four Mile Creek all the way to Canon City---it was a shelf road and was
appropriately named “Shelf Road”. Here is Kenny on the left with his
DR650 and Don on his Honda XL600.
|It was a beautiful clear day and we enjoyed ourselves greatly riding sometimes very high above the river down below. As with almost all the riding we were going to be doing, great care was taken not to run off the road----with no parachutes. I warned Kenny (a new GPS user) to watch the road as my wife swore I would die watching my GPS !!!! See the tiny 2 riders leaving me behind !!|
|At Canon City we headed East on Hwy. 50 for a few miles and
turned North on Phantom Canyon Road which is an old railroad bed from the
1800’s era gold rush days. This road was much like the shelf road with
the addition of a couple of neat tunnels
and a train tressel converted for modern use. We road for miles on this
beautiful road marveling at the work that was done to make this railroad.
It got pretty rough at times with sharp curves that we don't how the
trains went around.
|We then took Gold Camp Road—which turned into Stage Coach Road all the way to Colorado Springs. Much of this was also an old railroad bed. There were many jeeps navigating this road with us so we had to be careful not to hit one head on. Some very lucky people lived in this log cabin across the lake on Gold Camp road.|
|There was one very neat tunnel with all the wooded supports still in place. I’m sure this tunnel was made in the 1800’s, but Don motored right on thru it-------as he thought it was going to cave in any second J|
|Here is a neat picture of Kenny going thru the tunnel. The light at the other end almost looks like a trains headlight coming right at you !!! J I kept looking for a view of Pikes Peak which I just knew I would see on the other side of the tunnel, but never did. I think I just missed it somewhere. We rode this all the way to a steep descending switchback road which dropped us into Colorado Springs for a nice juicy steak at Denny's. We picked up a new sprocket for Don's Honda while we were there.|
|Here we all our back in the old gold mining town
of Cripple Creek. The old buildings have been turned into casinos
mostly--but it still is really a neat place to visit at an elevation of
about 10,000ft. I finally got my GPS to show me altitude--it was right
there all the time--I really like that feature. Look at Kenny's huge 5
gal. gas tank on his DR650. We never had a fuel problem!!
|Back at the campsite--here is Kenny and Don.
Just as the sun was going down the campground owner came by and told us
about the 400lb. bear that was frequenting the campground and told us to
get all that food and coolers put up for the night. OK—no big deal, we
kind of new that but started getting a little spooked as it got darker.
Kenny was nice and safe in the Suburban, so I decided to lock myself in
the enclosed bike trailer with a motorcycle tie-down fastened inside. Don
was sleeping in a tent. I suggested he sleep in the suburban or in the
trailer with me. I think he was going to take his chances with the bear
than suffer thru the night with my consistent gas expelsions. So then he
produces a 357 in a holster---says he’s going to sleep with it on his
chest and don’t come farting around his tent in the dark. And if a bear
came around-------lay very low. I went to sleep pretty quickly, but
envisioned the bear eating my tie down in two and helping himself with the
It was a perfect day for all of us-----and we were going to find in the days to come, we were all 3 very good riding partners and friends. This had been a very easy but scenic riding day for us. More rugged terrain and many mountain passes were to come the next few days!!!!
Click below for:
11 Mile Canyon and reservoir, Fairplay, Hoosier Pass and Gerogia Pass in the