geological attractions. Fort Robinson is located on Route 20 near the town of Crawford, Nebraska.
RV life just keeps us so so busy. Who would have known that what was supposed to be a ‘relaxing’ life turned into a whirlwind of to-do’s, places to go, people to see, etc. We are NOT complaining but geesh, there’s just only so many hours in a day, days in a week and weeks in a month…so on.
The cool thing about this lifestyle is we always make note of where we want to return. Colorado is one of our favorites. Such a diverse state, it just has so much cool and interesting things to see and do. So, here we are doing another blog entry for ‘Colorful Colorado’.
In 2015, we were parked in Colorado Springs at the Air Force Academy Peregrine Pines Campground. We split our time between Denver, the Springs and Pueblo.
After only a few days of anchoring down at Peregrine Pines, Captain Dan had to fly home to Pennsylvania to attend a funeral and take care of family matters. As much as I wanted to go, because of our lifestyle of unfamiliarities, I had to stay behind to take care of Liberty and our fuzzy crewmembers as well as help our son’s fiance get some much needed things done around their house before he came home from deployment. Taking a break and since the weather was beautiful, I took a couple much needed wind therapy day trips on my Harley.
One of the days, I mapped out a route up to Cripple Creek; a former mining and now casino town. We’d been there before and remembered what a beautiful ride it had been, so this was a no-brainer to ride up there again.
Starting at the USAF Academy, I rode I-25 South to Route 24 West through Manitou Springs, Cascade, Woodland Park to Divide. The ride was a bit unnerving on I-25 and entering onto Route 24 but once I got through Manitou Springs, traffic thinned out and my ride began to take me through the twists and turns through huge red rock formations. Once I got past Woodlawn Park, I took a left onto Route 67 to Divide; filled my gas tank and proceeded onto Route 61 to Cripple Creek. This part of the ride was most enjoyable because it was winding through the mountains past a couple old abandoned mines.
I stopped to stretch my legs at a pull-off to walk to this one however, it was closed to the public. I noticed there were quite a few cars stopped as well; from what I gathered, there was some excellent hiking up the mountain. Route 61 was a bit challenging. It had breathtaking views but don’t get to mesmerized or you’ll end up going off the mountain. Ack! No guard rails. Being a skilled rider, I just took my time; enjoying the scenery.
I stopped at this scenic overlook and learned a little about the Gold Belt Tour; a historic, narrow-gauge railroad bed, an old stage road, and county roads. Designated a BLM back country byway, the route itself is often breathtaking, as are the views of Pikes Peak and other mountain scenery. The byway retraces the historic travel routes connecting Cripple Creek and the Victor Mining District, site of the world’s largest Gold Rush. You have to be on your game riding this road because depending on season, there could be quite a bit of fallen small rock, sand and dirt washed down onto the roadway which cold make for a challenging ride; especially through the twisties with no guard rails. My only wish was that motorists in automobiles and pickup trucks would have stayed away from my tail. Everyone seemed to be in a hurry coming and going.
I didn’t really have anything planned to do or see. This one was just about the ride. However, I did take a little time to grab some lunch at one of the casinos and walk around. This time though, I was disappointed that I didn’t get to see the donkey’s in the streets; something Cripple Creek is noted for.
In one of the little shops, I picked up a little travel journal for RV Wanderlust friends…darn, I didn’t get a picture, but it was a small pocket notebook with the word ‘Wanderlust’ and a roadmap. Just couldn’t resist buying it for our RV friends.
It was a great day…beautiful 75 degrees up at Cripple Creek. Though I love riding with Captain Dan, sometimes a solo ‘knees to the breeze’ ride is just what a girl needs while her land yacht sailor is away.
So, if you’re into a cool ride through some beautiful scenery with a few twisties, wildlife spottings, a little history lesson or even to throw a few quarters in some slots, a trek up to Cripple Creek is just the ticket, no matter what you ride or drive.
Folk Singer John Denver and Mike Taylor described in their lyrics the beautiful and majestic towering rocks of aspens and pines “Rocky Mountain High” which is one of the two official state songs of Colorado recorded in 1972; we can see why!
This past August (2015), our travels we followed the sun to where it rests on the other side; west from Nebraska to “Colorful Colorado’ to see the Rockies. We’ve been there before a few years ago, but just to pass through so we didn’t really get to feel the real sense of the beauty of these monstrous mounds. Our re-visit was outstanding; taking the whole day driving through Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park. We started early, leaving our campground in Golden in the morning. We grabbed our jackets as we knew it was going to be a tad chilly up on the summits. Being East Coasters, we thought our beloved Appalacians were big however, the Rockies are ginormous!! So big, there was still snow on some of them in August. Before we went through the park, we made sure we got our National Park Passport stamped.
Once we finished there, we slowly drove our way through the park. The further up we went, the views became more spectacular. We have to note that the day we went, the park wasn’t so busy. We like it that way so we can get spectacular photos. Periodically, we ran into a couple of folks whom we traded opportunities to get themselves in their photos; likewise for us.
This blog entry is going to be more photos because, well, a picture truly IS worth a thousand words. So enjoy our day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park!!
We stopped at a scenic overlook and made a new friend! He practically jumped in our laps looking for peanuts. Evidentally, he’s been fed before (not good!).
Our tummies were grumbling just in time to stop for lunch at the summit restaurant and visitor center. We had to laugh because all of the bags of chips looked like they were ready to explode because of the altitude. Luckily, ours didn’t.
It was also time to put our jackets on when we got back to the truck. The thermometer read 32 degrees and it was a tad bit windy. Oh yes, we also were beginning to lose our breaths, feeling lightheaded and getting slight headaches. But all of that was forgotten because of the once-in-a-lifetime views of the majestic rock towers.
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