Dirt roads and daring adventures

We had quite a day yesterday. Since we found ourselves back at Glen Eyrie until Tuesday (we had moved briefly to a local Camping World in the hopes they could fix our awning. They could not. (at least not before we had to be leaving for Texas) ), we decided to try to take care of some sightseeing we had somehow not been able to accomplish previously. So, bright and early we headed out to drive the Rampart Range Road to Woodland Park.
The road starts in the Garden of the Gods –
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The Dirt Road Adventure begins….
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The views were spectacular (although Gary does wonder why I continue to take pictures of Pike’s Peak, since it doesn’t really change. It has such a commanding presence in the area that I just can’t seem to stop myself!) –
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The road was a little rough, but the views were wonderful. And before we knew it, we were heading into Woodland Park where we enjoyed a hearty breakfast and then continued on our way to 11 Mile Canyon. Gary had gone fly fishing there last weekend, and while he hadn’t caught anything, he had been very taken with the beauty of the area.
As you can see by the entrance, it’s easy to see why….
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The drive into the canyon is along an old railroad track and it’s pretty steep down to the river. But the ride was delightful – downright stunning in places –
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Two of the three tunnels –
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As we were headed back to the entrance, we noticed a turn off onto another dirt road. According to our trusty GPS, it would (eventually) lead us to a county road that would eventually get us to Cripple Creek, our next intentional destination. So, off we went! Good thing we had 4Wheel drive – the road was in pretty rough shape, but again the sights along the way, were worth the effort –

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We finally made it to CR 59 – not quite a paved road, but improved at least! And it seemed to lead us a view into a valley between the mountains –
View of valley

We did make it into that valley and all the way over to Cripple Creek – an old gold mining town that at one time was the 4th largest city in Colorado! Right now it makes it’s living off of tourism and small stakes gambling.
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Little did we know that the real adventure had yet to begin! We decided to head south on a road called “Shelf Road”. A friend had said she was going to be camping and climbing along that road, so we thought we’d give it a try and see if could maybe track her down. We never did find her (though I think we were pretty close), but we did find out why the road is named “Shelf Road”. It’s because the road is really just a single lane shelf running along the side of the mountain.
The road looking back –
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The canyon looking down (gulp)-
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The road looking ahead –
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(it’s that swatch going along the mountainside, about half way down.)
Of course the most exciting part of the road is the fact that it’s only one lane, but is a two way road.

Needless to say, I was about ready to kiss the blacktop when we finally reached the end!
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The day ended with a rainbow –
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And a fitting end of truly amazing day!

And if you would like to see a bazillion more pictures of this day – (more or less in order!), check them out HERE!

2 thoughts on “Dirt roads and daring adventures”

  1. What a beautiful spot on the globe. I enjoyed all of your bazillion pix. Those aspens look like they’re really pretty. Colors are developing nicely here in VT.

  2. Excellent pictures and narrative! We’ve seen some of those beautiful sights and they still take my breath. I checked out ALL of the bazillion and enjoyed each one. Really glad for you guys to be “out west” and taking in so much of what God has to offer. Be safe and keep blogging…..love it! Love you guys, too. B&D

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