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Thread: A 200 Mile Tour of Park County, Colorado

  1. #1
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    A 200 Mile Tour of Park County, Colorado

    A severe winter in South Park this year. South Park is a high 10,000ft. meadow about 900 square miles in size. Middle of Colorado. Three mountain ranges and passes guard its borders with Pikes Peak anchoring the southeast.

    I tried to scoot over Kenosha Pass to the Park a few weeks ago, but weather and road conditions had me turning around. Noted here:

    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=24617

    First pause today was the last pause at the link above. SW side of Kenosha Pass...


    Here's the map of today's ride, with locations of images below noted:


    The very small town of Jefferson is at the bottom of Kenosha Pass. In 1937 there was only one option for motorized access to the area...


    Still a small town, but today a device with fewer wheels can take me to the Park...


    BTW, several years ago recorded a GS ride vid to the Jefferson Lake noted on the sign above. If you like to fish for big trout make plans to spend a day at this scenic and quiet place...

    To a High Alpine Lake - Streaming Video

    Down the road I ride through the lumpy remants of winter...


    ...pausing and turning before a 13,500ft. spur of the Mosquito Range. That's 13,684ft. Bald Mtn. on the left...


    Paying homage to 13,822ft. Mt. Silverheels. Rightfully so. In the early 1860's a smallpox epidemic decimated the nearby mining camps. A bar maid stayed behind to nurse the men, comforting and helping many, but also contracting the disease herself and dying from it. In honor of her love and care the men named the nearby skyscraping peak after her, knowing her only as the lady who wore silver heels. It is said her ghost can be seen tending the graves at the nearby Buckskin Joe miner's cemetery...


    The K-Bike finds South Park a fine place to stretch the legs. That's 14,286ft. Mt. Lincoln on the right peering over Red Hill Pass in the foreground...


    Looking back. The Tarryall Range and Lost Creek Wilderness is in the distance...


    Fairplay is my county seat. Population 610. If you hunt out county courthouses the old one still stands here, and I think the big tree near the courthouse is the one where "death by hanging" judgments were quickly executed.

    Nearby is the little league baseball diamond called "Two Mile High Stadium". Spent some frigid times there during "spring" little league games.

    With corruption, cheating, and riff raff a rule versus exception in the mining camps 140 years ago, the community declared you can work and live here, and we'll "play fair".

    That's 14,172ft. Mt. Bross standing as a sentinel to the west in the pic below. This is one of the highest incorporated towns in the U.S. About ten miles down this road here is the second highest town... Alma. About eight years ago Alma and Leadville (The highest in the U.S.) played a game of one upmanship, annexing cemeterys, mines, and stray roads up on nearby hills so they could be higher than the other. Alma waved the white flag of surrender after a couple of years. Fairplay today...


    Heading south on Hwy 9. The small stream here feeds into the Middle Fork of the South Platte, feeding into the South Platte, joining the North Platte to form The Platte, merging with the Missouri, joining the Mississippi, and flowing through New Orleans to the Gulf. Had this stream been on the other side of the Continental Divide seen on the horizon here, towards the Pacific its water would go...


    Turning around, the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness area in the distance. Never a man made intervention to happen...


    Continuing on south I pass, then turnaround and park to salute fine beaver craftsmanship...


    OK, I take a two mile spur off Hwy 9 to visit Guffey, a small cabin town in the southern part of my county. If in the area, just stop by to see things not often seen...


    BTW, that is an AMF Harley-Davidson golf cart...


    Can do all your Christmas shopping here...


    Now here's hoot, if not a creepy hoot. Some guy wired up some real skeletons...


    And that's flesh and fur on the bones. Should have seen how it looked last year...


    So I'm taking lonely roads back and make a stop to observe the not oft seen southern slopes of 14,110ft. Pikes Peak...

  2. #2
    On a Ride
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    These asphalt ribbons are also a K-bike delight, and actually, probably a delight for anything two wheeled...


    And just so y'all know, I sacrificed some fine tarmac-at-speed sections just for you, the thread viewing audience...


    And the last pic. A gourmet lunch sitting on a rock, under the store's namesake...


    Not a bad way to spend a day.

  3. #3
    franze
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    Great pictures, great narrative...again Definitely will be doing some of these rides someday. Thanks for making the effort, I greatly appreciate it. I've been socked in by lots of rain the past two weeks and looks like all this week too. That's more snow in the mountains, looks like it will be a late start this year.

  4. #4
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    Park County

    Wonderful, Steve.

    Another one to add to my Colorado list. The conveyance waits for me now in Sandy, Utah. Then I just have to get it through the bureaucratic maze at the border in a few weeks.

    Rinty

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    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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  6. #6
    07 R1200GS Rich's Avatar
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    I spent two weeks vacationing in Colorado several years ago. This report reminded me of the scenery we saw on that trip. It makes me want to get back there. Nice pictures and report, Steve.

  7. #7
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    I am so overdue for some riding in Colorado. I've never been to a place with a wider variety of high speed sweepers. They just go on and on and on.

    As always, Steve, a fantastic trip.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  8. #8
    mikeod
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    Very nice....

    Steve,

    If you've not read this book, it's worth the time:



    ISBN: 0870816705

    Bayou Salado: The Story of South Park

    by Virginia McConnell Simmons

    About this title: An engaging look at the history of a high cool valley in the Rocky Mountains. Simmons's colorful accounts of some of the valley's more notable residents bring the valley's storied past to life.

    Mike O

    P.S. Got the new Ohlins installed and suspension tweaks in place. Planned to do a similar ride this next week to test out the new struts. Glad to see the road conditions have improved.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBasa View Post
    I am so overdue for some riding in Colorado. I've never been to a place with a wider variety of high speed sweepers. They just go on and on and on.

    As always, Steve, a fantastic trip.
    Thanks all. Indeed Dave, the roads of this ride, instead of "beemerville" could aptly be called "sweeperville"! Perhaps you can hit parts of CO before or after Gillette? Have gathered some friends and going to my first National this year!

    And Mike, I have read that book! Know someone who rode the Tarryall Rd this past week and had no problems. Well, at least the severe winter in the Park will help deliver a beautiful and bountiful summer.

  10. #10
    Registered User Bob_M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfarson View Post

    And just so y'all know, I sacrificed some fine tarmac-at-speed sections just for you, the thread viewing audience...
    Thanks for stopping to take a pictures, those were lots of fun. I have every confidence that your bike was able to get back up to speed.


  11. #11
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfarson View Post
    BTW, that is an AMF Harley-Davidson golf cart...

    hey steve, ya know, you shoulda taken a shot of your bike next to your harley... the paint jobs are nearly identical!

    thanks for all your reports.... i save them for reference to plan my next trip to colorado.

    ian
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
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    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '00 1150 GS || '06 HP2e

  12. #12
    BeemerBoy terham's Avatar
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    Beautiful, beautiful country. Hope to get there some day.

    Great report - I really like your then/now photos.
    Terence
    R75/5 R100RS K100RS R1100S

  13. #13
    RIDERR1150GSADV
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    Thumbs up

    Great report with stunning pics and scenery.....again There is a reason why CO is so popular with riders. Great roads, endless trails and scenery..

  14. #14
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    I hate you.

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