If you’re reading this and haven’t read Part 1, then Part 2 will make no sense since there isn’t a castle mentioned here.
Today, Sunday, we finished out the weekend ride with 446 miles between the two days. It would have been less miles, but I’ll get to that in a moment.
We set our course for Cripple Creek, CO. Not too far to ride considering other points we have been to, but there was some challenge in it since we had to ride up to and through Woodland Park, CO and on to Cripple Creek. The road leading to Cripple Creek is an amazing ride with amazing views.
Cripple Creek, which sits on the southwest slopes of Pikes Peak, and played an integral role in the rich heritage of Colorado. The first homesteaders arrived in the mid-1800s. In 1890, a ranch hand named Bob Womack discovered gold and Cripple Creek changed forever. By 1900, more than 50,000 people called the gold camp home. From 1890 to 1910, more than 22,400,000 ounces of gold were extracted from 500 mines in the Cripple Creek Mining District. When the golden era ended in 1918, more than $300 million in gold had been mined in what would be the last great gold rush in North America. By the 1920s, only about 40 mines remained, but two decades later, in the 1940s, the town began to promote itself as a tourist destination, offering visitors a glimpse into the past.
We left Cripple Creek and made our way back to Woodland Park because our next venture started there at Highway 67. The intent was to take 67 to Highway 105, but that’s not the way it happened. You see, Highway 67 takes a very curvy path north. There were at least three signs that warned motorcyclist of the roads ahead. Somewhere in amongst all those twists and turns, I missed the turnoff to Highway 105. Not to worry, Highway 285 was just ahead, which lead to Denver. Ok, just a bit off course, but it was fun.
A little history from that beautiful ride up Highway 67; the area is still in the recovery stage and probably will be for another hundred years. There was a fire in the area back in 2002 called the Hayman Fire. A forestry technician with the U.S. Forest Service, Terry Barton, set the fire in a campfire ring during a total burn ban due to the dryness of the forest and the high winds. Barton claimed that she was attempting to burn a letter from her estranged husband. The fire started on June 8, 2002 and wasn’t contained until July 2, 2002 and was finally brought under control on July 18, 2002, but not before 133 homes and 138,114 acres were burned. The fire became the largest of the Colorado wildfires in the state’s recorded history due to arson.
And that my friends is the end of a wonderful weekend of riding.
Until next time, cheers…