Normally, I ride with my bride and our adventures are what you get to read about. Unfortunately, she is away due to her father, who is recovering from surgery (miss you my love). I did ride on this beautiful day, with two old friends, Brian and Marty. Wish you could have been there Will.
Before I get into the ride, I wanted to wish my friend Keith a happy birthday. We saw this sign in the eatery we stopped at for lunch and I thought of you.
Back to the ride. Marty set the course of travel, or so he says, but Brian has the GPS thingy running, so I have my doubts. The plan was to ride from Colorado Springs to Canon City, to the town of Guffey, to Cripple Creek, and then back to Colorado Springs. Doesn’t seem like much, and I like the longer rides, but it was well worth. Yet another reason why I have my doubts that Marty planned the ride because it was gorgeous. That’s Marty driving the short Choo Choo.
We met at a world famous store called Target. Not sure everyone has had the pleasure of shopping at Target, so for those of you diehard Wal-Martians, it’s a bit upscale where the trendy color is red and they have clean restrooms. Anyway, Brian led the way out of Target and onto Hwy 115.
Hwy 115 was a pretty nice drive, which led us to the metropolis of Penrose. Wikipedia says the Penrose has no traffic lights, a volunteer-run fire station, a trucking company, a gas station, a doctor’s office, a post office, a library, a small grocery store, the Estes Industries model rocket factory, one small restaurant, 3 medical marijuana dispensaries, and several other businesses. I hear what you’re saying, whoa, slow down. I know, woohoo, and the population is 3,582 from the 2010 census. Well, we stopped at that gas station and it was the happening place.
Leaving Penrose, we got onto Hwy 50 which took us into Canon City. Prior to going to Canon City, I only knew one thing about it, and that was The Royal Gorge was there or near there. But alas, Canon City has prisons, yes that’s plural. Just before you get into town, there is a large prison on your left. It could be two prisons because one set of large buildings were colorless concrete, while the smaller set of buildings were red brick. No idea who’s is in there or to what degree of prisoners are in there, but it wasn’t the real baddies. Brian said there was a supermax prison in the area and that wasn’t it.
Getting into town, we stopped so I could get a picture of me and one of my relatives.
Not far from the Stegosaurus was the Holy Cross Abbey, which is the former monastery of the Order of St. Benedict. It existed for nearly 120 years, operating such various enterprises as a boarding school for boys and a winery. It is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. In 2005, it was determined that the monastic community was no longer viable and, in a final chapter meeting, the monks voted to dissolve it. The winery continues to operate as the The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey.
Just a few miles down the road was the Prison Museum. Not sure where the Prison Museum was, but we did stop at a prison. The small building/house next to the prison, from our best guess, was probably the warden’s house at one time.
In front of the prison, there was a nice memorial to the Colorado Department of Corrections. On the memorial were the names of 16 men that had given the life in the line of duty. The first name was Thomas Tobin on July 4, 1899, who was shot during the search for escapee Charles Nichols. Nichols was serving a life sentence for the murder of the marshal of Victor. The last name was Tom Clements on Mar 19, 2013, was head of the Colorado Department of Corrections until he was assassinated.
Back on the road, we continued on Hwy 50 until we came to a fork in the road and took it. No wait, that was Yogi’s line. We took CO 9 north into the rolling hills that became mountains. Somewhere in there we met a few friends. I think the ass knew Keith.
Guffey, during its more famous days, was the center of activity for the Freshwater mining district, a minor producer of copper, lead, zinc, mica, feldspar, and other minerals, including traces of gold and silver. Activity and population peaked between the years 1895 and 1902, with over 500 residents and 40 businesses in the town. Nowadays, the population is 98. Guffey has received publicity for electing animals as mayors of the town, although such an office does not officially exist. According to local folklore, the two main political parties in Guffey are called the “Democats” and the “Repuplicans”. The current mayor is a Democat.
Leaving Guffey, we continued the ride. Somewhere in there we turned off onto County/Country (I don’t know) 112, or maybe 102. It had a 1 and a 2 in it. Dodging gophers along the way, we rode through some incredible scenery to make our way to 1. Again, I don’t know if it was County or Country, but it was 1. If you look on the map, you’ll know where we went, and if you should ride it, you’ll love it.
1 took us the back way into Cripple Creek. Scroll back a few posts and you’ll see what Cripple Creek is. The short of it is it’s an old town known for its early days of mining. Now it’s an attraction with casinos. Not sure why but I like going to Cripple Creek. Must be all of the old buildings or the old people.
With Cripple Creek in our mirrors, it was time to head home, meaning the fun wasn’t over yet. The road from Cripple Creek to Divide is a twisting turning road with some really nice views. Once in Divide, the road takes you to Woodland Park, and then down the mountain into Colorado Springs.
It was a great ride to have been only 150 miles. Good job on the travel plan…Brian. I’ll have to figure out those road numbers and take my bride. Thanks for a great ride old friends.
Until next time, cheers.