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another CO off road trip with my wife - lots of pics

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Old 08-14-2010, 09:19 PM   #1
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another CO off road trip with my wife - lots of pics

with it being another beautiful day in colorado, my wife and i set out on another off road trip. we chose trail #42 and #41 in the Front range Colorado trails book:
http://www.adlerpublishing.com/products.aspx?catID=2

part of trail #42 (shelf road) was a temporary road built to connect Canon City and Cripple creek and was used while the railroad was being built on trail #41 (1894). the railroad only lasted 16 years because part of the route was wiped out in a storm. since then, the tracks were removed and its now a road for the "gold belt tour."

we started out on county road 69. this is a maintained road and a passanger car could travel on it.


after about 5 miles, we got to the end of county maintained road.


this is where the trail book said that this trail is rated as a 4. i think that the authors of this book have under-rated the trails. while it was certainly more "challenging" than a 3 rated trail that i have tried before, it was by no means difficult. i suppose if you took a small, stock SUV (rav4 for example), it would be difficult. the trail did have ruts, mud, rocks, sharp turns, and dry, soft creek crossings, but my stock tacoma just rolled over everything with little effort. i think i want to try a 5 rated trail next. (also, i never seem to get the pictures when the trail is at its most difficult. i am always concentrating more on driving than on taking pictures )


adandoned structure (after the "roughest" part of the trail.)






my wife is the navigator. as she put it, she is "Rand-fucking-McNally." actually, she is very helpful. she is good at keeping us on the proper route (there are many side roads and spurs). on that map page, we took the blue colored trail and then the green colored trail.


upon getting closer to red canyon park, the scenery was becoming amazing. pictures just dont do it all justice.




the park had some picnic areas, so we stopped there and ate lunch under some trees.


the area has some amazing rock formations and it is a popular location for rock climbing.




coming out of the picnic area. the view is amazing.


this is at the start of the shelf road.
after the shelf road was built in 1892, they collected tolls from the people traveling on the road. they built this little cabin in the base of this valley for the toll keeper to live in. when a stage coach or a wagon approached, the toll keeper climbed up to the road to collect the toll. its amazing that the cabin still remains.






the shelf road was cut along the mountain side. its pretty steep and narrow in some places... it freaked out my wife


this is cripple creek running at the base of the valley


my wife thought that this was picturesque




we came around a corner and BLAM.... someone dropped this huge, pink house on the top of this hill. talk about being off the grid. there are no services out here... water, electricity, cell phone.. nothing...




we figured that there must be some ranches out there because we saw lots of animals just hanging out all over the place. this horse was chill'in right next to the road.


coming up to the head of cripple creek. this is an old mining town, but currently, there is still some mining activity. so there is lots of old mixed in with the new. i dont know if you can see it, but there is a GIGANTIC earth mover on the second level of that strip mine road in the background.








city of Victor. lots of old and new mining equipment here. this is their school house. i am guessing its fairly old?


and across the street from the school house is this old mining structure.



at this point, we headed onto the #41 trail in the book. this trail is super easy, but its really beautiful. you essentially drive down at the bottom of the valley all the way to canon city (coming up on #42, you were at the top of the valley (shelf road)).




we pulled over in a turn-out. this is looking back up the valley. it got vary narrow in some spots.


looking straight up the valley walls.



my two favorite ladies my wife decided to strike a pose


narrow access between the two walls. this was one of the areas that was cut through for the train.


wooden bridge. the train used to come across this area.


one of two tunnels that were created for the train to pass through. this is the longer of the two.












we actually came out on the starting end of the gold belt tour.


as we came around the bend, a group of cows was blocking the road. at first, they didnt move, but as we drove closer, the gave us that look that says, "yeah, yeah... i am moving. keep your shorts on"


they all finally turned and headed up the road.




we had to manuever around them


the second tunnel. got a video of going through it. i dont know why, but it was so cool
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vc9jrGh61ko



thanks for looking
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:24 AM   #2
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WTF?? You didn't honk your horn in the tunnel?

Now you have to go back and do it again.
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:32 AM   #3
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I would love to come out west and drive some of these trails. Looks like a great way to spend a day.
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:34 AM   #4
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great pics thanks for sharing
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:45 AM   #5
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Great pics, I liked your last trip too. Jealous that your not to far from trails like that!
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Old 08-15-2010, 06:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DEEVON911 View Post
Great pics, I liked your last trip too. Jealous that your not to far from trails like that!
thanks

this trail head, however, was 130 miles from our house. it made for a long day. but ya, day trips like this are easy to do out in CO.
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Old 08-15-2010, 06:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CyberGolem View Post
WTF?? You didn't honk your horn in the tunnel?

Now you have to go back and do it again.
hah! you are right... gonna go wake my wife and up and tell we have to go back out there
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Old 08-15-2010, 06:19 AM   #9
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I hate these threads too. S.E. VA sucks for anything like this. I actually googled that Gold Belt Byway - yeah, all western half of the US.

But thanks to the OP... I did find there is a Nat'l "Scenic Byways" website. That should be interesting to sift through.

Looks like a great time, thanks for sharing!
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Old 08-15-2010, 06:35 AM   #10
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Nice pics. I was out in Durango Co. a few weeks back. Rode over to Moab Az. Saw some awsome scenery throughout my trip. Had some good local beers too. Beautiful place you got there.
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:00 AM   #11
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Hey thanks for all those great shots. I love seeing places I'll never make it to.
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:23 AM   #12
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Very nice, I wished I lived out there where u can just free romp around.
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Old 08-15-2010, 08:05 AM   #13
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wow am I jealous. You don't know if there are any similar trail books for some states on the east coast do you?
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tisher49 View Post
wow am I jealous. You don't know if there are any similar trail books for some states on the east coast do you?
the publishing company that i bought my books from only does california, arizona, nevada, utah, and colorado.

if you searched a little bit, i bet you could find some, hoever.
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:45 PM   #16
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Cool

my wife is the navigator. as she put it, she is "Rand-fucking-McNally."

Is that your wife's voice on my Garmin? j/k. Great pics. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-15-2010, 05:15 PM   #17
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I wandered around Colorado on my motorcycle (I dirt biked my street bike a lot while there) in the early eighties and have always wanted to return.... Really need to make time to drive out there in the Taco and go exploring. Great thread, great pics, look forward to seeing more in the future.
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Old 08-16-2010, 02:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetMonkey View Post
the publishing company that i bought my books from only does california, arizona, nevada, utah, and colorado.

if you searched a little bit, i bet you could find some, hoever.

is this the atlas you were using? im headed out that direction in a month to hit some trails. a book like that would be handy, all im going off now is the maps on traildamage.com. well that and AAA maps. it would be nice and convenient if they had trails and normal roads on the same map.
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Old 08-16-2010, 04:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigburrito View Post
is this the atlas you were using? im headed out that direction in a month to hit some trails. a book like that would be handy, all im going off now is the maps on traildamage.com. well that and AAA maps. it would be nice and convenient if they had trails and normal roads on the same map.
no. we were using the colorado front range trails book:
http://www.adlerpublishing.com/products.aspx?catID=2
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Old 08-16-2010, 04:26 PM   #20
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These pics are my favs on the whole site. What a beautiful spot. I'd love to see that place sometime. Thanks for posting
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