Colorado Springs

1,679 miles.

Two loads of laundry.

Four broken finger nails.

We are home from Colorado Springs.  Laundry you can understand.  The nails come from the cool, dry, air that the Rockies are known for.

We planned this trip to visit our son and his family and in part to celebrate my sweetheart’s birthday.  We left Springfield March 2, and made it a two day trip.

On the way up out, I took note of the Hwy 13 shoulder between Bolivar and Clinton, Missouri.

The shoulder between Osceola and Clinton leaves much to be desired.

I check this route because I dream of riding from Springfield to Bolivar on the Frisco Highline Trail and then riding Hwy 13 north to Clinton.  All that just so I could ride the KATY Trail [a Missouri state park] from Clinton to St. Charles, on the north side of St. Louis.  This would be quite an endeavor.

We easily made it through Kansas City before rush hour and started on what has been called the Long Yawn between Kansas City and Denver.  This is the third time we have made this trip in the last ten months and there may be some truth to that description.

Rolling hills close to Ft. Riley.

Kansas has its own beauty, though.  I see why it would be a good state to visit on two wheels, but any road cycling would be better heading east, due to prevailing west to east winds

We saw a couple of the huge windmill vanes being transported on flatbed trucks. Many places in mid-Kansas have sprouted these wind driven generators.

That is a flock of Canadian geese in this two-for-one pic.

Headin' west

We arrived at Colby, Kansas, and stayed the night.  Sleeping on the road is problematic at best, but we rested as well as could be expected.  The next morning saw us up at six, breakfasted, fortified with Starbucks, and on our way by seven.  We seemed to be the only ones out traveling, but of course, it was an early Saturday morning.

Travelers of I-70 will recognize this welcome sign. It has various stickers along the bottom. Next trip I will add one from my LBS

Our first view of Pike’s Peak came at Bovina, Colorado.  The Peak was just visible above the horizon.  The Genoa Tower is a tourist attraction (trap?) that was built in the mid-1920s along the old U.S. Route 24.  The site was determined to be the highest spot in the U.S. between Denver and New York City and six states may be seen from the top landing.  We resisted the temptation to stop.  Maybe next time.

We turned southwest at Limon toward Colorado Springs and started to see big stretches of snow for the first time.

We prayed the trip would coincide with good weather and it looked like our prayers would be granted.

 Sam, Katie, and the children had decorated the condo for Jan’s birthday.  The celebration started at once.

Jan's birthday cake, modeled after a toy puppy

The following days were filled with fun and activities.  We read books, worked puzzles, and played with dolls.  I took Max out for a time on his trike and we went to see Evie in her ballet class.

Other activities included….

...drinking a Coke from a paper bag...

...trying on cycling gear....

The Springs is located in a high desert with mountains.  There are many beautiful places in this country of ours, and the Rockies have many of them.

Pike's Peak

Since Sam and Fam live in a condo, their outdoor activities mainly occur in public parks.  We went to one of their favorites on Monday.

The south end of the park ascends up to the hills with some trails winding their way through the trees. Jan and I explored these trails a bit and saw plenty of wild animal tracks in the mud. Fun.

 

More scenery from the surrounding hills.

Colorado is a cycling state.  We saw many cyclist out at all times of the day.  This hardy rider was toiling up the hill on the street next to the park we played at.

All too soon (time waits for no man), we had to head home.  I must have been driving just below the edge as we crossed Kansas.  We saw many patrols out, but they gave me no notice as we crossed the state in 5′ 37″.  We made the entire trip in a little over 10½ hours.  We now have good memories and hopes of returning soon.

Pulling into the driveway it was somewhat hard to imagine that only that morning we had been looking at Pike’s Peak and giving hugs and kisses to our family.  We got out of the car, Jan took some stuff in and I unloaded the rest. 

I took the bags of laundry to Jan.  She opened the lid to the clothes washer.

I looked for the fingernail clipper.

Stay happy,

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About rlhoover

A perspective on life and cycling in the Ozarks. I started serious cycling in 2008, after seeing my wife be on the bike for a few years. We have biked many places and hope to continue. I am no where near being a real good cyclist, but I have fun trying to improve. Who am I kidding? Me? Improve??
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9 Responses to Colorado Springs

  1. phil cross says:

    RON LOOKS LIKE YOU ALL HAD A LOT OF FUN, I’M STILL NOT FOR SURE WHAT YOU WERE DRINKING OUT OF THAT BAG. I KNOW YOU SAID IT WAS A COKE! OH WELL WHAT WENT ON IN COLORADO I’M SURE STAYED IN COLORADO.

  2. tootlepedal says:

    That’s a whole lot of driving without any cycling to break it up.

  3. Your future adventure on the KATY trail sounds like one for the bucket list, Ron. I look forward to reading about it soon!

    • rlhoover says:

      Well now Gerry, stacked up against what you have been able to do, I have a Little Dipper List!! 🙂 I know that is not a fair comparison, but it was a good joke.

      Yes, the Big Ride is on the List. We will see how things turn out. I also look forward to reading about all your adventures as well. Regards!!

  4. Steve says:

    My first assignment in the Army was at Fort Carson, just south of Colorado Springs. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. BTW, I once pedaled the highway from the town up Route 24 toward Pikes Peak. That was an AWESOME descent!

    • rlhoover says:

      Steve, a number of people have asked Army related questions of me upon hearing that we went to CS. I confess to them that all I saw out there was Air Force. This Navy man must do better in the future.

      As to mountain road cycling, we saw none of that on this trip, however, our son Sam mentioned seeing a cyclist ahead of him as he (Sam) was driving into Denver from Kittredge, a 15-20 mile trip. Sam said that the fellow went around a corner on the road ahead of them and Sam never saw him again. I guess you can really fly down the mountain when you have routes like that.

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