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Colorado Adventures

22 Feb

My Take

DiVoran Lites


Patricia Franklin 



Patricia and I have been corresponding for years. We first met when she was in first grade, just before she was promoted to second and moved one aisle over to the second grade aisle where we five second graders sat. She got promoted because she was the only child in the first grade, and because she was smart. It was my first time in that school because my family had recently moved to town. This letter starts where my last blog, “Shelf Roads,” left off. I liked the extra details she shared so thought I would pass them on.


 The Altmans started coming to our school after the consolidation. (Before that they had gone to a small country school closer to their ranch. The consolidation was when all the students from valley schools were bussed to town.)

Marjorie and I were friends in high school, and we actually were roommates our first year in college in Gunnison.  They had a ranch at the foot of the range, near Alvarado, (a mountain meadow where the community had field days and picnics). We used to go horseback riding on the trails up there. That was so much fun.

One time we came upon this old cabin.  We looked inside a broken window and something white moved inside.  We screamed and ran, then went back to look again.  It was a white goat, and was inside standing in the middle of the bed. The cabin was old and still furnished.  The cupboards had been taken over by rats and any other creature that could get inside.  I guess it had been abandoned, as everything in it was a mess.  We never did find out who the owner was, or what happened after that.  Although, I remember my Dad had me write up an article for the Wet Mountain Tribune about the adventure, and it was on the front page of the paper.  We sure had some great, fun adventures in those times.

There is a shelf road between Canon City and Cripple Creek.  It is named the Shelf Road and is used a lot.  It has been closed various times, due to rock slides and erosion, but is still one of the main roads up there.  That and the Phantom Canyon Road are the two most used from Highway 50 to Cripple Creek I would say.  I have not been up those roads for a few years, but I love them.   After driving all over the “jeep roads” in the San Juan and Gunnison mountains, I do not mind them anymore.  We have been on some very narrow and scary roads, but I love it so much, I got over my worst fears.

I still do not like being on the edge and looking down though.  Once Frank and I had to pull way over to the side because some 4 wheelers were coming down and would not move over.  (As we were going up, we were supposed to have the right of way).  Our Jeep was so close to the edge, I could see the pebbles falling out from under the tires and rolling down the mountainside. And there was a pickup upside down about 1000 feet down.  Now, that was scary!!😕 One time we started up that road when it was raining. A lightning bolt hit a nearby mountain, and then some rocks started rolling down the side of the mountain above us.  Needless to say, we backed down and did not make the trip that day.

The Shelf Road from Canon City to Cripple Creek


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