Tag Archives: Colorado road trip

Mount Rushmore Road Trip Part 5B

25 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 5 Sunday – Continued 

9/13/2020 

From Breckenridge it was another 35 miles northeast on I-70 where I visited the Georgetown Loop Railroad, located near Clear Creek in Georgetown, CO.  This unique railroad offers visitors a spectacular trip on a vintage steam engine train, that travels some 4-½ miles over a corkscrew route of horseshoe curves, steep grades (4%) and the 95’ high Devil’s Gate trestle over the Clear Creek Gorge.  All that distance, and you only travel the 2.0 miles (as the crow flies) from Georgetown to Silver Plume.  This is a trip to be remembered!

After this thrilling experience, I headed another 15 miles northeast on I-70 to visit the Argo Gold Mine & Mill located in Idaho Springs, CO.  Built in 1893, the gold mill and processing facility is located just north of Clear Creek and provides visitors with tours of the gold tunnel (mine) and the equipment to try their luck at panning for gold.  There are indoor and outdoor museum displays, including examples of gold mining, milling, and processing equipment used during the late 1800s.

Now it was just another 25 miles east on I-70 to check out the Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave located in Golden, CO.  I had visited Buffalo Bill’s birthplace and homestead in LeClaire, Iowa a couple of years ago, during another road trip, and now here I was visiting his gravesite (In Lookout Mountain Park). This museum chronicles the life and times of William F. Cody with artifacts and memorabilia dating from his birth (1846) to his death (1917).

On my way to meet my niece, Karen and her husband, Brian for dinner, I stopped at the Colorado Railroad Museum to see what they had to offer.  As it turned out, the museum was hosting an open house (family day), and I choose not to elbow my way thru the crowd of parents and their kids.  I took a few photos of their rolling stock outside and headed for the restaurant.

I met Brian and Karen at Tequila’s Mexican Restaurant there in Golden where we enjoyed a delicious meal and a delightful (but short) family visit.  Their training schedule gave them the afternoon off, so we had plenty of time to catch up on things.  The last time I had seen them was in 2019, when they helped me on another of my road trips.  They had picked me up at the Chicago airport, and we had lunch.  Then they took me to pick up my rental car.

I almost gave up trying to find and photograph the James F. Bailey Assay Office Museum located at the east edge of the Rocky Mountain National Park, near Gold Hill, and just west of Boulder, Co.  This historic structure served as the Wall Street assay office for the Gold Extraction Mining Co. during the hard-rock mining years between the late 1880s and early 1900s.  The museum exhibits the tools and equipment used to determine the value of ore samples.

After my ordeal with multiple stops for road construction and the winding mountain roads to get to the Assay Office, I headed for my motel.  On the way, I swung past the Shelby American Collection, located just a few miles northeast in Boulder, CO.  This museum consists of a fantastic collection of some 40+ donated mid-century race cars that represent the evolution of the Shelby Mustang, Cobra, and Ford GT as created by Carroll Shelby and others.  WOW! 

The motel was a welcome sight when I finally got there.  I was ready to stop, eat, and rest after this busy day.  Of course there was nothing worth watching on TV, so I just recorded my day’s activities, had a snack of a few salted in-the-shell pistachios and went to bed.

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Mount Rushmore Road Trip Part 5A

18 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 5 Sunday 

9/13/2020 

Before leaving Canon City this morning I took the time to stop at the Royal Gorge Route Railway Depot for a photo.  In 2006 DiVoran and I had made a trip to Canon City to visit family and friends.  During that visit one of the tourist things we did was to take the Royal Gorge Route train ride.  The ride starts at the old Santa Fe Depot in Canon City, travels under the Royal Gorge Bridge and returns to the depot.  It’s a really great experience for anyone who hasn’t ever ridden on an open-air train car and the scenery is awesome.

Then since it was on the way out of town to my next stop was at the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience for a photo.  The Dinosaur Experience is new since our 2006 trip to Canon City, when DiVoran and I had explored the dinosaur footprints, located along the Skyline Drive.  I figured they were still there, if I wanted to see real dinosaur footprints, and I didn’t have time to see the museum’s exhibits.

Next I took the road to the Royal Gorge Bridge for a photo of the world’s highest suspension bridge (at least it was in 1929 when it was built).  I’m not sure they have improved the road much since then, but the view of the bridge from the Park & Visitor Center is spectacular.  Back in 1975, when our family took a six-week cross-country camping trip, we were allowed to drive or walk across the bridge.  What a thrill that was.

Now I took CO-9 north 75 miles to visit Fairplay, CO which was founded in 1859, during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush days.  The historic old town is located on a hillside just east of the Middle Fork South Platte River, and has been maintained as the open-air museum called South Park City.  There was not much going on this morning, as most of the old town was closed off because of COVID-19.  So I headed northeast another 25 miles on CO-9 to Breckenridge, CO. 

On my way to Breckenridge I crossed the Continental Divide at Hoosier Pass (Elevation 11,539 feet) and had to stop and have my picture taken at that historic spot.  A couple from Illinois was kind enough to take my picture after I offered to take theirs, in front of the Historical Marker.

Then it was downhill to Breckenridge (Elevation 9600 feet).  It was Sunday and some of the streets in Breckenridge were blocked off for a street fair.  Greta (my Garmin) couldn’t get me close to the Underhill Museum, so I parked and walked a few blocks to find the museum closed for the festivities.  A couple of blocks from Main Street I visited the Erwin Carter Museum, which is a small local natural history museum filled with all kinds of taxidermy displays, mostly done by the miner-turned environmentalist in the late 1880s.

As I was leaving Breckenridge I visited the Lomax Gold Mine located in the Lomax Placer Gulch.  This original 19th century gold mine offers visitors the experience of panning for gold in a setting of 1860s gold mining equipment and historic cabins.  I didn’t have time to try my hand at panning on this trip, but maybe next time I’m in Colorado I’ll give it a give it a whirl.  

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Mount Rushmore Road Trip Part 3

4 Nov

A Slice of Life

Day 3 Friday 

9/11/2020 

The American Numismatic Musuem (Money Museum) located in Colorado Springs, CO was the first stop on my list this morning.  This museum has three display galleries that give visitors a look at many different rare and historic types of coins from all over the world.  Included as part to the museum’s exibits is a mini-mint machine that allows guests to learn how gold and silver coins were made in the early 1500s-1800s. 

Down the road a few miles east I visited the Lester Fire Museum located in the Head Quarters building of the Colorado Springs Fire Department.  This museum temporarly was closed due to COVID-19, but Wikipedia informes me that the museum displays artifacts and memorabilia covering the early history of  the Colorado Springs Fire Department including hand-drawn fire fighting aparatius and equipment from the mid=1800s. 

On my way east a few miles, to visit the Peterson AFB museum, I stopped at the National Museum of WWII Aviation located adjacent to the Colorado Springs Airport.  This is one of the best aviation museums I’ve visited on this trip.  The 28 beautifuly restored flying aircraft are conveniently displayed so visitors can get good photos of the planes.  The docents are well-versed in the history of the museum’s collection and their restoration area is a deticated work in progress. 

I was disappointed that the Peterson Air & Space Museum (located on the base) was closed to the public due to COVID-19, but their website informes me that the museum displays some 20 (mostly Cold War era) restored aircraft.  The museum also displays multiple Air Defence Command early warning system artifacts and mumorabilia to educate future generations about the advancemet in defence technology during that time period.

Now I headed a few miles west, across I-25, to visit the Penrose Heritage Museum located in the north Cheyenne Canon Park area.  This museum showcases the history and heritage of the Pikes Peak area with hundreds of vintage artifacts and memorabilia.  I was not aware, until now, that the Pikes Peak Hill Climb and the Manitou & Pikes Peak Railway exhibits were associated with this museum.  WOW, three for one!

I traveled south on CO-115, on my way to Pueblo,  for a quick stop at the Fort Carson 4th Infantry Division Museum located just south of Gate 1 to the Fort Carson Army Base.  This small museum displays scenes of U.S. Army 4thDivision’s participation in various campaigns from 1917 to the present, along with other 4th Infantry artifacts and memorabilia.  The Tank Garden outside displays the different tank models the 4th Infantry has used during their assignments throughout the world.  The Fort Carson Army Base was named in honor of Brigadier General Clearance (Kit) Carson who pioneered much of the western expansion of this area and later commanded Fort Garland during the Civil War. 

Now I headed on south another 40 miles to Pueblo, CO where I originally had plans to see DiVoran’s friends for dinner.  They had a situation that interrupted our meeting, so I just headed to the motel.  After I got checked in at the motel, I asked the desk clerk for his recommendations for good restaurants in the area, and he pointed me to DJ’s Stake House where I enjoyed a plate of their Grilled salmon with honey chipotle glaze.  Yummmm!

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Road Trip~Pagosa Springs, Colorado to Denver, Colorado.

10 May

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

Days 15 September 21, 2017

Packing up day. Sad, but leaving with precious memories. I grew fond of the townhouse at Wyndham, Pagosa Springs. It was a perfect harbor after a day of touring. I am thankful for our friend, Pam, who made this trip possible by sharing not only  her time share with us, but also her bright and sunny personality.  I will miss our morning coffee times.

 

 

Our plan for the return trip to Denver was to visit Pike’s Peak. We didn’t have time to visit the peak on a previous vacation.   Unfortunately, husband’s breathing episode at Lobo Overlook caused us to scratch it once again.  The  275 mile journey would be a combination route of our trip a week earlier to pick up Rebekah and Pam at the Denver airport which would be new to them, as well as retracing some of the route we took south from Rocky Mountain National Park.

We of course, were planning to have a picnic lunch along the way and were looking for the park we found on the trip south.We should have done a GPS drop pin on the location, because we couldn’t find it. Finally, an urgent need for “facilities” drove us to find anyplace to stop!  We spotted a smallish parking area with facilities and pulled in. The facilities were adequate, but the scenery was fantastic. It turned out there was another lower level to the parking area and the river was a prime kayaking area. I guess it was a little too windy cool for them to be out that day as we didn’t see any. There were also picnic tables so we had our lunch there.

 

 

The Aspen trees on the drive north gave us a grand display of color.

We arrived in Denver and checked in to the hotel where we had stayed the previous week. We made it in time for their free supper buffet and it was nice to stay in after the long day. When we checked out after our previous stay, I left a bottle of wine in a room drawer. I had purchased it at a winery near Jefferson, North Carolina for Rebekah and Pam to enjoy at Pagosa and lugged that bottle across the country.  When we checked in, I asked if it had been turned in to lost and found. ! They said they would check and let me know. I’m still waiting…..Silly me, of course not!

 

 

 

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