Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rapid City to Denver, Colorado

I left Rapid City on Sunday, August 17TH. I stopped for diesel and paid $4.29 gallon. That tank averaged 14.1. That made me happy!! I had to get creative in finding a place to dump my holding tanks. I stopped at an RV park south of RC, in Hermosa actually, to ask if I could use their facilities. I stayed at that park two years ago. Two spots were occupied, but other than that, no one was around. I did my business then hit the road. I guess it was OK. No one has come after me yet.
Sunday I made it all the way to Longmont, Colorado Harley-Davidson Dealership where I spent the night in their generous parking lot. It's right off I-25 and right next to Hooter's. (Whoopee). Monday morning I continued down I-25 to the Thorton Costco and did a little damage to my wallet. Then I found my way to the Northglenn Elk's Lodge where I'll probably be staying for at least a week. The RV parking is just in an asphalt parking lot, but there is 30 amp electric, for $10/night. :-)

Tuesday I took my Harley out for a two hour ride south to Royal Gorge which is southwest of Colorado Springs, just off HWY 50. I wasn't really sure what to expect but it sounded like a neat photo opportunity. I left Northglenn (which is about 10 miles north of downtown Denver) around 9:30 AM, dressed for 80+ degree weather. Well, I climbed up to 7,000' Monument Pass where it was cold, cloudy and I thought for sure it was going to snow!! 6,000' Colorado Springs wasn't much warmer. I was practically frozen by the time I stopped for gas just west of Colorado Springs. A temperature sign said it was 59 degrees. Well, with the wind chill factor it felt more like 39 degrees. After getting gas I rummaged through my saddle bags looking for anything I could put on to keep me warmer. I had a leather vest, full finger gloves and warm, fuzzy ear things. The additional clothing helped, and luckily it warmed up quite a bit when the sun came out somewhere between Colorado Springs and Penrose on HWY 115. It was another 25 miles to the Royal Gorge. There's a toll bridge 1053 feet above the Arkansas River. I thought it would be fun to ride over the bridge and take some pictures. However, I declined to pay the $26.00 entry fee. Though for $26.00 you get to roam around the shops and restaurants, ride the tram across the bridge, or drive your own car across. There's also a sky ride there, and a train ride that starts back in Canon City, both for an additional fee. Oh, and you got to use the much needed restroom facilities.
I took the two of these pictures after hiking down a steep trail. They sure make it difficult to take pictures if you don't pay the $26.00 fee.

This was just inside the ticket booth.

Note the tram crossing the bridge.

The Arkansas River, 1053 feet down.

It was a mile back to a rest area with two outhouses, so off I went. It was the smelliest outhouse I've used in quite awhile. After using the facilities I decided to put my warm, fuzzy ear things back on, but they were nowhere to be found. AH, they must have fallen off my bike back at the gorge parking lot. I rode back to my parking spot only to find a big, green, antique, tank sized car of some sort parked in my spot. I got down on my hands and knee and crawled around a bit and lo and behold, there were my beloved warm, fuzzy ear things under the car. I put them on and headed back towards the Elk's Lodge. I stopped at the same gas station just west of Colorado Springs to fill up again, then rode, non-stop, back to the Elk's Lodge parking lot. I definitely got my adrenalin rush for the day, riding on the Denver freeways.


At 8:07 AM, Blogger Diana said...

Good job with the pictures. I didn't think you could get any pictures at all without paying the $26.00. I'm on my way to Denver now, hope I catch up with you.

At 7:02 PM, Blogger Barbara and Ron said...

I can't believe you did the exact same thing I did a few years ago. I too made the effort to go to Royal Gorge - with my fifth wheel. When I arrived I was so appalled at the price that I also refused to pay. Why can't they split it out for those of us who just want to cross the bridge? Anyway I did what you did and scrambled over some rocks and took a couple of dead defying pictures. Good Job! I'm so proud to know you!


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