CannonTrek.CO - Bashing Big Bikes in the Backcountry of Colorado

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Cannonshot, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    A run up through Victor to Cripple Creek.
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    During the peak of mining operations, Victor had 18,000 residents. I think now it runs something less than 400.
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    In 1899, the downtown burned down in five hours. Not sure if this was the opium den fire or not. The town quickly rebuilt with the brick you see today. When they went to lay a foundation for a new hotel, they found rich ore and put a mine in instead. I think this is the mine. Tunnels for the mine ran under the town.
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    Other mine works.
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    When Victor was cooking back in the day, they had two trolleys running in the area (also three trains). They had 6 churches and 48 saloons too. 20 doctors, 15 attorneys, and 12 labor unions were also part of the program.
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    This hotel was built right after the 1899 fire.
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    Jack Dempsey (the fighter) was a miner here. He used to practice boxing at the fire station. Lowell Thomas (the broadcaster) is also from here. Soapy Smith (the con artist) ran some kind of promotion or scam here.
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    A mine at Victor.
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    Looks like someone is getting ready to blast some rock.
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    As we rode into Cripple Creek, the satellite radio station I was listening to coincidentally played "Up on Cripple Creek" by The Band.
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    If you want to tour an old mine, check out the Mollie Kathleen. This mine goes down about 1,000 feet and ran nearly continuously until 1961.
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    Nearby heritage center.
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    Cripple Creek is a casino town now. Reminds me a lot of Deadwood.
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    They had some nasty labor disputes here with the miners. For the first time in history, the Governor called out the National Guard in the 1890s to protect the striking miners from the mining companies and the goons they hired. By 1903 that had been reversed and the National Guard was protecting the mining companies touching off the Colorado Labor Wars.
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    They are proud of this old fire station.
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    This guy felt like an ass because he was holding up traffic.
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  2. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Thanks for joining in! That seems like a popular spot with some nice camping. I'd enjoy riding that again.
  3. Doctor Zed

    Doctor Zed Resident

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    A few hours earlier, Ben and I were getting gas and were warned by the gas station guy "Not to ride the Shelf Road" when we asked where Phantom Canyon was...:eek1
  4. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    A trip down Shelf Road.
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    The Shelf Road was constructed by Canon City as a stage road to gain access to the mining district. They built it in 1892. The toll for a horse and rider was about 30 cents. A six horse stage coach cost about $1.75 to use the road. Once the railroad went up Phantom Canyon, the need for this stage road fell off.

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    In the old days it took about six hours to travel north on the road and about 4 hours to travel south (down).
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    This was a nice ride. Not too difficult. A little mud and water on a few of the corners. Just don't go over the edge.
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    Kind of sporty in some places.
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    Window Rock.
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    There is some excellent rock climbing along the cliffs in this area.
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    Camping about half way to Canon City.
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    Nice night for camping. I don't remember what the maintenance or repair was tonight, but I see the tools out. :D
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  5. vwboomer

    vwboomer Buffoon

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    Vent hose to keep the fuel from boiling into my face. Rerouted it down to the skid plate.
  6. Honkey Cat

    Honkey Cat Tailights Fade!

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    Great pics and i especially love the history you provided on the area and towns. Thanks for the info.
  7. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Thanks my friend. Glad you are enjoying the report. Hope you have fun out there in a few weeks!

    Thanks. Glad you are enjoying the report. The history can make it a little more rich for those that like that kind of thing.
  8. Collarbone

    Collarbone Been here awhile

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    Very nice report ,now I need to get out there even more. Can't wait to read more.
  9. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Thanks Roger. It gets a little more "fun" as we get further along. :evil
  10. nwcolorider

    nwcolorider NWCOLO

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    Still is the richest district in Colorado, here is my wife holding a 93 lb Dore Ingot.
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  11. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    We should chat a bit about clothing.

    I wore a KLIM helmet. I liked the excellent ventilation. It is important to note that I had an oversized windshield so for the highway portions I didn't suffer any buffeting related to the motocross style helmet.

    I had a liner along for the helmet, but never installed it. During rain I only took on a little water through the vent holes - not as bad as I expected.

    I never felt hot in the helmet.

    I had OTG goggles Quickstrapped to the back of my helmet but only used them in dust and rain. Otherwise I wore safety glasses or sunglasses.

    I wore the KLIM Badlands riding suit. It was comfortable and adequately ventilated even in the 106 degree ambient air on the interstate. I had a 3 liter in the bladder pocket in the coat. With all the cargo, armor, and water the coat felt heavy to lift but was very comfortable to wear. Vents are on the forearm, upper arm, underarm, and back. The collar can be velcroed open a bit more. With the vents open a lot of air moves through the coat doing a decent job of cooling and keeping you "dry".

    I wore the pants with suspenders and used the two pairs of vents on the hips/thighs to be well ventilated there as well.

    When rain threatened, it was easy to zip up the necessary vents and the waterproofness was fine.

    When we stopped in the heat, it was a good idea to pull the coat off.

    The armor was fine, but I had only low speed mishaps.

    Mostly I wore mesh gloves but during rain I wore Gore-Tex KLIM gloves.

    I wore waterproof Sidi Adventure boots which were handy for rain and water crossings. They were comfortable to hike around in at points of interest.

    One key element was wearing the right fabrics as undergarments. I wore wicking fabrics that quickly dried with the ventilation of the suit. These garments (and socks) could be easily washed out with camp suds and then air dried within a few hours. I carried a mesh bag in the event I needed to let them dry while I was riding the bike.

    I have a sheepskin on the bike seat and between that, the undergarments, and the ventilation did not suffer a sore backside.

    The worst discomfort was sore knees on the long highway stretches to and from. I installed some road pegs for the trip but they didn't allow enough leg extension to relieve the fatigue of the knees.

    I carried sandals, a fleece jacket, and lightweight hiking pants for campwear. I also had a boonie hat along as the sun can be brutal without one.

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  12. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Pretty cool stuff!
  13. c-zulu

    c-zulu Resident Dirt Burner

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  14. Knightwork

    Knightwork Have Coffe Cup--Can Travel

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    Enjoying this REPORT --Big Bikes Rule (sometimes):lol3
  15. kimzx1000r

    kimzx1000r Been here awhile

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    " I carried a mesh bag in the event I needed to let them dry while I was riding the bike."

    Oh that is a good tip! I like that! Thanks!
  16. InTheMuck

    InTheMuck So it goes...

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    Be wary of dusty trails if you do this :deal
  17. kleinergti1

    kleinergti1 Been here awhile

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    Do you plan on posting up the gps tracks.

    I was just in the springs for the pikes peak race and my new truck is still sitting out there cause the carrier bearing went out--Great dodge design with 2 week back order. So now i have a reason to ride out and haul the bike back.
  18. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

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    Awesome!
  19. TRUBRIT

    TRUBRIT Been here awhile

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    Cannonshot, loving this. Heading out from rainy SFL on Friday to CO Springs and then off we go. Will pick up many of the roads from this Report and your one on South Dakota. I will be doing a Report when I get back and will try and make it as enjoyable as yours are to read. Like the way you add in the History along the way. Ride safe.:1drink
  20. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    We checked out Canon City and Royal Gorge.
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    Packing up on a beautiful morning.
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    A view from our campground. Nice climbing stuff.
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    Shelf road is down below.
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    Paved road into Canon City.
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    KTMs making a parts stop.
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    Ben repairing a lost fastener and stripped oil tank mount.
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    Ben and Zed missed Pikes Peak yesterday due to the brake parts run. They opted to hit Pikes today and then catch up with us later. Looked like it was a little hazy. The thing about Pikes Peak is that on a clear day, if you look far enough out, you can see the back of your own head. :D
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    Royal Gorge Park just got burned over in a forest fire. I think about 60 buildings were lost and a few boards on the bridge were damaged. We weren't sure how close we would get to the bridge.
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    A deputy directed us to an overlook. The bridge was put up by Canon City in 1929 and stands about 955' above the river. The gorge itself runs about 50' wide at the bottom and a few hundred feet wide at the top. This bridge was the highest in the world from 1929 to 2003.
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    The gondola type thing fell into the river during the fire.
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    I think the gorge runs about 1,250' deep in places. We couldn't see the bottom. This is how it looks from the bridge. An excursion railroad runs down there.
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    When mining hit big in the area, the railroads were anxious to get to places that would produce revenue for them. Two big railroads got in a battle over Royal Gorge. The hired gunfighters, built stone forts, dropped rocks on crews, sued in court, and about anything else they could do to mess up the other guy and get it for their own.

    They hired Bat Masterson. Masterson hired Doc Holliday to help him recruit gunfighters. At one point Masterson held the roundhouse in Pueblo. When the opposite side went to borrow a cannon from the National Guard, they found that Masterson already had it. In one battle they drove the boys out and got hold of the cannon which ended that particular fray.

    At one point the canyon necks down to a 30' width. In 1879 the railroad had to build a hanging bridge over the river for this part. It is still in use today.
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    Rafting is popular in the gorge. Some names of the rapids include: Sledge Hammer, Wall Slammer, Corkscrew, and Boat Eater.
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    Just outside the park is a dirt track for Segways. They put dirt tires on them and away you go.
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    I think they were idled by the effects of the fire so we didn't get to race each other.
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    We took a ride on the Skyline Drive in Canon City. It is a one-way single lane paved path that runs a high ridge in the city. It was built by prisoners. There has been a state prison there for many years. By the way, when Royal Gorge Park was burning last month they had to evacuate the prison.

    I think I mentioned before that I am not always so good with heights. Despite having been a paratrooper and a pilot, I still can get butterflies from time to time. I'm not sure I am even really comfortable being 6'2" tall. Anyway, the only time I felt any fear of heights on this trip was when I was on this path and both sides of the road dropped off at once. All the other shelfy stuff and high mountains were no problem at all.

    I'm not a fan of long videos, but this is the trip on the Skyline Drive.
    (Just skip ahead where I stopped to take pix.)

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