Scarlett and I motored out shortly after 8:00 AM and we took CO Highway 83 through the city of Parker, the town of Franktown and points south.
Along the way, we took a small detour on CR 80 to get these views of Pikes Peak:
Got to the Pikes Peak fee station shortly after 10:00 and the ranger there told me that due to high winds, the road was only open 13 of the 19 miles! Disappointing, so I elected not to proceed up to mile marker 13.
I thought perhaps the winds would die down if I waited (there were in the mid-40s mph when I first checked via the cograilway website). So Scarlett and I headed down from the Pikes Peak fee station and explored the small town of Manitou Springs.
We managed to finally locate the road that leads to what used to be the exit for a road from the Cave of the Winds attraction. It is, however, now a drainage for flood waters apparently:
Wandering about Manitou Springs, killing time and periodically checking wind conditions up at Pikes Peak Summit, I stopped at a small park to get a picture of this retired Cog Railway Locomotive and a nearby 155mm Howitzer from 1918:
After some more wandering, we moseyed on over to the Garden of the Gods but saw a large amount of cagers cluttering up the entrance. So instead, we just took pictures from outside the garden.
Pikes Peak from Garden of the Gods
Getting back on US 24, we returned to Colorado Springs and headed north towards Monument, CO. Here we picked up CO Hwy 105 North through Monument and Palmer Lake. This is a favorite roads for motorcycle riders and there were plenty to be seen riding along the warm afternoon.
I turned off on Perry Park Road and proceeded to wander about, taking pictures at the usual spots and seeing how much construction had occurred since the last time I was there.
Back side of Camel Rock
Perry Park Golf Course
Returning back to CO Hwy 105, Scarlett and I continued north along its gently curving roads until we got to the turn off for Dakan Road. I was hoping to find the seasonal gate open and it was! We continued on Dakan Road, climbing steadily on the dirt road which was coated with snow on occasion but not too badly.
We managed to reach the point where we crossed the border into the Pike National Forest and Scarlett's clutch decided it was time to turn around.
Had I been in the company of at least another URAL sidecar rig, I would have waited for the clutch plates to cool down and continued onwards into Pike National forest but discretion and the rapidly darkening skies made up my mind for me.
On the way back down Dakan Road, there were some nice views of the valley through which CO Hwy 105 runs:
CO Hwy 105 eventually takes one to Wolfenberger Road which we took towards the town of Castle Rock. Here's a final view of Pikes Peak and Castle Rock's namesake rock formation from near the Founders Parkway:
A short time later, Scarlett and I had transited through the town of Parker one more time and coming up to the junction of Orchard Road, we decided on a sunset sort of shot of Mount Evans from the southern end of Cherry Creek Park:
Almost eight hours in the saddle and almost 300 kilometers (290) ridden today. Scarlett did great though her MPG results with the new EFI mapping were slightly disappointing at 29 MPG. We'll see what the next tank results are but it's not something unexpected. Still, a good trade off for smoothness when in first gear and moving at parking lot speeds. She's so smooth now, quite nice, to just mosey along without popping noises and slight stumbles.