Our neighborhood streets remained snow-covered with crushed-down snow and ice but Scarlett, my 2014 URAL Patrol Sidecar again had no issues motoring out short before 8:00AM.
We road on mostly clear main roads across the metro area. Traffic was beginning to get heavy with swarms of unwary cagers rushing to the local malls to buy Christmas presents I assume. Soon, Scarlett and I were clear of that mess that is called Denver and we got to the small foothill town of Morrison.
After tanking up, it was time to peruse the snow-covered scenery of nearby Red Rocks park. This park with its large and scenic rock formations is a favorite day trip destination for the metro area. The park also boasts an amphitheater literally carved out of and between two really large rock formations, quite cool.
The empty parking lots had enough snow for Scarlett and I to play a little bit with riding about in the snow with 2WD engaged, but alas, no other Uralisti had elected to join me so no movies.
Leaving Red Rocks, we proceeded on CO Highway 74 through Bear Creek Canyon and the small mountain towns of Idledale, Kittredge and eventually got to Evergreen.
At Evergreen, we motored through the town and got on Upper Bear Creek Canyon road to head further into the foothills. This canyon road is a two lane road, paved and mostly clear of snow that day except for the shady areas which still had enough to cause one to slow down.
I stopped at the usual spot a bit past the turn for Witter Gulch Road and got this shot of nearby mountain peaks:
Turning back towards Witter Gulch Road, we rode north along it for a bit but had to stop when I spotted this really large elk crossing the road, by the time I had stopped on the side of the road it had run up to the side of the hill opposite me.
Quite the rack wouldn't you say?
At this point, I was less than 60 feet from the Elk
Once on Squaw Pass Road, aka CO Highway 103, I headed further west for about ten miles to reach the vicinity of Echo Lake and the junction with CO Highway 5, aka the Mount Evans Road. The Mount Evans road is closed for the season, it's one of two paved roads here in Colorado where one can motor all the way to the summit when the road is open and weather conditions permit.
Views of distant and nearby mountain peaks while on Squaw Pass Road
Finishing off the above pictures, Scarlett and I retraced our route back towards the junction of Witter Gulch Road but stayed on Squaw Pass to get to Bergen Park. Going now downhill, things got a bit more "interesting" on the tight turns since there was more snow covering the ground at times. This part of CO 103 has many shady spots where the snow hasn't melted much after the snow plows went through....so a lot more judicious braking is involved.
Still, made it down to Bergen Park with no issues and I rode CO74 down back to Evergreen. I stopped at the dam which forms Evergreen Lake and got this shot of the cold, cold waters:
Evergreen Lake and Dam
Yep, that's people on the frozen lake, doing some fishing or recreating. No, vehicles not allowed on the frozen lake. Just as well, because my experience with ice patches so far tells me the rig would just sit there spinning helplessly without studs on the tires!
Crossing through the town of Evergreen once more, Scarlett and I motored on CO Highway 74 back through Kittredge but this time spotted a scenic opportunity in Idledale. Getting off the main road, I found myself in a small narrow trail loop alongside a small creek; part of Bear Creek I assume.
Lots of ducks to be seen walking about the ice floes formed on top
of the creeks flowing waters.
The rest of the ride was just motoring out of the foothills through Morrison, and back into the Metro Denver area where the traffic had gotten significantly heavier with holiday shopping cagers. I witnessed the usual acts of stupidity and unwary driving but made it home just fine. I was a bit warm on the way home, temperatures had soared into the low 60s Fahrenheit according to the on board thermometer!