Sunday, September 09, 2007

A ride to Eldorado State Park, and I pass the 20k mark on Maria

I left home today shortly after noon, the day was sunny and mild, temps from the low 60s to mid 70s throughout the ride. It became overcast and chilly later in the afternoon as well, Fall is definitely on its way here in the Rockies.

I took the E-470 Slab towards US6 which took me to Golden, home of the Coors Brewery and the Colorado School of Mines.

Here's a pic of the Jefferson County Seat of Government I think. It's an imposing building bordering US6 which I'd passed many times, this time I stopped and got a picture.

I wandered about the base of a large mesa in Golden for a bit, seeking a way up to it but the only promising road had "No Trespassing" signs all over the open gate and I elected not to try my luck. The gate was right next to a government complex, I believe it's the National Renewable Energy Research Lab. The Mesa is across from Lookout Mountain and it offered fine views of the mountain as well.

As part of my wanderings around the southern side of this Mesa, ran into and old Army camp: Camp George West, now converted to house several state government offices to include Department of Corrections, the Colorado State Patrol's Academy and sundry other agencies. This is what attracted my eye as I rode on South Golden Road:

I also spotted this herd of deer grazing in the grounds next to some county open space that was part of the Camp George West complex:

I left Golden by way of CO93 heading in the direction of Boulder. It had gotten quite a bit cooler and overcast by now and I looked for a good place to stop and put on my jacket liner and such. I got to the intersection of CO93 and CO170 which is the turn for Eldorado Springs and after gearing up, headed towards this town to see what there was to see. The town had attracted my attention because you could see this fog shrouded mountain from the highway:

It was a short ride to the small town of Eldorado Springs, its claim to fame having been at one time one of only two swimming areas for the Denver Area:

The pavement literally ends at the edge of this town, it was dirt/gravel as I made my way slowly through the few buildings in the town and came across the entrance to the Eldorado State Park. I paid my seven bucks for a daily pass and here's the pictures I took.

I had a late lunch at this park, enjoying the view and watching the rock climbers clamber up the rocks. Finally, it was time to go home. Headed back down CO93 and took Leyden Road towards Arvada and wandered some two lane roads until they got me to Olde Wadsworth Blvd and eventually led me near where it hooks up with I-70 which led me to the I-25 Slab southbound.

Not too bad a ride, a bit chilly but the jacket liner kept me toasty without me having to turn on the heated grips. I did find myself wishing for my balaclava when the wind would ride up the back opening of my helmet but it was still a good ride.

Less than a year ago, I acquired Maria during my trip to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. I've racked up over 20K miles on her and she's still going strong. What a great motorcycle.

Less than 400 more miles and Maria will have 40K miles on her odometer.

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