Sunday, September 02, 2007

A Warm Day's Ride to Elbert, Colorado

Temps were in the high 80s to low 90s, sunny with puffy clouds filling the blue Colorado summer skies.

I went out for a ride after lunch, I wandered over to the East and rode down several different county roads, traversing the small towns of Kiowa and Elizabeth. I finally ended up on North Elbert Road and made my way on pretty straight asphalt to the old town of Elbert Colorado.

Elbert is a pretty small town where time has apparently come to a standstill and remnants of what appears to have been a couple of a big stores just bask in the sun now. The Russell Gates Mercantile Store is now apparently a historical landmark, it looks a bit delapidated and probably awaiting funds from some restoration group; but apparently its still in use as a gathering center. The town also boasts a small bar where I spied what looked like a Harley sitting outside as I motored past.

Elbert in its heyday?

Circa 1930? Pretty much what it looks like today

The roads are packed dirt/gravel so I went slow to take in the "sights". Not much to report really, except for a windmill on what I thought was a sideroad. Turns out it was the town's Mainstreet according a sign at the end of the road.

Main Street

I cruised back through town along the frontage road that borders the asphalt and continued on this packed dirt/gravel road on the North end of town. Spent the next 30 minutes or so crawling along at less than 20mph, going by fenced off grassy fields, what appears to have been horse ranches and some wooded terrain as well. Having had my fill of dirt roads by now, I made my way East and finally ended up on back on North Elbert Road, on the South side of Town.

I continued on Elbert Road southbound and soon hit US24. I took this highway slab to Woodman Road which borders Colorado Spring on its eastern side. No hot air balloons in the skies to the South where I expected them so I headed home.

Woodman Road becomes Powers Rd and soon junctions CO83 which I took to Franktown, then to Parker and home via the back roads I usually take. Had to stop just outside Parker and use the last of the water in my camelback to wet down the sleeves of my compression shirt and also dump some on my head. It was getting quite warm by this point. I now think I may have to come up with a way to douse myself while moving to "charge up" the shirt sleeves and the cooling vest.

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