Sunday, December 16, 2007

Riding to the Monument Divide

Temps from the high 20s to mid 40s. Sunny.

A three hour, 120 mile ride today, to bag yet one more pass on my way to the PassBagger 50 Certificate from the ColoradoBeemers Motorcycle Club. Today's target was Monument Pass, located fittingly near the town of Monument which lies south of Castle Rock, CO.

I took the back way to Parker and transited it to Crowfoot Parkway which leads one to Castle Rock. I crossed over the I-25 Superslab at this point heading West and got on Mooseberger Road and enjoyed its twisting turns in a more sedate manner than usual given the occasional patch of ice/slush and gravel put down by the snow plow trucks.

I got onto Co105 soon enough and headed South on this road enjoying the snow covered mountains in the distance. Lots of cars going to and from the local churches but not a single motorcycle to be seen. The road was 99% dry with a couple of patches of road still having ice on them with rather narrow dry furrows cut through them where the trees shaded the ice from the sun. No big deal, just had to pay attention and keep things going smoothly through those places.

I made it to the town of Palmer Lake just fine in this manner and paused by this restaurant near a local biker hangout called O'Malley's Pub and Grill.

The Depot Food & Spirits in Palmer Lake

The train seemingly coming out of the restaurant's wall had always attracted my way on past rides and this time I thought to stop and get a picture.

At this point, I engaged the GPS on my Nokia N800 Internet Tablet and it led me faithfully down a side road outside of Palmer Lake back towards the I-25 Superslab and to the sign shown below which I recorded for the passbagger verifiers.

Monument Pass

After this photo op, I headed south on the slab to the next exit which took me back towards the town of Palmer Lake. I headed through town once again, and went North on CO105, retracing my steps but this time going past Mooseberger Road and continued on CO105 until I reached the town of Sedalia. Still no other motorcyclist in sight, not even at the bar where I'd seen bikers before where CO67 meets US85. Oh well.

I headed back towards Castlerock by way of US85 southbound and soon enough was winging my way back towards the town of Parker via Crowfoot Parkway. Pretty much retraced the same route I'd taken on the way down to Monument for the most part.

The weather was beautiful, not too cold, did not even turn on my electric vest and kept the heated grips in their low setting for most of the ride. Returning to my neighborhood, I was able to use South Ireland Street to get into the neighborhood and then used the last sidewalk part of the King Canute Escape Path to enter my cul-de-sac and home. The street in front of my cul-de-sac? Still snow-packed!

My cul-de-sac at 1330hrs, note the snow-packed street

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