Sunday, July 18, 2010

Uraling with Miles on the West and South Platte River Roads

Miles, my number 2 son and I rode out of our neighborhood at 9:30 AM today.  We were going into the foothills to try and escape the hot weather we'd been having lately here in the Denver Metro area.

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I took County Line Road west and after a brief sprint on the E-470 slab, got off at the Wadsworth Blvd exit.  From there it was a short ride to Deer Creek Canyon Rd and the beginning of the foothills.  There were dozens of bicyclists on this road but everyone rode according to the rules so the only disharmony was this squid who passed me on a double yellow line.  Dang squids, I was even riding a few miles above the posted limit!

Miles and I twisted and turned our way through Deer Creek Canyon until we came to Deer Creek Road which we took to ascend further into the foothills.  The ambient temperature cooled to the mid-70s as we neared Conifer where I stopped for some gas.  Miles got himself a chocolate bar and some beef jerky, I figure that's the Wisconsin side of the family genes dictating that preference!  : )

From Conifer, you can then take Foxton Road south, winding your way lower and lower away from Conifer until you reach the West Platte River.  Here the road forks, with the right side going towards the small settlement of Foxton and the left leading you along the South Platte River Rd towards Deckers.

Although most of the snow has dissapeared from the mountain peaks visible from the Front Range, the waters of the West Platte River were pretty high and running strongly with what I  assume is snow melt as we've not had much rain lately.

There were plenty of cars, campers and folks just out fishing or enjoying the cold waters of the West Platte River, this in areas where the current was not too swift of course.

We came upon Dome Rock and I stopped for this picture of Natasha.  Miles took this opportunity to go exploring along the riverbank.

Dome Rock, along the West Platte River Road

Miles and I continued riding Natasha, following the path of the West Platte River road until we came upon the site of the old and now abandoned South Platte Hotel.  The hotel awaits restoration but it's been that way since I first saw it when Sanoke showed me the South Platte River Rd for the first time.

We parked Natasha in the shade by the hotel and explored the banks of the river where the confluence of the West Platte and South Platte Rivers form the now just plain Platte River.  It was hot and a bit muggy, we left our riding jackets with Natasha and just wandered about the river bank.

Here Miles dips his feet into the Platte River by the small bridge which spans it, 
just south the South Platte Hotel.

The water is apparently a little bit cold. 

We were starting to get hungry by now as it was a little bit after Noon.  We got geared up again, after having sprayed each other with water to soak our T-shirts to help deal with the heat.  It felt quite nice for a while riding with a wet shirt under one's jacket!

 One last photo at the usual spot by the big boulders sitting in the river.

Instead of riding all the way to Deckers and then turning on CO67 back towards US285, I elected instead to take West Pine Creek Rd off of CO97 or Platte River Rd.  It was, the sign said, 17 miles to the town of Sedalia.  I'd forgotten how washboarded some portions of this road are.  There were times we bounced quite a bit when hitting these rough spots but Natasha did just fine.  The skies were clouding over above us and I knew it was only a matter of time before it would rain on us.

We ascended on Pine Creek Road towards its junction with North CO Hwy 67.  We descended down towards Sedalia on CO67, with the final twists and turns of Jarvis Canyon being the final canyon carving we'd be doing for today.  We cruised through Sedalia, and headed towards the city of Castle Rock  We found ourselves a "Good Times" burger joint at the strip mall area at the junction of I-25 and Founders Parkway and enjoyed a late lunch.

We headed back towards home by way of the Crowfoot Parkway which took us to the town of Parker.  We got briefly rained upon on the way to Parker, Miles got to experience the stinging sensation of rain at 50 mph.  I told him to imagine riding without a helmet and getting rained on, he got my point.

We made it home with no incident by 2:30 PM, not much more over 150 Km's ridden today, less than 100 miles or so.  Both Miles and Natasha did great.

1 comment:

Jessie said...

Great area to ride! Your son must love the sidecar. I took my wife out on the back of my 82 R100 and rode over the cherry creek dam road last night. I must say, the airhead felt like a small bike with someone on the back. She said it was fine for short distances, but not long rides. Now I feel like getting one of the big BMW GS bikes for such riding. Even though I love my airhead.