Monday, December 26, 2011

Castlewood Canyon and Perry Park after Christmas Ride

A mostly sunny and somewhat "warm" day here in Colorado.  My family was meeting with a friend of Martha's from college and so I went off to ride part of what I call the "Southern Loop" of motorcycle friendly roads.

My first stop was Castlewood Canyon which is located south of the towns of Parker and Franktown respectively.  As I was near the spot for an overlook of Pikes Peak, it was here that I stopped first before going into the state park.

Pikes Peak Overlook from CO83

I then returned to Franktown and took the main road west to the next turn which allows one to enter Castlewood Canyon State Park by way of a county road.  First though I detoured onto Willow Lake Drive to peruse the offerings in terms of scenery provided by the ranches and valley views.

 A view to the east along Willow Lake Drive

Still along Willow Lake Drive, this time with the canyon walls as backdrop

The road into Castlewood Canyon State Park

I went all the way past the failed Castlewood Canyon Dam of yesteryear, turned around and exited the park the same way I'd come in.  The dirt road was snow-covered mostly but not much in terms of ice, just had to take it easy on the inclined portions.

Arriving once again in the outskirts of Franktown, I continued heading east on CO86 to the town of Castle Rock.  I saw the town's namesake soon enough and found a spot at a local elementary school at which to pose Yoshie:

 Castle Rock

  A view of a neighboring hillside, near the base of Castle Rock

I left Castle Rock by way of US85, crossing over the I-25 Super Slab and getting onto Wolfenberger Road which winds its way to the valley which is traversed by CO105, a favorite of motorcycle riders during the warmer months.  

I rode all the way down to the Perry Park area and got onto Red Rock road to go see the small version of the "Garden of the Gods" that John Sanoke had first shown to me so many years ago.  There was much more snow on the trails this time than the last time I was there with the Uralisti seeking snow to play in.

 One's first view of the rock formations in Perry Park
from the entry point on Country Club Drive

I only got stuck once in the snow, when I got a bit too close to the edge of the road and the sidecar got sucked in by the snowbank.  No worries though, I was out within minutes with no real effort.

 The above picture shows where I got "stuck", so
I got a picture of Camel Rock first, then got unstuck.

 That hill behind Yoshie would prove a tiny bit of a challenge
on the way back out.

 This is as far as I got within Perry Park, the snow got too deep
at this point.  Just behind Yoshie and out of camera range, was a stuck
4WD truck which had been left abandoned in the snow.

The signature rock formation for which the Perry Park Golf Course
is known for.

Once I left the golf course area, I took a slight detour onto Echo Valley Road to get a picture of the ridgeline on top of which is built the Perry Park Country Club.

Echo Valley Road

As one reaches the junction of Perry Park Boulevard and Red Rock Road, two big rock formations draw one's eye to their rich colors and majestic size:

 Lovely red rock formations

Heading back out of the Perry Park area by way of Red Rock Road, you can position your ride along Red Rock Circle for this nice view of the richly colored rock formations that line Red Rock Road.  One can see why the folks who built along this line of rock formations chose that location!

Red Rock Road, from Red Rock Circle.

It was mid-afternoon by now and I motored on home, basically retracing my path back to Castle Rock by way of Sedalia.  I then took the Crowfoot Parkway to Parker town and headed up Inspiration Drive to get back to Centennial.  The deer were already out, I must have seen at least a dozen deer, in clumps of 3-4, feeding near the road side.

Got home with no incident and ready for some warmth and food.  About six hours out in the 40s in terms of temperature so the cold was starting to seep in a bit.  Still, a great ride and got some nice pics thanks to lighting provided by the motorcycling gods.  Here's hoping you got a ride in today.


SonjaM said...

Thanks for taking me on that very zen like winter ride through Perry Park.
Weather up here sucks big time, fog and rain all day, now the third day in a row.

Richard Machida said...

Enjoyed the photos especially the video. Makes me really want to get out...

Troubadour said...

I kept hoping as I was reading that you weren't going to get stuck and noticed you didn't have reverse. I'm sure your rig isn't that light. Thanks for the photos and video, very nice.

Charlie6 said...

SonjaM, has the weather gotten better for you guys up there in the North?

RichardM, glad you liked the stuff, now if you only had that sidecar.....

Troubadour, no, my rig is NOT light at all. It's about 880lbs or so and I was foolishly carrying a bunch of gear in the sidecar that day. : )

And yes, I dearly miss the reverse gear I had on the Ural.

Happy New Year to all of you!