Sunday, October 28, 2018

Penrose Boondocking, Sunday: Temple Canyon Park and a ride to Silver Cliff, CO


Not a bad sunrise this morning, my last full day of camping here in the Penrose Commons BLM area.

Soon after breakfast cleanup, I headed on out to check out the camping sites at the Temple Canyon Park located SW of Cañon City on CR3.  The road was quite doable by an RV, in spite of some tight turns as one nears the park.  However, the road turns to shit inside the park!

You go through BLM land on the way to the park, and I saw a couple of sites with campers in them.  I got 2 bars LTE via Verizon whenever I checked.  Still, not a lot of sites and some of them, the rigs within, seemed to have been there quite over the normal 14 day limit!

Once you're in the park, it's like the city has forgotten about the park and no maintenance has been done on the road.  Not usable by Uma, the URRV!  Still, I rode on in and meadered about, not bad sites and I even found a small trailer and pickup truck camped at the end of the camping loop.

 View of the Canyon Wall's rock formations from within
Temple Canyon Park.

 A view of the Cañon City valley from near the entrance
to Temple Canyon Park.

Once back on BLM land, I explored a side trail which led to several tent sized camp sites, all kind of riding on top of narrow ridges.  Pretty cool locations actually.

Here's the view from the one I parked Fiona on, with a great view towards Cañon City through the canyon rock walls.

Soon enough, it was time to head back towards Cañon City, here's some pictures of the road one traverses:

 Yep, some swine had dumped their old furniture at
this spot, what a dirtbag some people are.

Back in the city, I took CR 143, aka Oak Creek Grade, which takes one SW through a small mountain range between Cañon City and Westcliffe, CO.  It's about 28 miles of mountain roads, twists and turns, up and down slopes which keep one's speed down to about 30 most of the time.  Figure an hour to do this trip.

The road becomes CR255 once you cross into Custer County.  Within the mountain range itself, the area is part of the San Isabel National Forest.

As one nears the city of Silver Cliff (which is just east of Westcliffe), one can see nice views of the eastern faces of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.  Sorry for the hazy look, the light was pretty terrible this time of day when I took the shots.


The valley one traverses on the way to Silver Cliff was explored originally by Zebulon Pike:

There appears to be open range/BLM land to the west of Silver Cliff but I'll have to check the maps.  There sure weren't any fences!

I finally got to Silver Cliff, found a gas station and filled out for the return trip, retracing the route I'd just rode into town on.

 The outskirts of Silver Cliff

I swear, there's a ten degree temperature differential between the valley where Silver Cliff is located and the valley that Cañon City is on!  It was breezy and chilly with temperatures in the low to mid 60s on the west side of the mountain range between these two cities and low to mid 70s on the eastern side!

I figure the small mountain range between serves as a shield wall of sorts for the westerly winds?

View of the Cañon City valley from atop the road
just before you leave the San Isabel National Forest.

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