Denver Botanic Gardens

I and 4 other guys went to the Denver Botanic Gardens Sunday evening.

I've lived here for 30 year but had never been to the Botanic Gardens before. One of the guys mentioned that the Gardens was having a free weekend, so we took advantage of it. I didn't know what I was missing! I had a great time! I think I'll look into getting a membership.

Aspen Run through Cripple Creek (updated)

I and and some other guys rode our motorcycles through the Cripple Creek area to view the fall Aspen colors.

We took Interstate 25 south to Colorado Springs, then US-24 through Woodland Park before turning south on Colorado highway 67 just west of Woodland Park.

We could not have asked for better weather. Warm temperatures and clear blue sky's. The Aspen were in their prime and the fall colors were spectacular.

The road was packed with other sight seers. Every turn-out was full of cars and motorcycles and people taking pictures. We made a lot of pictures stops ourselves.

available in HD

The fall colors typically follow a north to south progression, beginning in the north and spreading to the south in response to shorter days. The color display begins in the higher elevations and works its way down to lower elevations and the planes. Northern Colorado typically starts to display fall colors in early September with southern Colorado and the lower elevations in late September or early October. Warm sunny days with cool crisp nights tend to yield more brillant colors.

Cripple Creek use to be an old gold miners camp dating back to the 1890's. It was incorporated in 1892 and is 1 of 3 legalized gambling towns in the state. The Cripple Creek area sits in an ancient Caldera formed by volcanos some 35 million years ago. Mud flows from those volcanos are what created the fossil beds south of Forissant Colorado. We ate lunch at one of the Casino's before continuing our ride past the Gold Mine and Victor.

The Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mine just south of town is the largest producer of gold in Colorado. It is an open-pit mine; the gold is extracted using a technique called a leach stack.

We turned north at Woodland Park on our way back and rode through Deckers and Pine Valley. The Hayman fire burn area appears to be recovering though fire damage is still plainly visible.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable ride and a real treat.

Across the Divide on Colorado 105

Not far from the Interstate highway, south of Denver, are the communities of Sedalia, Palmer Lake and Monument Colorado.

For this excursion, I rode south from Denver on US-85 (Santa Fe Drive) to reach Colorado Highway 105 at Sedalia.

View in High Def

Highway 105 runs north & south along the Colorado Front Range between Sedalia and Monument, and crosses over the Palmer Divide.

The Palmer Divide is a ridge that juts perpendicular from the Colorado Front Range and stretches eastward as far as Limon. It separates the Missouri River drainage basing (which includes the Platte River) from the Arkansas River drainage basin. The weather along the divide can be dramatically different from the weather in Denver and Colorado Springs; you can depart Denver under sunny skys only to encounter rain and snow over the Palmer Divide.

About 37 million years ago, a volcanic eruption covered the area with a resistant rock called rhyolite (rye-uh-lite), but flooding and erosion of the rock has given way to castle-shaped buttes, hillsides covered with large meadows of grass, scattered juniper trees, Pine and Scrub Oak.

Here you are apt to encounter Badgers, Black Bears, Bobcats, Coyotes, Chipmunks, Foxes, Mountain Lions, Mule Deer, Porcupines, and Skunks. You might also spot an Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Magpies, Red-tailed Hawks, Jays and Western Tanagers (they are kind of shy and they love the scrub oak).

After the Civil War, General William Palmer founded the City of Colorado Springs and the Denver Rio Grande Railroad. He purchased land north of Colorado Springs called Monument Farms & the Lake Property to supply water for the railroad. The lake property became the town of Palmer Lake.

During the Chautauqua movement, a popular adult education movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Palmer Lake was host to many Chautauqua gatherings. Recently the town has brought new life to the popular program through the Rocky Mountain Chautauqua Assembly held in Palmer Lake each August.

Collectively, the towns of Palmer Lake, Monument and Woodmoor are known as the Tri-Lakes area. The area also includes the communities of Larkspur and Glendale. The US Air Force Academy is directly south of Monument.

Highway 105 turns eastward and terminates when it merges with Highway 83 east of Monument.

Trip to Sandpoint Idaho (updated)

In June 2001, I took my mother to Sandpoint Idaho to visit an old friend that use to live on the same block she did when they were children. These pictures were taken with my old Sony; the first digital camera I owned.

Sandpoint Idaho. June 29 & 30, 2001.

The cats were owned by a man and women who were also visiting; they were staying in an Air Stream travel trailer. He had stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-day.

Lake Pend Oreille is quite deep and during WW2 a large portion of it was restricted when it was used for Navel training during the war.

Sandpoint was all over the news in the 1990's while federal agents blockaded an extremist stronghold near there; the standoff ended badly.

Arnold Swartzenegger had a large home on the eastern end of the lake when we visited Sandpoint in 2001; I presume he still has it. The future Governor had obtained a section of the Berlin wall and had it placed near the entrance gate of his property. I saw it when I drove up to the gate the last day we were there. You can see the top of it from outside the gate. For some reason I forget I have a camera; I really wish I had taken a picture of it .