July 9th (DON’T BLINK!)


Up at about 6 after a terrible nights sleep.  Rolled on down to Cripples Creek, beautiful place, but unfortunately now turned into some sort of gambling resort.  Mind you, the place is pretty, but built on a gold rush that ended over a hundred years ago.  Decided to head out to the south towards Canon.  The GPS kept trying to divert me down a dirt road I didn’t want to go down, so I kept going on the paper map, until it appeared the GPS was right.  However after only a few hundred yards the blacktop ended and I was on a dirt road I didn’t really want to be on with some 29 miles left.. AG!  Clock was a ticking so I decided to keep rolling forward.  Initially it was easy through fairly flat forest, but then the terrain got progressively more impressive, then incredibly impressive.  I just couldn’t figure out what such an impressive dirt road was doing going through the middle of nowhere.

The drive was stunning and thankfully very short of cars coming in the other direction.  This is what I love about America, its not so much the things you know are there, it’s the things you don’t.  Lost and just looking for a way back to the main road, and you come across a gem like this!  For me it was at least as impressive as The Needles highway in the Black Hills.  The difference of course is that one crawls, where as this I only saw about 3 cars on.  However that cuts both ways, and more than once as I drove past sharp looking rocks in the middle of the road I though about how vulnerable my position was.  I had virtually no water or food in the car (I wasn’t expecting to be this isolated) and there was no chance of the phone working in such a deep gorge.  Go off the road here, and you may never be seen again!  I took my time :-), and not just due to the vulnerability, it was a beautiful place.  Rocks at the top were a sort of pink sherman granite-like, then lower down it became sedimentary of some sort.

So who would build a road like this?  I just couldn’t figure it out, it was a phenomenally expensive road to nowhere.  The answer came near the bottom.  Turns out Cripple Creek had been a gold rush town, and so they had built a railway up to it.  Hence the remarkably steady grade, and a road going through ‘mountains’ etc.

Back on the main road I picked up some fast food and headed onto Salida.  There I started to put some of my digital affairs in order.  Most notably to do some preparation on the talk I’m giving, and secondly to catch up with the blog and upload some of the footage I’ve got over the past few days.  Damn was the upload at mcdonalds slow.  Took a couple of hours to upload a 50mb video, and both time crashed just before the end (the connection reset) GAHHH!!  Still managed to get a load processed done though, before heading on up towards Montrose pass.  There was a small and very quiet and secluded siding for the old pass where I stopped for the night, oh… and that bliss of when the engine is turned off and there is complete silence in the forest, and just the gentlest of winds on the skin under the moonlit sky!

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8 Responses to “July 9th (DON’T BLINK!)”

  1. ifreethink Says:

    Cool video. Sometimes you find the greatest treasures when you’re least looking for them.

  2. Cara Says:

    WOW 

  3. Twunt Says:

    I love the needles. Imagine driving it at excessive speed while listening to ACDC at excessive volune.

  4. Jallenbah Says:

    Thunderf00t, PLEEEEASE do some beautyintheuniverse stuff!

    I love it, I live in England but America looks like it is amazing to explore! I enjoy your timelapses and narrated exploration so much.

  5. Marlo Rocci Says:

    That looked like a perfectly good road to me…of course, I have a Jeep.

  6. Marlo Rocci Says:

    If you’re traveling by car in America, ALWAYS carry water and a few days worth of rations. It’s easy to get stuck for days.

  7. Martin Says:

    Just discovered this blog. Hurray for a new place to visit every day!

    That’s a beautiful drive Mr. T. I spent most of a year in the western USA a couple of years back in a motorhome, and saw some incredible nature. missed this wonderful place though. Now I want to go back.

    One time the satnav wanted to take me down a worryingly primitive looking but of road in the middle of a forest, and I’m very glad I didn’t risk it. The next day, the folks I was trying to get to, showed me where I would have ended up – in a steep banked river!

    You should drive Highway 1 along the Oregon/California coast if you can – magnificent doesn’t begin to describe it. But you need a co-driver so you don’t drive off a cliff while admiring the view!

  8. Grand Lunar Says:

    “This is what I love about America, its not so much the things you know are there, it’s the things you don’t.”

    Well put. That ought to be a motto for the country.

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