We didn’t spend much time in Colorado Springs, Co , we woke up from a WalMart boondock, walked the dogs and hit the road, excited to get to our new home for the next month, Rocky Top RV Park in Green Mountain Falls, CO.
The skyline really dominants here. I had never seen anything like it….had no idea there could even BE scenery like this. I was still in the amazement stage of the Rockies as I began to drive the Ute Mountain Pass up towards Green Mountain Falls. This very quickly brought me back to reality. I must say, Colorado drivers are the most courteous drivers I have ever encountered. Thankfully, patience is among their virtues. Irv, as we call our Rv, has never even thought about 7% grades, or what it would mean to go up one. Our average speed was about 25 mph and the engine was running loud enough we couldn’t talk without yelling. Which was fine as we didn’t really have much to say – the scenery continued to overwhelm.
The Ute Mountain Pass started as a buffalo trail. Crazy huh? Then the Ute Indians used it as a pass through the mountains. Then it became a wagon trail. Then a rail way line. Now it is a 4 lane highway US 24. It begins in Colorado Springs near Manitou Springs and winds it way up through Waldo Canyon, the site of a great fire in June 23, 2012. The canyon is recovering very well, but the devastation caused by the fire is still very evident.
We passed through Cascade, CO and I saw a sign denoted “Pikes Peak Road” to the left. This made me very excited, I always had a slight fascination for Pikes Peak. I recall reading about a race to the top, as a small boy in Pennsylvania. I remember that it captured my pre-computer imagination and I fantasized about being a race car driver conquering the Peak. Now, as an adult in my second childhood, I could realize that dream, slower and in a passenger car, after paying the entrance fee and driving really slowly, but a dream realized is still a dream realized! I put “Racing…errr…driving slowly up Pikes Peak on the must do soon list right then and there!
We arrived at our campground, Rocky Top RV Park. We were there quite early and had to wait around for them to open up. We found a spot to park and sat outside. The view from our camp was more then enough to keep us occupied while we waited. This was the first time I had ever been at that sort of elevation. It does have a very real effect. I found I had to do things slower. I also found, I had to drink mass quantities of water. Over time, I acclimatized but it did take about a week or so. Even then, a slower pace was mandated.
Eventually, someone opened the place up and we registered and we got our spot. We proceeded about setting up for the next 30 day stay, excited and as I recall, cold….as the camp host, Ciniy, told us “You’re at 9000 feet, anything can happen.” We soon found that prophecy to be very true!