SuperShuttle got me there just after 7:30 am, tons of time to spare, flight to Colorado Springs via DFW uneventful. As was getting the rental car. I start driving up into the mountains on US 24, since I decided to take the slow, scenic route to Denver, and I'm already tempted to get out the boots and start hiking. But I decided after 9 hours in/on terminals/plane/rental car lines I'm not going to do that. I did walk around a small town called Green Mountain Falls for a bit, but I did miss the Kermit the Frog Mountain on 24 west. Walked a short road and pedestrian only road to get a limited view of the falls themselves, but had neither time nor hiking shoes to start hiking up the mountain. So on to Woodland Park I went, where I found a City Market to get some bread to make sandwiches for this week's hikes, and some disposable cameras. I took several pictures of an awesome shot of Pikes Peak that I will share when I get back to VA and have them developed.
After leaving Woodland Park, I took Colorado Route 67 north to the tiny town of Deckers. And I mean tiny, a couple houses, one bar, and ice cream shop. Before I got there, I drove through a good part of the site of the Hayman Fire, which was so large and vicious it turned the sky in Aurora, CO, at least miles away, near black at 4 pm the first day it really spread. Six years later, you can still see how the reforestation process is just beginning.
At Deckers, I took a right towards Sedalia then stayed on the road towards US 285. South Platte River Road became North Platte River Road (unpaved) then South Platte River Road (unpaved). This was a real, real, unpaved, narrow back road that followed the South Platte River but went on forever. I passed about 20 camping spots and portable bathrooms. This would be a great road to go 4 wheeling and/or mountain biking on, driving, not so much. But it feels great to be out in Colorado again, and was awesome to be in the mountains, even if I don't start hiking until tomorrow. I even got a shot of the old South Platte Hotel where the north and south forks of the South Platte River meet. Read more about this wonderful river. The hotel was an old railroad hostel, and I have a picture where it's not flooded. When I get back to VA, right now I'm tired and need sleep.