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Pictures and Stories About Bicycle Tour Adventures
Bike Touring Table of ContentsA Note About Good Bicycle Touring Literature
Hartsel, South Park, Buena Vista, Colorado;
via San Isabel National Forest, USA; July, 1999;
Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR - Segment)
Fox Run Regional Park, Colorado, USA, August, 2003
Palmer Lake Park, Colorado, USA, August, 2004
This was a two vehicle logistical operation. This is also part of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route which goes between Canada and Mexico. In fact we are inspired by one of the many maps that we obtained from Adventure Cycling (discussed in preceeding section) that covers a State of Colorado segment of the Great Divide Route. Anyway, Terry and I drove separate vehicles to Buena Vista, Colorado. We left one vehicle near Buena Vista and we drove back together to a place near Hartsel, Colorado. Hartsel is in the center of a huge mountain valley/basin called "South Park." We had planned for this to be a three day trip, but it was a too easy two day trip. In any case we had fun.
Parts of the trail, in the Pueblo area, are shared with Charles Goodnight's "Goodnight Trail." Charles invented a special cooking and food wagon for his "cowboys," called Chuck’s Wagon.
The Palmer Divide is a very interesting geographic area, as it is (reported to be) the highest point on the Great Plains and as such it traps cloud moisture from all clouds moving North or South. Additionally, the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains catches all Westbound moisture. Therefore this little spot in the US catches the weather from 75% of the compass points. The summer is not so bad (afternoon thunder showers), but in the winter Interstate 25 on Monument Hill is the first place to ice up and often the first place to close. Anyway, its a bright sunny day for us.
Monument creek (sometimes called Fountain Creek) runs from the city of Monument downstream to the city of Fountain. As in any larger city, there are a few places in town where ladies should not be alone (generally south of Bijou Street to the South end of the Springs to south Nevada Avenue) because on occasion there are a few homeless drug abuser/alcoholics that sometimes frequent just that area - Of course only a few homeless have drug habit problems. We have never had an incident at all, in fact these people have been courteous, but we know that every once in a while one of these persons has some heavy duty mental issues. We just say Hi and that is usually the response, but Dennis knows that Terry would not ride that section alone.
We've ridden as far south as the city of Fountain but we didn't ride to the end of the trail in that area and there are a couple places where one has to get off the bike to negotiate a broken trail or river bank.
The north end of the trail goes all of the way through the Air Force Academy, along the old original Santa Fe Trail, to Palmer Lake Park in Monument. Bike trail riders are usually uninhibited while crossing the US Airforce Academy (USAFA) on this trail, but note that the USAFA is a Federal property and that the USAFA is closed to the public. [Also note that if there was a recent terrorist activity, the USAFA will sometimes shutdown the trail - it is wise to check for public access - I don't know who to call but it is likely that nearby bike shops will know.] We usually have a snack at the turn around point in Monument. The section on the north end of the Air Force Academy and just north of the Air Force Academy can get pretty windy after about 2pm, it is in the open (no trees).
We typically use one of three different places to gain access the trail: