Day Nine - Cripple Creek CO to Salina KS
Miles: 539
Elapsed Time:

Breakfast was a bit of a fiasco as Sebastian and Winzi waited for service. Jim, Steve, and I found some fruit and bakery goods downstairs and made that work. We headed out towards Victor stopping at an overlook just west of Victor. We also stopped in Victor to look around some. The town was busy with activity as the sidewalks and many of the buildings were being re-done. I was through the area in 2008 and it was getting a little run down so maybe they were fixing it up to in competition with Cripple Creek. The town of Victor is smaller and less commercial than its sister city four miles away, but they share a common history in gold mining that reached its peak in 1900 but has come back some in recent years and there is currently an open pit mine just north of Victor. After some pictures we continued up C67 toward Divide. We rode over to Woodland Park and began our run towards Manitou Springs and Pike’s Peak. We got to the entrance of Pike’s Peak and the Ranger told everyone that the speed limit was 25mph and we should obey that and to ride carefully. We gathered shortly after getting through the gates to set the order and get the GoPro ready. Steve would follow Winzi and record his climb up the mountain. Maybe we should have said something about the speed limit and adhering to it, as Winzi and Sebastian had become accustomed to disregarding the speed limit mostly from watching us. So, Winzi took off like a bat out of hell and we all followed. We were passing cars on the road as if they were standing still and not to mention passing on double yellow. When we reached the top a Ranger approached us and reprimanded us for racing up the mountain. I’m not exactly sure how he knew but he was not happy. I think Sebastian summed it up properly by stating “ah, he probably has to say that to everyone on a motorcycle”.

The road is now paved all the way to the top which wasn’t the case the last time I rode up, and it is like a race track. Once above the tree line there are no guard rails and the views are completely open, and it seems as if you could just fly off the cliff. We saw the cog railroad arrive and did some souvenir shopping and made one last group picture then decided it was time leave. We went back down in a slower fashion than we went up and took our time although we did make a couple of passes. Back down we took off some layers as it had gotten rather warm and headed to Manitou Springs. Once in Manitou Springs we stopped at the Royal Cafe which is another tradition but since they have no food we just had a beer and moved on to the Keg Lounge where we had another good buffalo burger. It was a good lunch but it was well after 2:00 and we still 500 miles to ride. Sebastian and Winzi would go back to Denver and drop their bikes off. We bid a final farewell and wished a safe ride and off we went. We skirted around Colorado Springs and jumped on C94 for a two-lane blast out to Oakley where we hit I-70. We rode straight through to Salina targeting an arrival that would allow us to have a beer at
Big John’s Brewing Co. We made it just in time for last call but the people there were so nice they fed us some leftovers they had and kept the place open until we had our fill. It was a long, long day but we made our destination in time. We had planned some different routes that would allow us some interesting alternatives to I-70 but in the end we decided to take more time with Sebastian and Winzi and we needed to make time.