The drive to Colorado Springs was smooth and not half as boring as everybody told me it will be!
Colorado Springs greeted me with some impressive local thunderstorms. I stocked up my food and water supplies and left Colorado Springs. Next goal: Rocky Mountains National Park by only using back country roads as much as possible. To get started I drove some parts of the Gold Belt Tour. This is a gravel road that leads through the Phantom Canyon. The road used to be a train track, built 1894 to transport the gold out of the Cripple Creek Mining District. The history of the area is really interesting, some of the stories read like they are straight out of a Lucky Luke comic.
Afterwards I visited the Garden of the Gods, famous for the balancing rocks and the stone formations. From there a forest road leads into the Pikes National Forest. Tons of trails waiting to be discovered. A true off-roading and hiking paradise. I crossed quite a few burned areas. It’s a strange feeling driving through burned down forests, all that remains are dead black trees.
On the way to the Rocky Mountains National Park I crossed the continental divide on the Hoosier Pass at 3500m. The elevation is generally an interesting topic here. I think I haven’t been below 1800 meters for more than a week. The highest point in the RMNP is at 3720m. Luckily the human body is quite fast at adapting to the elevation, better than my Landy. I think it transforms some part of the Diesel into black smoke instead of horses 😀
The awesome free camp spots are also back, see the following gallery for some of the latest ones