In the Saddle With Thunder Roads

Here’s a “loop” for you. It’s about 200 or so miles depending where you start, but one of your favorite breakfast spots is always a good way to get everyone together (we all like to eat) and plan your ride). Get a map and draw your route, plan your stops because you don’t want to ask for directions. Since I’m in Colorado Springs, I’ll start there. Going north on 83, go past the blinking yellow light at the intersection of 105 and 83 and make a left on County Line road. This takes you over I-25 and down into Palmer Lake, where you make cross over the railroad tracks making a left and then a quick right on 105.

This is a beautiful road that takes you through farm and ranch country and even a few buffalo can be seen here. Be careful, some of the curves are not well marked. You’ll eventually come to a T at 67, where you’ll go right and end up in Sedalia. Take a left on 85N to Titan Road and head west. When you hit the Safeway, turn right and follow the road down to 121 where you’ll turn right and head North to Deer Creek Canyon (just short of 470). Turn left and when this road T’s, turn left again heading for Turkey Creek. Have your passenger watch for you. There are eagle nests in the area and many birds of prey. Rest assured that if you see deer on one side of the road they’re on the other side too. Now you need to head for 285 and South to Conifer and Pine Junction further on down 285. Take CR126 left and head for Pine. Slow Down!

Look for the library in Pine and go left. You’ll be going up a hill on a washboard and dirt road that follows a stream with some of the most massive boulders you’ve ever seen.

Take it slow, enjoy the ride and soon you’ll find yourself in the ghost town of Sphinx Park, CO where one of the few remaining buildings is the “Bucksnort Saloon”. When you enter this ramshackle building you’ll notice the many napkin drawings, signed dollar bills, beer cans like “Old Frothingslosh”, a sign that gently says something like “If you’re in a hurry go to McDonalds.” Just look up and look around; you’ll see something new every time you come back. The beer is cold, the burgers are juicy and if you’re lucky, you’ll find a spot on the patio over the stream. Relax, kick back and don’t be surprised if the parking lot is full of bikes and you run into someone you know.

 

Everybody has either been to or wants to go to the Bucksnort. After your break, go back down into Pine and take a left heading for Deckers. 126 turns to 67 here heading for Woodland Park. Look around, you’ll see Mother Nature reclaiming the 138,000 acres burned in the Hayman Fire in 2002. This was the largest fire in Colorado History. You can see where it jumped the road, spared some buildings while destroying others and seemed to stop and start somewhere else.

You’ll cross into Teller County (just about where Harry’s Roamers hold their Ice Races each year) as you head south. When 67 meets 24, you take a left into Woodland Park, Chipita Park, Crystola, and head down Ute Pass past Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City before getting to Colorado Springs. 24 runs into I-25 and you can head North on I-25 to Interquest Parkway, take a right off the highway, continue straight and you’ll find yourself on 83 where this all started.

If you’re coming from the north, west, east, just pick up the route where convenient for you, then follow the directions. Check out the Biker Friendly listings for places to stop, eat and get refreshments along the way and don’t forget to gas up.

Steve ”We’re burnin Daylight” Barrette

Edited by Joe F.