Day 18 – Agate to Elevenmile Canyon

Overland Camping Roadtrip Blog

Travel Day 18:

Total km driven to date: 4001km

Total km walked to date: 140.35km

Agate, CO – Elevenmile Canyon, CO

242km drive

9.28km on foot

Once again I have skipped a few days while I was at a race event, please check if you are interested in a full race write up and photos.

                The heat decided to show up in force today, gone are the thunder clouds of last week and summer came and smacked us in the face. Nothing like waking up with a hangover at 7:30am because the camper is already 27* and there is no breeze to cool things off. I started my morning off giving Big Rich, Shelly and Josh a hand tearing down the race course and packing up all their gear. Those guys do this week in and week out and its crazy the amount of work they put into each event, then they are off for another 900miles to Indiana for another race next weekend. My hats off to some of the hardest working people in off-road racing today! Without those 3 none of these events would happen and its great to be able to help out.

                With the thermometer hovering in the mid 30’s and most of the gear packed away I took my leave of Agate and the W.E.Rock guys and turned my truck back west to start the trek towards San Bernardino California for the next Ultra4 race taking place in 19 days. That gives me a lot of time to cover the 1500km and Utah and the red rock country in my sights. Time for a slower pace and an opportunity to work on more of my fine art photography. I hopped on I-70 towards Colorado Springs where I would head back into the Rockies and hopefully cooler temps for at least a few days (its going to be brutally hot in Utah and Southern California, I’m dreading it already with my thick Canadian blood and my furcoat wearing co-pilot). After the town of Limon I got onto the US-24 Hwy and headed through the pastures and fields with the mountains looming in my windshield. Getting to Colorado Springs I was hot and tired and dusty so I took very few photographs, which is a shame because CO Springs is one of the nicest towns I have passed through yet. Reminding me of Victoria with the new mixed with the old and large trees and shady streets with the mountains in the background. I continued up the US-24 out of CO Springs and it was one of the most beautiful drives I have done yet, amazing red rocks and huge interesting boulders surrounded by pine trees and Pikes Peak in the background it really is a great drive and a great place, I highly recommend it.

                The road climbs from 6000ft in CO Springs up to the pass at 9000ft while passing thru the gorgeous town of Woodland Park. With a mix of ski chalet style and south-west it is a great little town nestled in the Rockies. By this point it was getting later in the afternoon so I started looking for a place to stay for the night. I have learned the trick to camping for free and that is to get into a National Forest (of which there is numerous, this one being Pike National Forest) and look for a sign that says “National Forest Access” its not a campground it is just dirt of gravel roads that don’t have gates that allow people to access the back-country. Since I don’t need any of the amenities of actual campgrounds nor do I like the price this little discovery has saved me lots of dollars and taken me to some amazing places off the beaten track. Driving through Lake George, CO I saw one of the above mentioned signs and headed about 5km into Elevenmile Canyon down dirt roads before finding a small spur road with some assorted fire-pits nestled under the pines. The landscape is very reminiscent of the Okanagan with very little underbrush and ponderosa pines everywhere. I set up camp and had my first hot shower in days and even spent some time hand washing some laundry. Now that the thunderstorms have passed my clothes will actually get a chance to dry hanging outside so it was time to wash some of the Rangely and Agate dust out of various things. Then it was a lazy night reading my book and working on photos with a goal tomorrow to head towards Vail about 150km away. Life is good. Early to bed, a new adventure awaits tomorrow.   

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