Day 7 may have gone a little different if my motel had had a guest laundry. I don't mind washing my clothes, but I just hate being stuck at a laundry mat for 2 hours. With that in mind I turned right out of the motel and headed east on U.S. 50. I had 3 destinations for the day, the ghost town of St Elmo, Pikes Peak and a place to lay my head when I got tired, anything in between would be a bonus.
You would think after traveling a few thousand miles (most in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado) I would have learned the local gas rule, "1/2 a tank or less? then stop at the next station you see", that would have been Poncho Springs, but not me I'm a "run it till your on fumes" kind of guy. After an extra 25 miles for gas I was on County Gravel Rd 162 heading for St Elmo.
St Elmo is a very well preserved ghost town. The reason? Because all of the people have driven the ghost away. St Elmo is privately owned so there is limited access to the buildings, viewing is basically from the road and boardwalk. I was still able to capture a few interesting images. There is another ghost town farther down the road, but that road is gated. More Private property.
Not long after leaving St Elmo I was heading east on U.S. 24, next stop Pikes Peak. Actually my next stop was a little shade along the road to eat left over pizza. When I arrive at the Pikes Peak toll booth I'm told it's $9 to enter, and I'm also told that the road is paved, gravel, paved and more gravel. In parting I'm told that I picked a good time to visit as the road is in excellent condition for the International in 4 days time. I would hate to see the road when it's in poor condition. I now have a new found respect for the drivers who compete in the Hill Climb, they either have some really big brass balls or a total lack of reality. The summit is shoulder to shoulder people. It doesn't take much time to see the sights and I'm on the way down.
It was late afternoon when I stop for gas in Colorado Springs. The plan then was to head towards home stopping for gas & food when needed, when I needed a rest I would look for a place to stay. I stopped for supper at Taco Johns in Goodland, KS after that I had no good reason to stay in Kansas. There would be no sleeping until I could sleep in my own bed.
I had watched the sun set in my mirrors as I approached Kansas and as I crossed Missouri I watched the sun rise. the last 100 miles were the hardest, I was ready to hit the hay. I'm a little gray on the exact time I arrived home, but I do remember figuring I had been on the road for 22 hours. A day later I figured the mileage as being 1048 per google. After a quick shower I was asleep before my head hit the pillow, not to fully awaken until the next morning.
See you on the road.
P.S. I will post a summary of the trip and some thoughts on what is to come. It shouldn't take to long, it just needs A/D conversion (it's all on paper). Check back soon.
|Road Trip 2009 Highlights|