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July 21, 2022

Wichita State University Plane Crash

Today, I decided I'd go up and do some preliminary scouting of the Wichita State University plane crash in 1970.

On a Friday afternoon in 1970, the Wichita State University football team was attempting to cross the continental divide near Silver Plume, Colorado en route to play a football game in Utah in a Martin 404 airplane. But they couldn't climb fast enough, and the pilot flew the plane into the continental divide on Mount Trelease near Silver Plume, Colorado. It killed pretty much everyone on the private plane.

This guy does a pretty good job of explaining what happened and hiking up to the site.

Today, I decided I'd try to ride up and 1) find the location of the memorial to the team members that died in the crash and 2) find the trail-head of the trail that leads to the remains of the plane crash.

First, I rode up to Silver Plume, a small town just above Georgetown, CO. As part of my research, I was surprised to learn that Silver Plume was much more complicated than I'd realized. All I knew about the town was that it had a building or two in it and I never stopped there because it doesn't have a McDonald's, a Carl's Jr., or a Wendy's.

But, as it turns out, Silver Plume is somewhat like Georgetown, an old town from the 1860's sort of waiting to be discovered. I stopped and talked to a woman walking her dog, and apparently they do have some business on the weekends, with tourists stopping in for ice cream, etc.

Then, I got on I-70 and continued west. I was looking for the memorial to the people that perished in the WSU plane crash back on Friday, October 2, 1970. I was eventually able to locate the memorial on the North side of I-70.

As you go west on I-70, just past the Herman Gulch Trailhead Exit (Exit 218), at Mile Marker 217.4, you will see a large black electronic road sign over the westbound lanes of I-70. At this same location, you may notice power lines crossing the interstate. One tenth of a mile west of the road sign and the power lines, at Mile Marker 217.5, a small creek named "Dry Gulch" goes under I-70 flowing from north to south. On the north side of I-70, on the banks of this small creek is where you'll find the monument to the plane crash and the people that perished in it.

I found the memorial today, roughly 52 years after the plane crashed.

Here is a link to the WSU plane crash memorial.

If you have any trouble locating the memorial, it's fairly easy to bounce back and forth between the two exits off of I-70:

If you pass the memorial and you're westbound on I-70:
1) Take the Loveland Pass exit (Exit 216), and go back east to the Herman Gulch Trailhead Exit (Exit 218)
2) Get back on I-70 westbound, watch for the large road-sign crossing I-70 westbound and the power lines crossing the interstate. On the shoulder on the north side is the WSU plane crash memorial beside a very small ditch/creek (named Dry Creek).

Now, to get up to the actual site where the plane crashed, you have to stay on I-70 westbound to the Loveland Pass exit (Exit 216). Take the Loveland Pass exit (Exit 216) and double back on to Forest Service Road 193.1 heading north-east. After about 1/2 mile, there is a locked gate preventing you from driving any further. If you continue on foot, this dirt road FSR 193.1 will go northeast, then turn north, then it becomes a steep hike up to the actual plane crash site.

Get to know this 1.7-mile out-and-back trail near Silver Plume, Colorado. Generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 1 h 0 min to complete. This is a popular trail for hiking and walking, but you can still enjoy some solitude during quieter times of day.

Length = 1.7 mi
Elevation gain = 488 ft
Route type = Out & back

This guy explains how to hike up to the actual site of the plane crash.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 21, 2022 at 9:57 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

July 14, 2022

Crossed Continental Divide 5 Times Today

Today, I summited the continental divide 5 times on the 2017 Honda Africa Twin. My ride went like this:
1) Jones Pass - Elevation 12,454′. (Still snowed in at summit.)
2) Berthoud Pass - Elevation 11,306′.
3) Loveland Pass - Elevation 11,991'.
4) Webster Pass - Elevation 12,103'.
5) Johnson Tunnel - Elevation 11,158'.

Here's a map that shows pretty much where I rode today.

12:34 pm - Leaving house. 0.0 miles. 83F.
Lunch in Idaho Springs.
2:30 pm - Trailhead at Jones Pass. 54 miles. 75F.
2:40 pm - Jones Pass summit. 58 miles. 78F.
3:20 pm - Leaving Jones Pass summit. 58 miles. 73F.
3:50 pm - Trailhead at Jones Pass. 61.4 miles. 78F.
4:00 pm - Berthoud Pass summit. 69.7 miles. 68F.
5:00 pm - Loveland Pass summit. 104 miles. 63F.
6:00 pm - Webster Pass summit. 121 miles. 67F.
6:20 pm - Leaving Webster Pass summit. 124 miles. 59F.
8:06 pm - Home from 1 hour plus ride back in rain storm.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 14, 2022 at 11:39 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

July 13, 2022

Today's Ride

Today, I rode up to the summit of Mt Evans, highest paved road in North America. It's the 2nd time I've been up there this year. First time was on Friday opening day, Friday June 10th 2022.

I pulled my old trick of not paying, but this time, they remembered me apparently, and she asked me "Are you just going to the top and then come back down?"


And that was it. So, I headed up Colorado State Highway 5. Still lots of snow, plus there was a storm moving in, but I managed to ride through it and make it to the summit. It rained on me on and off. I got some shots of the wild goats along the way. At the summit, I went and sought shelter in some of the collapsing, aged buildings up there. Took a few pics and then made it back down off of the mountain without incident.

I carved the date in a wall of snow (7/13/2022) and got some pics of the bike with a wall of snow behind the bike to prove that the passes are still snowed in in July. Global Warming is real, people.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 13, 2022 at 11:26 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

July 12, 2022

Today's Ride (Fire in the Mountains)

So, today (Tue 7/12/22) I figured I'd get up and go for a little ride. I got up and rode up the Coal Creek Canyon to Gross Reservoir and down into Boulder on Flagstaff Road. Then turned back up into the mountains on Highway 119 to Nederland where I stopped for lunch.

Then, south on Hwy 119 to Rollinsville, and west on Highway 16 to Tolland, and then the Moffat Tunnel.

From there, I took 117 up to Yankee Doodle Lake. Above Yankee Doodle Lake, it was still snowed in, so I turned back. Was not able to make it to the Needle Eye Tunnel. From the West, the road is called Corona Pass. From the East, it's called the Rollins Pass. I always forget how rough the road is up to Yankee Doodle Lake. It's about 10 miles from the Moffat Tunnel to Yankee Doodle Lake, but it takes about an hour each way.

Then, I came back down to Highway 16, and went east to County Road 4N at Tolland. Then up County Road 4N and east down into Apex. Then down Apex Valley Road to 119. South on 119 to Black Hawk. Then up to Central City to the Central City Parkway.

Stopped for peaches at the squatch store. Then home through Evergreen.

Looks like my ride today was 126 miles over 6 hours.

Then, I get home and learn that there's reportedly a fire burning out of control down at Mount Lindo. So, I ride down to check it out. Access to Mount Lindo is blocked, so I go down US 285 and see smoke from a fire burning up on Mount Lindo. Helicopters are dropping water on it steadily and refilling at a lake nearby. So I roll down the hill to see where the helicopters are getting their water. As it turns out, they're refilling at a very close lake down at Fox Hills Road and Belleview. Fortunately, they have the fire under control, so I ride home.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 12, 2022 at 10:02 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

July 10, 2022

Lower Chinns Reservoir

So today, I decided I'd ride the Africa Twin up to Lower Chinns Reservoir. This is one of the lakes Jen and I used to camp at. I had a sort of vague recollection that it was a rough road, but it seems like it's worse every time I do it. I did manage to make it up there though. The cabin is about 1/2 collapsed now. So I got some pics and then decided to try to make it up to Loch Lomond. So, I came back down the harrowing dirt road and headed up to try to make it to Loch Lomond. But there's still a locked gate. Someone that I ran into said it was supposed to open on the 15th, so I'll have to try to go back.

At some point while I was riding amongst the lakes, Mark contacted me about a person in trouble on Webster Pass. My thought was that, if someone is in trouble on Webster Pass, they're on the south side of the pass. The reason being that the north side of the pass is a cake walk. It switchbacks 2-3 times just above Montezuma, and you're at the summit. But the pass isn't open, and there's probably 20' of snow at the summit. But if you come up from the south side of Webster Pass, you could easily fall 100' to your death. The south side of the pass is a harrowing narrow Jeep trail up the side of the mountain on a stone path about10' wide. No place to turn around. Extremely dangerous. So, if someone was in trouble, they came up from the south side, I offered.

To get from Bailey to the south side of Webster Pass, you go 14 miles south on US Highway 285 and take Park County Road 60 (at the bottom of the east side of Kenosah Pass).

On County Road 60, go 5.1 miles. The the road will do a switchback to the right. Just past the switchback is where you turn left onto Webster Pass (Forest Service Road 121) and take this road to the summit of Webster Pass. However, I suspect that there is 20' of snow at the summit and the pass is not open from the south side..

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 10, 2022 at 9:44 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

July 9, 2022

Jones Pass, Berthoud Pass, Corona Pass

Sat 7/9/2022
3:00 pm 0 miles 88° F Leaving house
4:04 pm 43 miles 77° F Jones Pass trailhead
4:30 pm 46 miles 77° F Snowed in at Jones Pass summit (12,454 ft)
5:00 pm 50 miles 73° F Jones Pass trailhead
5:15 pm 58 miles 73° F Berthoud Pass summit (11,307 ft)
6:15 pm 82 miles 73° F Corona Pass summit (11,660 ft)
6:40 pm 82 miles 73° F Leaving Corona Pass summit
7:20 pm 96 miles 74° F U.S. Hwy 40
7:45 pm 108 miles 65° F Berthoud Pass summit (11,307 ft)
8:30 pm Sunset
8:39 pm 155 miles 70° F Home

Time:: 5 hrs 40 mins

Trip map

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 9, 2022 at 10:10 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

July 8, 2022

Ptarmigan Pass

So today, I decided to go for another ride. My iPhone 6S was restored to a semi-functional state. After riding in the rain for an hour or two last Sunday(July 3rd) to Ptarmigan Pass, it stopped working, so I took it to uBreakiFix 8246 W Bowles Ave Suite Q, Littleton, CO 80123 Phone: (720) 912-8283 on Monday, but that was the 4th of July, and they were closed. So I went back on Tuesday (July 5th), and they were open, but they said they couldn't fix it, and referred me to Discount Cell Phone Repair (720) 473-9291 at 1500 W Littleton Blvd unit 114, Littleton, CO 80120.

Of course, without a cell phone, it's nearly impossible to just drive across the Denver metroplex to a specific address. But somehow, I got there and dropped off the phone on Tuesday July 5th. They said it would be ready on Wed July 6th. So, I went back on Wed July 6th and picked it up. It works better now. Not perfect, but it basically works.

Today is Friday July 8th, so I figured I'd get on I-70 and head west, knowing that there'd be traffic from the cagers getting off of work and heading up to the mountains. My main goal was really just to do Ptarmigan Pass again, because I really liked my ride when I did it last time (I think it was Sunday July 2nd).

So I went west on I-70 through the Eisenhower Tunnel (1st crossing of continental divide), then down into Silverthorne where I stopped and ate at McDonalds. I met another guy who was also on an Africa Twin also eating at McDonalds (Jaime Carrillo). So, I added him into my contacts, as Brian and Leslie don't respond to my texts, for whatever reason, so I deleted them from my contacts. May as well try to meet some new people to ride with.

Then, I-70 west to Colorado State Highway 91 South (I exit just before Ski Copper). Then south on 91 across Fremont Pass (13,319'), 2nd time I crossed the Continental Divide, and then, just north of Leadville, I turn right onto U.S. Highway 24 and take that road over Tennessee Pass (10,424') (3rd time crossing continental divide) and down into Camp Hale. At Camp Hale, I head up towards Ptarmigan Pass. It's a very easy dirt road, somewhat rocky in places, and on the way up, I see a furry creature off of the shoulder of the road. This was exactly 2.4 miles up Resolution Mountain Road from the trailhead down at Camp Hale. My best guess is that it is a family of Yellow-Bellied Marmots. I stop and shoot some photos of mom, dad, and several babies. Making careful note of my location so I can find them again. Would be cool to set up a gamecam and get some shots.

At 7:00 pm, after riding 124 miles, I depart from Camp Hale, and head towards Minturn. This section is really breathtaking. At 7:30 p.m., I've gone 86 miles and I reconnect with I-70. Now, I'm heading west, back towards home, running balls out. Trying to get home before dark. Running triple digits pretty much the whole time. Go through the Johnson Tunnel (4th crossing of the continental divide). Get home at about 8:50 pm after riding 221 miles.

Now, I'm thinking that next time I go up that way (Ptarmigan Pass), I'll set up my gamecam and see if I can get some more shots of the marmots.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 8, 2022 at 11:20 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

July 5, 2022

iPhone 6S Plus

So, my iPhone 6S+ quit working, and it won't take a charge. Fortunately, I had a spare iPhone 6S+. So today, I went down to uBreakiFix Mobile phone repair shop Littleton, CO · In Chanson Plaza. This is down on Wadsworth and Bowles. I tried to go down there yesterday, but they were closed due to 4th of july apparently. So I went back today, but they directed me to Discount Cell Phone Repair 1500 West Littleton Blvd Unit 114 Littleton, CO.

But without a functioning cell phone, it's impossible to find anything. So I had to draw a map on a piece of paper to find the place.

Then basically I just got on Bowles and headed east until I found it. They were able to activate my 2nd iPhone 6S Plus so at least I have a functioning phone. They told me to come back tomorrow (Wed July 6th) to pick up my other phone which they're repairing, apparently.

Update: Went back today (Wed July 6th) and they have my iphone working. Turns out that one of my iPhone 6S Plus iPhones is 128 Meg and the other (the backup) is 64 Meg. So, they couldn't copy all of my files over to other (backup) iphone. However, they did get the iphone working, so now I just need to figure out how to back it up at my house to my home computer network so I won't lose everything should this happen again.

Discount Cell Phone Repair

1500 West Littleton Blvd Unit 114
Littleton, CO.

Map to Discount Cell Phone Repair

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 5, 2022 at 4:53 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

July 3, 2022

Ptarmigan Pass

So, today's ride looks something like this.

Today is Sunday, July 3rd, so you wouldn't really think that the traffic on I-70 westbound going down Floyd Hill would be backed up, but you'd be wrong.

I wanted to see what Ptarmigan Pass was like. Brian and I did it a long time ago...crossed the creek above Red Cliff and came up through a creek bed to eventually emerge on top of Ptarmigan Pass. But Brian's not interested in riding anymore for whatever reasons, so I figured I'd check out the section of Ptarmigan Pass above Camp Hale (assuming it's open, of course).

Forecast shows rain, but I figure I can eat in Leadville and duck out of the worst of it. So I take I-70 west to Copper, and take Colorado State Highway 91 south over Fremont Pass and down into Leadville.

It starts to rain, so I stop for lunch in the Golden Burro cafe. I'd planned on this, as there was rain in the forecast, and I wanted to explore some around Leadville, but planned on just eating lunch waiting for the rain to pass.

After lunch, I decided to go and check out Turquoise Lake, Camp Hale, and Ptarmigan Pass.

Continue reading "Ptarmigan Pass"

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 3, 2022 at 11:33 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

July 1, 2022

Magnolia Mill

So today, I figured I'd ride up to the Magnolia Mill above Montgomery Reservoir. I was just at the Montgomery Reservoir 2 days ago, but I wasn't aware it was there. I saw it once I got home and was looking at photos of the reservoir on the internet. So today, I figured I'd go back up there and check it out.

So, my ride was down US Hwy 285 to Fairplay (Kenosha Pass, Red Hill Pass). Then, at Fairplay, I rode around through the town some...it's all on the west side of Colorado State Highway 9. Very cool old town, and I'd been through here before, but it's been a long time and I'd forgotten about the old downtown section.

Then north on Colorado 9 and up to the Montgomery Reservoir, and this time I got to the top of the reservoir and explored the Magnolia Mill. It was constructed in the 1860's. Very cool old building. You could have gone inside of building, but there's lots of signs that say it's under surveillance, etc.

Then, I decided to check in on my buddy Brian, so I rode over Hoosier Pass, down through Breckenridge to Silverthorne. I stopped in unannounced as he was returning from water skiing. So, we caught up a little bit, but it seems that he's not riding any more these days. So, I guess I'll have to find someone else to ride with.

Then, I rode home on I-70. Because today is Friday, and a long (4th of July) weekend, I-70 westbound was a parking lot. By the time I got to Floyd Hill, westbound traffic was just gridlocked. (Fortunately, I was going east.)

Looks like I rode about 166 miles in 5 1/2 hours.

Passes: Kenosha Pass, Red Hill Pass, Hoosier Pass, Eisenhower Tunnel.

Posted by Rob Kiser on July 1, 2022 at 9:55 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink