Adventure · Travel

Rodeo revamp 2018

 

With S’mores, horseback rides, barrel racing, mutton bustin’, hot air balloon rides, firepits and live music, the COS Rodeo bring lively images of what the magic of the world looked like as a child…

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As a young adult….

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And as those who will always remain young at heart. Treasuring the simple, beautiful things about life and the magic it holds….

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A big thank you to everyone who came out and participated in our 2017 rodeo. COS Rodeo 2018 renews the spirit June 20th with the same exciting layout. Western Wednesday’s wouldn’t be the same without the amazing people who participate and attend!

-The Adventures Out West team

Adventure · Uncategorized

THERE’S GOLD ‘N DEM DER HILLS

It all started with Bob Womack, panning in the mountain creeks 18 miles (as the crow flies) west of Colorado Springs. In 1890, he hit pay dirt and the race for gold was on. In no time, the unnamed cattle field of fifteen was a town of 50,000 people.
It was not known as Cripple Creek in the beginning. It was just a cattle camp for the Welty family who had moved up from Colorado Springs because it was getting to populated due to General William Palmer and his railroad. One day while building a shack over the spring that fed the creek, a rifle accidentally discharged, scaring a calf. The critter wanting out of there right now, tried to jump the creek but banged up his leg real bad doing it. Papa Welty said, “well boys, this is some sort of cripple creek” and a town name was born.
Soon the railroads came and the town was filled with a variety of people. Men in city clothes might be mine owners, brokers or politicians. Mule skinner, miners, gamblers in fancy shoes and others rubbed shoulders on busy Bennett Avenue. Ladies in Paris gowns might be of the “Upper Tens” (the rich folk) or the “sporting women”. They lived on Myers Avenue, 433 yards of dance halls, parlor houses and pawnshops.
Womack’s mine, the El Paso Lode and the Independence mine, owned by Winfield Scott Stratton yielded millions of dollars. Stratton sold his holdings for more than ten million and went on to buy massive amounts of land in the Colorado Springs area, much of which carries his name. Womack sold his mine as well but died broke. His name lives on in present day. Cripple Creek which for years was a Summer tourist destination. In 1994, the State legislature allowed low stakes gambling to be legal and the small shops that catered to tourist needs and wants became large houses of “try your luck at the one armed bandits and card tables”. Now everything is electronic. You do not need to pull the handle anymore. Just put your money in the slot and hit the button. Bob Womack’s Casino is there along with the Midnight Rose, the Brass Ass (which used to be a store selling brass articles), Bronco Billy’s, the Double Eagle and many more.
Oh yes, they still dig for gold but not like 100 years ago. At today’s price per ounce, more than eleven billion dollars came out of the Colorado Rocky Mountains around Cripple Creek during the mining period.

Adventure · Uncategorized

MISSING STAGECOACH OF 1881 SIGHTED

Rumors persist on the recent sightings of the missing payroll stagecoach that left Cripple Creek on July 21, 1881 with four passengers and a miners payroll of approximately $120,000.00 in gold dust. The stage driver, Silas Peabody, and his shotgun man “Big Stick”, a loyal Mescalero Apache, have been sighted recently in banks and bars in and around Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City trying to exchange the gold dust for drinks, Poker games, and cold cash.
The most recent sighting of the stage coach was in the vicinity in what is today Bancroft City Park, in Old Colorado City. The authorities were called in to retrieve the coach but by the time they arrived it was gone. Over the years the coach has been sighted on the Pikes Peak Highway during the Hill Climb, at Colorado College during prom and even back in Cripple Creek.
A $50,000 reward is still in effect for the return of the gold dust. Be on the lookout for Silas and his 1875 vintage Overland stagecoach, if sighted please do not approach, “Big Stick” is known for being the fastest shotgun man in the west, and not for his sense of humor. If seen please contact the authorities at once. If the coach is found you will claim your reward.
The strangest part of the whole story is that all four passengers, of Silas’s ill fated stage, arrived at the Colorado Springs Stage Depot the next morning with no recollection of how they got there, or what happened to the stage. The passengers said the coach had a foul smell about it and the ride was the smoothest they could remember.
JJ Montana reporting

Adventure · Driver Stories · Travel · Uncategorized

The Last Stretch of Gold Camp Road Isn’t Boring

Coming north along Lower Gold Camp Road from Helen Hunt Falls, there are lots of thrilling vistas to see. Eventually, however, you get back to paved road and then cross over Bear Creek Road at the northern end of High Drive. From there it’s only a short way over to 26th Street. The views may not be so great along this brief segment of Gold Camp, but the geology – if you’re into that sort of thing – is fascinating.

First, just a few yards past Bear Creek, is the overflow parking lot for Seven Bridges hiking trail. Here, nuggets of Pikes Peak granite are piled up just across the road. Given its pink microcline feldspar, its large crystals, and its various mineral inclusions, this rock is unique to the region – and therefore, because you can also get it so cheaply, it would make the perfect souvenir of your visit for yourself or a relative.

Next, just past the trail head for Seven Bridges, you’ll see a ravine on the left where, if you look carefully, you can see that rocks of granite mingle with rocks of sandstone. At this point you’re passing over the tail end of the Ute Pass Fault, one of the major factors in our local terrain. This dramatic change in geology becomes apparent a few yards farther on, where you pass through an impressive hogback of Dakota Sandstone from the Late Cretaceous, so within a hundred yards you’ve jumped from 1.1 billion-year-old granite to 100 million-year-old sandstone.

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Finally, almost to 26th street, at Pullout # 1 of Lower Gold Camp you can see an impressive wall of sand and limestone a few feet to the west. If the light is right (best in the morning), you can see the ripples of an ancient seafloor at the southern edge of this wall, plus another small patch of ripples about ten feet to the north. This is the beginning of the Western Interior Waterway which covered the area in the Late Cretaceous. It was the shallow ocean of this period that created those ripples in the sand. Near the ripples are also raised tracks that look like those made by sea-worms. A few more feet to the north of the ripples you can see (but only if you get out and walk up close to the wall) the embedded fossil of an ammonite. It’s pretty much worn away now, but you can still make out the spiraling chambers of the shell, which are like those of its modern relative, the nautilus. Finally, to the right of the ammonite fossil are layers of whiter limestone which were deposited here during times of deeper water at the end of the dinosaur age.

-Whipper

Adventure · Travel

How to be a thrifty traveler

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Chihuly Glass Gardens, Seattle WA. Emmalee Mason, 2017.

 

I’ve met a lot of people who think if you travel a lot you must be swimming in cash and extra time, but this certainly isn’t the case in my experience.

I recently spoke to an old friend who traveled to Dublin Ireland from Colorado Springs for $200 round trip. I was shocked to hear this because just a few months ago I paid almost $300 just to go from Denver to Las Vegas (a terrible deal. If you go at the right time you can get round trip for $80).

So how did my friend get tickets to fly oversees for dirt cheap? Kayak.com during black Friday is the secret reveal for that swipe.

Traveling on a budget does require some research and flexibility – and sometimes you have to be willing to drop certain things.

For example, when I went to Seattle I spent an unholy amount of money on seeing the space needle and going to Chihuly glass gardens, but this was something in my mind that I absolutely needed to do, so I made time for it. I’ll almost always save expenses for visiting big attractions or going on a tour that covers a wide area. I make up for this by mainly eating snacks throughout the day and not a lot of huge meals.

In my mind seeing the local attractions and hidden spots are much more important than local food – I know a lot of people who are the opposite.

Financially restricted travels always flows smoother if you plan your time ahead. That way you aren’t stuck in an unfamiliar city with no idea what to do because you’ve run out of money. I get being spontaneous and finding local spots when you talk to people, but leaving your entire trip unplanned is a great way to spontaneously spend a lot of cash.

Whenever I speak to anyone visiting Colorado Springs who is unsure of what to do, I always recommend taking a jeep tour on their first day. That was they get a good overview of the historic locations, history of the town, and get to see Garden of the Gods all in a few hours. Then from here they can take things they learned about in their tour (from their local guide) and fill the rest of the day walking around town, going to museums, shops, or getting great local food.

If you are lucky enough to have a non-financially restricted vacation then hey, ever been on a balloon flight?

~Firefly

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Adventure · Driver Stories

Driver Bio- Dusty Lane

The drivers of AOW are quite the characters, the tour business is set up in a way that attracts people who are wanderers, explorers, story tellers and lovers of history. Each member of AOW has their own unique story to tell- and it’s sure to keep you spell-bound!

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One of these characters is Billy Joe, whom we affectionately call Dusty. If you’re looking for a genuine western fellow he’s about as western as a sunset. He reigns from Arizona and California, and has worked for AOW for about 20 years – since jeep tours first began.

Billy isn’t satisfied with just being a jeep guide, he’s an actor as well. You can see Billy in movies such as Tombstone and Billy the Kid, and his most recent film called The Greatest Story Ever Told. If you get lucky you might even spot him in a Capitol One commercial!

Dusty has a Harley named King David, and enjoys taking rides through the Rockies on his breaks from entertaining.

Dusty is a man of God whose always got a story and a bible verse up his sleeve.

 

Adventure · Uncategorized

I’m Shakin’

No that’s just the Quakus Tremuloidus shaking in the breeze. The first settlers called the Aspen tree quakies because the way they do. When the wind blows down the canyons the unique 3 sided stem of the Aspen leaf causes the leaf to shimmer in the breeze.

Whatever it does to the tree it works because aspens are also known to be the world’s largest living organism. That’s right, the aspen grows a new tree from the roots every year. After 20-30 years an aspen grove can have thousands of trees covering an acre or more. All the trees in the grove are attached to each other and part of the same organism. In the fall our quakies put on a show. Each organism turns a slightly different shade of golden. When they start to shimmer and the leaves fall off, our Colorado hillsides are covered with dollar sized gold pieces. “There’s Gold in dem der hills!”

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