A couple notes and some more pics from the road

Starting today we will be away from civilization for some time and not near any internet so there won’t be anymore posts or pics for a time. We will be heading, via Glenwood Springs, to the northwest corner of Colorado into the southwest corner of Wyoming, and then into the hills in idaho. This will involve two nights of camping off the beaten path and three nights in cabins with no electricity, and no where along the way do we expect much for phone signal or internet….But it should be fun!

There are a few more links for pics from the trip, but I would like to note that James has an amazing camera and a skill for taking pictures, so if it seems that I appear in more pics, that would be the reason. Sorry for seeming like a camera hog but I am fortunate to be the subject of several of James’ fine pics.

And here are the links for the new sets, first Hole-In-the-Wall: http://www.flickr.com/photos/66514673@N05/sets/72157627389286393/

A few various Colorado pics including Doc Holliday haunts: http://www.flickr.com/photos/66514673@N05/sets/72157627516670764/

And finally some pics from a ghost town we tooled around in: http://www.flickr.com/photos/66514673@N05/sets/72157627392362923/

There will be many more pics taken but I am unsure as to when I can post them, but I will make an effort to do it as soon as the opportunity arises. Keep praying for us.

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On the trail of Doc Holliday

Since I last posted, we headed south from Laramie to a cabin in the San Isabel forest of the rockies. We decided for speed and so we ended up cutting right through Denver, which was a bit of a downer, but we pushed hard that day and made it to San Isabel. We had a beautiful cabin that was more like a home and we felt a little spoiled for a couple of days, but man was it nice.

The weather was great and we had a lot of sun, though a few rain showers did pass through. However, there was one appearance by mother nature that we had no indication would arise as an issue. Our first night in the cabin we were relaxed sitting around, doing whatever. At about 11:30 in the evening we felt the cabin sway like something heavy had pushed it. Alarmed, we both grabbed our guns thinking that it might have been the local bear attempting to try and get in a window. Granted pistols aren’t going to be highly effective aganst a bear, but aything would be better than nothing we figured. So as we went cautiously from window to windwo peering out in the grass, there was nothing to be seen. On guard, we went back to our activities but still confused.

It turns out, as I was alerted by text from JoAnne the next day, there had been an earthquake centered just an hours drive from us in Trinidad. Finding out was something of a relief that at least we didn’t need to be concerned with bears climbing in a window.

Now since we had a couple of days without travel, I decided to head to Pueblo, which was about forty-five minutes away, and see if I could locate any old buildings of significance. Most had been rebuilt since the early 1880’s, but I did locate an old building where Doc Gambled and the train station area where Doc and Wyatt met up with Bat Masterson.

When it came time to leave we followed a path that took us through the Royal Gorge Canyon, where Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp (among many others) helped Bat Masterson in the Royal Gorge war. Later, we passed through St. Elmo, an old mining ghost town that was set way back in the hills. And finally we made it to Leadville, Co. where Doc Holliday lived for four years before moving to Glenwood Springs and finally died of tuberculosis.

James and I, after unloading our bikes into our room, strolled the town and located several buildings and locations where Doc operated. One was the Tabor Opera House where Holliday led Republican meetings in Leadville (bet nobody expected that), a saloon where he was rumored to have frequented, and finally as it turns out, the most momentous of all…it turns out that in the historic hotel where we are staying Doc Holliday lived for eight months before moving tot Glenwood Springs! I talked to the man at the desk and found out what room he had been in and coincidentally James had taken a picture of me right outside it just earlier in the evening.

Tomorrow we’ll be looking around town a bit and then heading to Glenwood Springs to see the facility where Doc was cared for as he died, and then the location he was buried.

Some new pics as of 8/20

We’re in Laramie Wyoming following a few nights out in the way-back woods. The dust was thick and I fear the smell may have been also. Needless to say, we both agreed that a hotel with hot tub was in order, plus it gives me a chance to post some new pics. Below are the links to go to the flickr account that has them.

These are pics from Yellowstone and the cabin after: http://www.flickr.com/photos/66514673@N05/sets/72157627356279053/

And these are pics from Deadwood: http://www.flickr.com/photos/66514673@N05/sets/72157627481383526/

Hole in the Wall

Let me preface this post by saying a little something about the “Hole in the Wall” area. This was an actual hideout used by many outlaws in the old west. Butch Cassiday and the Sundance kid were the most commonly known of the big names to have made their hideout there. Many others reportedly used the place as well. What was it? It was a narrow passage through a canyon where lawmen could not pursue do to the dangers of the outlaws gunning them down as they entered. Inside was a large ranch area with several regular folk living there and running the place. Today the ranch is still there but owned privately and a person has to purchase a hourseback tour, or some such thing, in order to see the actual precise location, which James and I were not inclined towards.

All that being said, here’s how this comes to be significant.

After coming to terms with the fact that the Badlands would not be do-able we set out for the Hole in the Wall hideout. It wasn’t too far a ride and we were able to get in the area in plenty of time that day. As we headed out of Casper going west then north towards the supposed location, nothing at all on the horizon looked like anything even remotely interesting. We headed north on a small road that turned from pavement to gravel and still the scenery was about as exciting as cow pastures in Texas. An hour and a half or so of riding and things started to get interesting. Finally we came to a bluff and stopped to look over, and what we saw is in the picture below.

We were blown away, antelope could be seen playing in the valley, running back and forth; the red rock that jutted from the ground was glowing more and more as the sun lowered. It was tremendous to say the least.

We got back on the bikes and made our way to the bottom of the valley and followed an old dirt road that was so chewed up that it was actually easier to ride in the grass to the side than it was to attempt to manuever the lanes. Unfortunately even that became to much for the bikes and we headed back to the valley floor that we had observed from the bluff.

Not sure what was private property and what was not, we chose a spot behind a small rise that kept us hidden from anyone who may happen by, thought that seemed a scarce possibility given the remoteness of our where-abouts. We made our camp and settled in, all the while in awe of our surroundings, which hadn’t ceased even with the setting of the sun. The stars that came out were more than one can fathom to see from many places. The moon had not yet begun to rise and therefor cast no light, allowing the stars their full brilliance. James whipped out the camera once again and after some skillful manipulation of focus and shutter-speed, produced some pictures that still baffle me when I see them.

Setting up camp in the valley below

The next morning came and needless to say the rock walls were something to see in the rising sunlight, but we felt we shouldn’t press our luck in our clandestine camp, so we packed up early and rode out.

Back on the trail

Once our time was up in Deadwood we were both eager to hit the trail and make camp back among the stars and the critters. We initially intended to bunk down somewhere in the badlands but after a beautiful descent from the Black Hills we paused in Rapid City when we saw on the horizon, directly over the Badlands, some of the most monstrous clouds we had seen on our trip. We grabbed a quick lunch and thought we might wait it out, but as the clouds appeared more and more to be resolute in their positioning over the badlands, we gave ground and determined to alter our course.

After some deliberation and ponderance with regard to the weather patterns over the western states we agreed that doubling back into Wyoming was our best bet. And since we were denied our time in the Badlands we figured the best alternative would be a slow easy roll to the Hole in the Wall gang territory in Wyoming.

The sun setting from where we were camped

The first night after Deadwood, rolling south from Rapic City, we crossed the border back into Wyoming and felt that we had made enough ground and started looking for a place to lay our heads come dark. We found an old dirt road and followed it to a place that fit the bill perfectly. The terrain was beautiful grass prairie mixed with some sort of strange hard clay-like formations. We saw countless deer and antelope, mixed with jack-rabbits and geese, and were fortunately spared any snakes or coyotes.

Following our night sleeping out, instead of returning to our point of entry to the dirt road, we gambled on it coming out near where we were headed to, and twenty-plus miles later it did. Which was possiby the most animal filled road we traveled so far, with countless deer and antelope running along side, and even some free range cattle scattered about the road in one or two spots.

If there were any stretch of roadway that could be comparable to this one for most wildlife it was definitely the Hole in the Wall territory. But then Hole in the Wall had everything beat on sheer amazing beauty. That’ll be in the next post.

Deadwood SD

We’re in the town where Wild Bill Hickock was shot and killed in 1876. We got a room at a hotel called the Bullock Hotel, apparently constructed by the central figure in the HBO show Deadwood. A really cool fact about the hotel, or in particular our room, is that in 1879 the whole town burned down but the part of the building where our room is lasted through the fire and is the very same building we are staying in. The front portion of the building was burned, however, and rebuilt in the 1890’s.

Upstairs to our room

We decided to alter our plans a bit and stayed an extra night here so we could take some time to enjoy the atmosphere and take in the town a little better. It’s a really cool place once you can get your focus past all the slot machines. The saloon where Wild Bill was killed is long since burned but the rock foundation that made up the walls is still standing and the original place was preserved by Bill’s good friend Charlie Utter. So that was a pretty amazing thing to witness: the place where Hickok was killed.

Tonight I plan to do a little gaming, so hopefully I win more than I lose. Also, I’m gonna try and get some pics posted from the trip up to now.