Friday, July 28, 2017

South Park City, CO - Part 2

The area around Fairplay sprung to life after Gold was discovered in 1859 in Tarryall Creek, a tributary of the South Platte River. Mining camps sprung up all over South Park, but the "Gold Rush" was short lived, and hard-rock mining took over for the next 30 years. When the mining heyday ended, most mining camps were left to decay, except for Fairplay, Alma and Como.

South Park mining history

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

South Park City, CO - Part 1

Nestled in the centre of Colorado lies "South Park City", a historical collection of original buildings from the gold mining heydey of the mid-1800's, opened as a museum to the public in 1959. This museum is actually an extension of the historic main street in the town of Fairplay, which was established in 1859 during the Gold Rush. Fairplay only lies 15 miles east of the town of Leadville as the crow flies, but 72 miles by modern day road, or 85 miles south-west of Denver along highway 285.

South Park City

Monday, June 19, 2017

Wyoming Territorial Prison

Laramie, Wyoming, does not naturally spring to mind as a destination from Northern Colorado (no offence intended). The City of Laramie sits just north of I-80, 50 miles west of Cheyenne, and is perhaps fair to say more of a "Gas Stop" for visitors heading west to the Snowy Range Mountains or Yellowstone, East to Vedauwoo, Gurt Gowdy etc.

Laramie however, is home to a really interesting historic museum, the "Wyoming Territorial Prison", well worth the small $5 entrance fee. This historic prison was built in 1872, and operated for 30 years as Wyoming's only federal penitentiary, its most famous inmate was "Butch Cassidy".

Wyoming Territorial Prison

Thursday, May 18, 2017

London to Brussels - Day 6 (Euroexit & Conclusions)

Day 6: Brussels to London (May 11th, 2017)
3.21 miles, 89' Elev Gain, 6.9% max grade, 11.2 mph Avg (click for route map)

Technically the bike tour was not 100% over, we still had 3.2 miles left to cycle to drop the bikes off in London. Our Eurostar train back to London did not depart Brussels until 12:52, so we had the morning to wander and explore. Brussels is a bit of an odd city, to me it felt like it lacked an identity, the Grand Place and museums are about the only "attractions". It was still pleasant enough to wander around though, and check off the list.

Grand Place

London to Brussels - Day 5 (Flemish to Francais)

Day 5: Ghent to Brussels (May 10th, 2017)
45.9 miles, 646' Elev Gain, 6.7% max grade, 12.4 mph Avg (click for route map)

Ghent was probably the most surprising city we visited on this trip, may be because I had never visited it in the past, and was very pleasantly surprised. Onward to Brussels though, our final day of cycling was upon us. It was another 8am start, mainly just to leave us some leeway for stops, and to be sure we arrived at Eurostar baggage drop off with plenty of time spare to transport all 11 bikes back to London (2 riders were continuing onto Amsterdam).

It was another nice sunny morning, but a chilly 48f (9c). We were all dreading the possibility of having to tackle Tram tracks again, but the worst obstacles we came across getting out of town were cobblestones and a construction site (no health and safety here, we walked the bikes right next to rotating cranes and construction vehicles).

For the first 20 miles we followed the canal and route LF5 again, as we had on Day 4, this was flat and easy going, a good way to get some miles under our belts.

Very peculiar sight along route LF5