Nate, Karen, Sally and I took off on a chilly Saturday morning (after a stop at Horseshoe Donuts for breakfast) to explore. Our only set destination was Bishop’s Castle, an hour and a half south of Colorado Springs. We ended up driving from there to Colorado City to Pueblo to Cañon City to Salida to Johnson Village before heading back through South Park to Colorado Springs. By the time we were through, we’d gone 400 miles. Our route looked like this.

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And there was hardly mile that wasn’t scenic. We drove south through the Arkansas River Valley and up into the Wet Mountains.


After touring Bishop’s Castle (next post), we had no cell coverage. We picked the direction that we thought would most quickly lead to a bathroom and ended up in Colorado City, out on the plains. We headed north on I-25 to Pueblo. Our first stop was the levee along the Arkansas River. Since the 1970’s, this has been the canvas for local artists who have created the world’s longest mural (so designated by Guinness). In recent years, portions of the levee have been replaced, so it’s not what it once was. We never did find access to the river bank. We did find a less-than-pleasant parking lot in a less-than-pleasant neighborhood where we could see some of what is left.



After lunch at Pass Key (which received mixed reviews), we headed west to Cañon City (post after next). 

I drove west on Route 50 through Bighorn Sheep Canyon. By the time we got to Salida, it only made sense to head north to Johnson Village and then back to Colorado Springs on Route 24.


Coming out of Bighorn Sheep Canyon with the Sawatch Mountains in the distance.


Heading north from Salida along the Sawatch Range. That’s Mount Antero (14,269′) on the left and Mt. Princeton (14,197′) on the right.


During the day, we saw huge herds of Pronghorn, a herd of Mule Deer, three Bighorn Sheep, and two Elk (walking across an open slope just west of South Park).

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