Views from Rampart Range Rd.

Rampart is one of the forest service roads running from Colorado Springs, passing by my town, Woodland Park, and continuing on North along the front range of Colorado.  We do tours up there during the Summertime but only the bottom 6-7 miles so that is the part I know best.

The first time I traveled this road was back in 2007 when my friends picked me up from the airport and took us to Woodland Park the back way in their minivan.  It’s a story I like to tell, mainly because if someone in a minivan can drive it, it’s really not that rough a road.  I’ve passed many a regular car up there and would have thought my own Chevy Blazer wouldn’t have much trouble.  Well…

That’s never happened on a tour.

The good news: the tires were only a year old and I made sure to spend the $15 extra per tire for lifetime warranty.  I’ve already got two new free tires out of that deal.

On rough roads in Colorado, you’ll find plenty of people willing to stop and help change a tire.  Unfortunately, none of them will be pretty girls.  Oh well.

Workin’ on the railroad

This is the cog railway that goes from Manitou Springs to the summit of Pike’s Peak.  2018 was the first year since 1891 that it didn’t run, which was a big bummer for a heck of a lot of people: if you read any brochure or article on the best things to do in Colorado Springs, the cog railway was always #1.  It’s owned by the Broadmoor Hotel, they had about a century of deferred maintenance to address, and what they’re saying is that it’s going to cost $95 Million to fix, and all the parts have to be machined from scratch from a company in Switzerland.

Thankfully, the Broadmoor has plenty of money and the last I heard, they’re saying that the railway will be up and running in 2021.  Never having ridden the train before (I thought I had plenty of time), it was a gigantic bummer, so I’ll be one of the first in line to get tickets once it comes back.  I took those pictures while we were waiting to hear of the assessment’s findings.  This train pictured was evidently their maintenance engine, probably the last time I saw any train on top of the mountain.

Here’s a picture of Ridgerunner pointing out the wear in the track:


Fujicolor 200 in the Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 80.  Autofocus at its finest…

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Dogs I have lived with

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Pinto and his brother Malachi were puppies we got from our friends the Beards, I think back in 1995 or so.  Malachi died rather young being hit by a car, but we had Pinto for a long time.  Pinto was supposed be named Mordechai (see the Biblical references there?) but due to my brother’s speech impediment and the fact that he was his dog, we went for something more obvious, either a pinto pony or pinto bean.  Personally I think he had more in common with the bean.  My mom took him with her when she moved out to Colorado in 2006 and he died about a year later.


ca. 2006 with my mom’s digital camera

My mom’s next dog she named Mr. Snerdly, however I refused to call him that.  He was The Snerd. I wouldn’t say I don’t have any bad memories of him, but he’s the least annoying dog I’ve ever known.  My mom had to put him to sleep just last year, and it was hard on her.


ca. 2017, Fujicolor 200 in the SPII

Scarlett was one of my mom’s best friend’s dogs.  They keep getting more dogs and Scarlett was old and cranky about it, so my mom took her.  She was a real escape artist, couldn’t be kept behind a fence no matter how tall it was.  They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but I got her to sit and shake my hand pretty easily: she couldn’t eat until she gave me her paw.  I was up there for a few weeks but didn’t ever take any pictures of her there; I thought about it right before I traveled to SW Colorado for a film festival, and decided to do it when I got back, by which time the dog was dead.  I took this pic at my mom’s friend’s house, the only one I have.


ca. 2016, Superia 400 in the SPII

When I lived in Colorado Springs back in 2017 Jake was my roommate’s dog.  Very old, and never that much trouble…if you could see him.  It turns out he had a very bad vice: he loved to eat books.  And not ratty old paperbacks, he’d go after the fine expensive hardcovers.  He got into my room several times to raid my bookshelves through no fault of mine, though thankfully my roommate replaced everything Jake destroyed.  Which included a photo book, one or two nice coffee table books, and a blu-ray set from the Criterion Collection.


ca. 2017, Double-X in the AE-1

Lucy is a dog belonging to friends of mine, I’ve known her for several years now, because I’ve housesat for my friends for a few years now.  She would bark at something late at night or early in the morning, waking me up so that I’d have to go yell at her.  Point of interest: it takes me quite a long time to get back to sleep once I’ve woken up.  I seemed to have broken her of that, but she plays up to her fanbase by barking when her owners are home and of course they don’t seem to care as much as they should.  I rented their downstairs for over a year but that ended when they moved to Nebraska; I can’t say I’ll miss all the barking.


ca. 2018, Kodak Gold 200 in the SPII

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