Big Views and Mountain Passes

Written by admin. Posted in 2010 Stories From the Road

Mmmmm Sensory overload! Avoiding the interstate as much as possible I find myself going from the north end of Federal Blvd in Denver to the end of it on the south side of Denver. Mostly Mexican but also Oriental, European and BBQ. Its lunch time and I smell every one of them. Try doing that in a car! I’m hungry now, but I can’t stop yet, I just barely got started!

Trying to decide whether to turn west now or continue south, go around the corner and there it is; Pikes Peak! Going south for sure now, I have always wanted to ride to the top of Pikes Peak and my date with the nurse isn’ until tomorrow so Pikes Peak or Bust! By the time I get to Colorado Springs the rains came, my hunger is overbearing so I pull into that staple of life McDonald’s. I’m sitting there eating the big mac and watching the traffic out the window and see the newest boost to the Colorado economy, a medical Mary Jane store. I am thinking to myself, does anyone really go in them places and buy marijuana? I can answer that now, YES they do! In the half hour I was there five people walked in and walked out with little white sacks. Other than one kid who looked like a stoner, the rest looked like my neighbors. How convenient too, across the street from McDonalds. I’m sure there is a Baskin Robbins around here someplace.

Between the rain and work related phone calls, I ran out of time to go to the top of Pikes Peak. I can do that some weekend, its close enough.  The rain finally lets up on the west side of Wooodland Park and I go over my first of what I know is going to be many Mountain Passes. Wilkerson Pass is a small one and I know of no significant history or even how it got its name but a Mountain Pass nonetheless.

After passing a group of Hells Angels gassing up in Hartsel I end up staying in one of my favorite Colorado towns of Buena Vista and also one neat little motel. Jackie and Phil own the Pinon Court Motel and treat you like gold, plus a little garage to park your scooter.

I am already at 8000 feet above sea level and the big views around make me even higher!

I have the urge to put myself in places I shouldn’t be, dangerous places I don’t belong, unfamiliar places I don’t know. It is a vice worse than smoking or gambling.

No I don’t plan to go back to Hartsel .

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Comments (6)

  • Curious Badger


    Per a 1948 article in the Western Star newspaper, “John Wilkerson, as the West opened, discovered and named the Wilkerson Pass in the Continental Divide near Colorado Springs, on Highway 24.”

    There is also a quoted article that talks about a John Wilkerson who could be the same person. It is as follows:

    From: Citizenship Commission, Tahlequah, June 2, 1879
    Case # 97, Benjamin Brackett VS Cherokee Nation

    Petitioned for his rights as a citizen of the Cherokee Nation

    Statement of Francis Latta: I will be ninety six years old the 5th of next month. I was well aquainted with John Wilkerson in the Old Cherokee Nation. He was regarded as a Cherokee citizen. I knew his mother well
    and she belonged to the Wolf Clan. It has been about seventyfive years ago that I got aquainted with John Wilkerson.

    John and his mother talked the Cherokee language. His mother spoke broken English. John lived when I first got aquainted with him near Maker Jack Cove on the Tennessee River. John had seven children by my sister and his other wife had five. He had a first wife in South Carolina and two after he came to the Old Cherokee Nation, at least he said he did.

    End Quote

    I realize the Cherokee Nation is a ways from the pass, but the era is right and what the hell…it’s a good story.

    Sounds like you are having fun. Keep writing!


    • admin


      Thank you for that comment! you have me thinking I should have spent more time in the rest area that was at the pass now. I really appreciate the comments!


  • Warrior Stripes


    I hope you don’t decide to join an Indian sweat lodge and try out the hookah.


  • Truthseeker


    Looks beautiful! I laughed out loud when you mentioned the medical marijuana stores across from the McDonalds!

    Thanks for the history Curious Badger – that was quite interesting!!


  • Swiftwater


    I am intrigued by your mention of those Angels from Hell you saw. Did they lead you into temptation and take you into places you have no business being in? Is that why you will not be going back to Hartsel?


  • singstothehorse


    I myself like the thought of “unfamiliar places I don’t know,” but sure as hell don’t like the “dangerous places I don’t belong….” well said…. but…. I guess they can be one & the same, eh?

    yeah, love that Mary Jane store observation… I hear Colorado has “the best” shops around, AND, close to McDonalds, to boot? !!! YES!!!


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