About this event
GOLD-BELT BYWAY OFF ROAD TOUR
Join us in your "road appropriate" Porsche or off-road vehicle for this scenic tour.
We will meet at Porsche Colorado Springs at 8 a.m. Please park next door at Colorado Springs Powersports (945 Motor City Drive).
Please complete the PCA Off-Road Driving Tour Self-Inspection Safety Checklist (link below) before arriving and bring to check-in
(required to participate in this off-road tour).
The tour will take you through Phantom Canyon, lunch in Victor, visit to Rita the Rock Planter Troll, and continue along Shelf Road, ending on Cañon City’s Skyline drive followed by an optional early dinner at Anneliese German Cuisine restaurant.
This could be considered a group training drive, for club members to go out on their own later in the year for leaf peeping season. (Leaf peeping is an informal term in the United States and Canada for the activity in which people travel to view and photograph the fall foliage in areas where leaves change colors in autumn An organized excursion for leaf peeping is known as a foliage tour or color tour.)
Phantom Canyon Road
This road is one of the most scenic and historic drives in Colorado. The route increases in elevation from 5,500 to 9,500 feet and offers the chance to see a wide range of plants and wildlife in their natural setting. The gravel road follows the route of the Florence & Cripple Creek Railroad built in 1894 as a connection from Florence to the goldfields of Cripple Creek and Victor.
The unique bridges and tunnels offer a visual link to the area’s historic past. The road condition and narrow bridges encourage people to slow down and view the scenery. Twelve stations were established along the F&CC Railroad grade to service the trains hauling coal and supplies upgrade and gold ore downgrade to Florence’s smelters. As you drive the route, interpretive displays and signs designate the historic sites along the Gold Belt Line.
EARLY LUNCH STOP
Gold Camp Bakery
They offer a wide selection of German and American items. Their German menu selection is not as sweet as the typical American pastries. For lunch they offer sandwiches on their freshly baked breads, salads, soups, chicken pot pies, miner’s pasties. They have a wide selection of cakes, pies and cookies, etc. We can call ahead to order pies and desserts for take home (Address: 112 S 3rd St, Victor, CO 80860).
Rita the Rock Planter Troll
"Rita is next to an old gold mine that is like from the mid-late 1800s where people would come with pickaxes and dig holes and try to search for the gold ore in the ground," Sculptor Thomas Dambo explained. "She took a nap back in the late 1800s and when she woke up here again, she noticed a couple of small holes in the mountain," Dambo said with a smile on his face, "and she said 'Oh that's dangerous, maybe a squirrel or a human or somebody would fall into the hole and get hurt' so that is why Rita is now covering up the holes so nobody will get hurt" Dambo famously already created one of his 100% recycled wood troll sculptures for Breckenridge, Colorado, which since its installation in 2017, has had its own legendary tale and even a reggae song dedicated to the difficulties in the placement of the wooden giant.
Shelf Road transformed an untraveled wilderness into a major route for the stagecoaches and freight wagons traveling between the Arkansas Valley and the Cripple Creek Gold Mining District. The rugged route’s name is ‘THE SHELF’, a five-mile stretch of road that hugs the sheer rock walls of above Fourmile Creek. Originally called the Cañon City and Cripple Creek Toll Road, Cañon City’s business leaders financed the road. The toll collectors lived in small cabins nestled at either end of the Shelf and collected tolls every time a horse, wagon or stagecoach passed. The toll varied from 30 cents to $1.75 for single riders, wagons, and stagecoaches. Ranchers driving cattle along the road paid for each head. Eventually, competition from railroads put the toll road out of business. Fremont County purchased the road and opened it as a free road. This road has made for a memorable trip since its construction in 1892 so be prepared for a driving adventure.