Yesterday's ride was truly an act of "independence" as we created a new ride that was not on our original Courage Tour of Colorado. And to commemorate this ride, we rode Independence Pass all the way down to Cañon City—a total of 110 miles!
After starting near the top, we rode the switchbacks down and around Mt. Elbert. Mt. Elbert is the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains of North America. At 14,440 feet, it is the second-highest mountain in the contiguous United States after Mt. Whitney in California. We descended rapidly to the first stop, Twin Lakes.
Twin Lakes feeds into the Arkansas River, our constant companion as we rode down US-24 to Buena Vista and then into Salida. Down from the mountains and into some of Colorado's finest agricultural country was an enjoyable experience—seeing farms, flowers and assorted livestock along the way.
From Salida we headed east towards Cañon City. We were still along the Arkansas, and rode along US-50 up and around the Royal Gorge before we hit Cañon City. Cañon City's downtown area is listed on the National Historical Register for its abundance of turn-of-the-century architecture. This historical town was the prefect place to end another perfect ride.