I left my road trip series hanging back in February – still more of the story to tell! I also have some updates about my family history and genealogy work at the end of this post.
This series of posts is about my grandparents’ 1923 honeymoon road trip to Colorado. Previous posts in the series have been:
After their stay in Overland Park in Denver, the group headed south to Colorado Springs, this time to yet another auto park, “Stonewall Park.”
It still exists as a campground; today it is known as the Garden of the Gods RV Resort, and a little bit of noodling around on Google Maps shows that to this day, the RV park is encircled by that same stone wall.
The Stonewall Park campground provided a convenient home base for the next big adventure: the ascent of Pikes Peak!
The year before, in September of 1922, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb was especially noteworthy. The race was won by a handsome Nebraskan from North Platte, 23-year-old Noel Bullock. He won the race in “Old Liz”, his stripped-down Model T Ford. His success came as a shock to race promoters and especially the financial backer Spencer Penrose. They changed the rules the following year so as to keep Bullock from even competing. You can read more about Bullock’s feat here and here.
I’m sure this was inspiring to anyone in Nebraska who owned Model T. I wonder, did this motivate the group to travel down to Colorado Springs and climb Pikes Peak themselves?
Going to the top of Pikes Peak was all the rage. Helpful maps and guidebooks were published. Here’s one that shows three different trips: the road to Cripple Creek (in blue), to the top of Pikes Peak (in red) and to “The Horns”, a scenic rock formations on Cheyenne Mountain (shown double line blue and pink). I don’t think the group went to The Horns, but they did make it as far as the Seven Falls, still a tourist trap today! Here’s side-by-side photos of the Seven Fall then and now.
I’m not sure if they did the Seven Falls trip on the same day as the Pikes Peak ascent; that would have been a lot of driving in one day.
They did make it to the top…I think. The top photo is what the summit looked like in 1922; the steep dropoff to the left is called “Bottomless Pit”. The bottom photo is Grandma’s and she has noted that the view is from Pikes Peak and is labeled “Bottomless Pit”.
I’d like to get to Pikes Peak sometime and see if I can find this same vantage point! Her photo actually looks like it might be a little further down the mountain and not actually from the top.
After their adventures in Colorado Springs, they headed east toward Kansas to meet up with some of Lawrence’s relatives. Stay tuned…
Update on General Genealogy Stuff
Yes, it’s been a long time since I last posted and there is much new to report in my life.
- I am retired as of July 1! The last few weeks on the job were busy and stressful and I totally fell off the wagon as far as keeping up with my “52 Weeks” series of posts. Apparently, I should have called it “18 Weeks”. But that was fun, I might try it again next year.
- I am VERY busy with genealogy stuff. First was to do a major housecleaning of miscellaneous bits and pieces of research cluttering my desk and my computer. I got that done a few weeks ago and BOY does that feel good.
- I signed up for a Genealogy/DNA course which started three weeks ago. This is a very intensive online program that meets weekly and has lots of homework. It’s fabulous! We are encouraged to apply what we learn to our own case study. I so badly wanted to see if I could make any progress in finding out more about my 4x-great-grandfather John Fraser. I am fortunate to have Y-DNA testing by a direct-line male descendant, cousin Bruce. Unfortunately, this has turned out to be an “advanced” problem so I had to take on something a bit easier. So instead of a Fraser question, I have turned my attention to the Pearson family and will try to prove using DNA methods that John and Andrew Peterson of Sauk Centre, Minnesota were brothers of Christian Pearson of Weston, Nebraska. I am learning a lot and will look forward to applying my newfound knowledge to, someday, sticky Frasier and Dill questions that have had me stumped for years.
- I will be traveling to Utah in January to attend a week-long Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) course on Advanced Genealogical Methods.
- I am continuing as webmaster for our local Swedish Genealogical Society of Colorado. We have kept the group alive and even thriving through the pandemic and are hoping to return to in-person meetings again in January.
I am mulling over the idea of going for a professional certification – not to start a new career but just to prove something to myself. I’ll see how it goes after SLIG. I don’t want to turn a joyous hobby into something that feels too much like work.