"A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do." -Bob Dylan

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The place is haunted! And I don’t believe in spooks!

After that thing with Mark Francis I got to thinking..

-There was another mysterious death long ago almost in the exact location. Couldn’t find any info but rumor- legend has it one of the brothers killed the other one-
Use to be Bald Eagle Mine now it’s called Two Brothers Mine.

-In the 1980”s my neighbor Doc was murdered on Alps Mountain in Russell Gulch

-It has always been a hideout for people seeking to escape the law or society.

The thing that persuades to believe in this phenomenon the is a dream I use to have when I lived in Russell Gulch and St. Mary’s.

I kept having this reoccurring dream. As I am walking along the snow covered mountainside, I slip and start sliding down a gully, I’m headed right towards a mine shaft, I can’t stop no matter how hard I try, I slide right into the mine shaft. I remember hearing if you are falling in a dream and you hit you die!, I keep falling , splash the shaft is full of water, I look up and see stars. I remember hearing if you look up from the bottom of a mine shaft you can see the stars during the day. That’s it I would have this dream several times a year.

I had forgot about the dream. Last year my daughter wanted to get into spelunking. I picked up a couple brochures about local mine tours . This was on one of those.
Need fix printer and scan document fixed

-On an outing with friends, an individual fell to his death in a snow covered mine shaft at the Glory Hole Mine - I lived only a few hundred yards from the Glory Hole!
And after I found the document I saw there was more weirdness in the general vicinity.
-A 17-year old Aurora youth was seriously injured when a motorcycle accident hurtled him 200 feet down the shaft of the Glory Hole Mine-
-A 45-year old Lakewood man was killed when he fell into the Glory Hole Mine in Gilpin County

-Does anyone know where Kurt Luco is? That was the question around here many years ago. He was found at the bottom of _____ mine in his truck- need to research more it was not that long ago.

I think I’m whacked!
Remember I don’t believe in spooks.
That place just does not feel right.
Hopefully it’s not a premonition.

Murder on "Oh My God" road

From the Denver Post--

Murder on "Oh My God" road
In 2002, 23-year-old Mark Francis was shot to death in a brutal
"practice killing" by a friend who will be sentenced Monday to life in
By Steve Lipsher
Denver Post Staff Writer

Central City - By the time a cell-tower maintenance man found the
remains of Mark Francis, his body was covered with snow and frozen to
the ground, and his midsection had been consumed by a mountain lion.

The 2002 discovery, along with 19 spent bullet shells surrounding
Francis just off the "Oh My God" Road above Idaho Springs, would
remain an unsolved crime for months until some careless burglars began

Their story of a trap set on a dark night, of a friendship betrayed
and of a "practice killing" will put shooter Brent McKellip in prison
for life when he is sentenced Monday.

"This was just the sickest thing," said Central City Police Sgt. Mark
Douglas. "What kind of friends would do this?"

The story began four years ago, when McKellip, then 22, recruited his
younger cousins, Zach McKellip and Troy Santarelli, to team with him
in a home-invasion and ex- tortion ring - a "mini-Mafia," according to
Douglas, a Clear Creek County sheriff's deputy at the time.

"At one point, Brent suggested that they should each kill somebody for
practice, in case they had to kill somebody during their break-ins,"
Douglas said.

In February of that year, they even cased a metro-area shopping center
in search of a victim - but grew bored and turned back.

A short trip to reload

At a drunken 18th birthday party on Feb. 28 for Zach, McKellip
announced that he would shoot Francis - Zach's lifelong best friend -
that night.

"Zach just goes along with it and says, 'All right,"' Douglas said.
"He later said he thought it was just booze talk and he didn't think
it would happen."

With Justin Reents, McKellip and his cousins persuaded Francis to go
with them to the top of Virginia Canyon to retrieve a truck they had

Parking in a pullout from the gravel "Oh My God" Road - so named for
its precipitous drop-offs and tight switchbacks - the group headed
into the woods. Zach and Justin sprinted off into the trees,
suggesting later that it was to avoid being around if McKellip was
serious about killing Francis. Meanwhile, a drunk Francis played "hide
and seek" among the pines with McKellip.

When the unwitting Francis reappeared, McKellip shocked him by pulling
out a 9 mm handgun and shooting him the first time. Then - as the
wounded Francis shouted, "Stop! Stop! Don't do that!" and curled up
into a fetal position - McKellip fired three more times.

Francis lay squirming with pain and gasping for breath, while McKellip
trudged 500 yards through knee-deep snow to his Chevrolet Suburban,
retrieved a clip of 15 bullets, and returned to fire them into his
victim from point-blank range.

Mark Francis, who was 23, died in the snow that night.

The group drove back to Idaho Springs in complete silence, other than
the ringleader saying: "It wasn't like TV. He didn't fly through the
air," Douglas recalled from interrogations.

Remorse reveals crime

When Francis didn't show up for his March 7 birthday party, his family
reported him missing.

A drifter who hung out with a rough crowd, he had a fiery temper and
drank too much, said his father, Pat. But he also had a kind side and
a ribald sense of humor.

"He was a warm person. Little children and pets would come up to Mark
like he was a magnet," Pat Francis said.

A good carpenter, self-taught mechanic and all-around handyman,
Francis had moved to Leadville in search of work in the weeks before
he was slain and seemed to be on the right path.

But his best friend Zach kept bringing him back to a lifestyle of
booze and drugs and into the deadly web of his older cousin.

On March 18, nearly three weeks after the slaying, McKellip and his
cousins forced their way into the home of a Jefferson County couple
and robbed them at gunpoint. Before departing, McKellip warned the man
not to alert law enforcement and instructed him to get $500, which the
group would come back to collect the next day.

Sheriff's detectives, staking out the residence the next day in a
marked car, were amazed when the culprits returned.

"These guys weren't rocket scientists," Douglas said.

Meanwhile, Douglas was close to connecting the McKellip clan to
Francis' death, but his case was largely circumstantial.

Facing 10 years in prison for the robbery, a remorseful Zach started
talking. The others reluctantly corroborated the story.

"At his sentencing, Zach said: 'Your honor, I'll always have to live
with the fact that on my birthday, my best friend was murdered and I
wasn't brave enough to prevent it,"' Pat Francis said.

In exchange for their testimony, Zach McKellip and Troy Santarelli
pleaded guilty to felonies but were not given additional time on their
sentences in the home-invasion case. Charges were dismissed entirely
against Reents, the teen who was said to have no part in the murder

Friends and relatives built a small stone cairn beside the dirt road
where Mark Francis was left to die.

"He was lured up there and shot in cold blood just so Brent could
prove that he could do it," said Mark Hurlbert, the district attorney
who won a first-degree murder conviction against McKellip after a
nine-day trial in March. "Mark Francis just happened to be in the
wrong place at the wrong time when Brent was looking to kill

Kind of weird i found that surfing.
I still remember when that happened.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Silver Creek

I have ridden Silver Creek almost every month of the year. Today looked like a good day to add December to that list.

Front Range Banana Belt


Growing up in Evergreen I remember this as being the Banana Belt now Buena Vista gets all the credit.
Most of the area can be ridden all winter.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Area 28 timeline-a recollection

1970’s- Bob Young leases property north of hidden Valley from state.

1975- roll mom’s Land Cruiser up Gilson Gulch. Get kicked out of the house.

1978- Move to Russell Gulch

1980- move into cabin at St. Mary’s

1982- Gilson Gulch is blocked by locked gate.

1985- O.B.S.C. is formed . Gilson Gulch is one of the local rides

1990- Adam? From the U.S. Forest Service (also an O.B.S.C. member) does an environmental assessment of area 28 for the Forest Service.

1993 The end of O.B.S.C.

1995- County starts working on land transfer from BLM

2000- BLM transfers land to Clear Creek County.

- Bob Young buys property east of area 28 from county.
- Idaho Springs acquires area 28 from the BLM






4/9 img



2009 ?
Ten Day Jacks is sold before Idaho Springs can purchase it for area 28 access


March 4 -no new trail

Jerry at Mt. And Road Bicycles approaches me about getting together some beginner trails near Idaho Springs. We discussed possibilities. Nothing had been done with area 28 I told him I thought this was a good start. I told him if he talked to the town administrator and if area 28 was a possibility I would put a proposal together.

As I was hiking area 28 I noticed anew trail that wasn’t there just the month before

MTBR post-got my dander up today- sorry gone removed

Presented proposal to city council - still haven’t heard back.
Sounds kind of hopeless. A real can of worms now. But they said area 28 was public property and I would not be trespassing there.

So I decided to carry on as always. After all I have been traveling this route forever.Just thought I would try and help out.


Discover turn off new trail into area 28

Post new trail on MTBR


Where do we go from here now?

go riding

September 17,2011
-Clear Creek Watershed Foundation
what’s going to happen with Gilson Gulch and Area 28 now?
Just thought I would see what the Clear Creek Watershed Foundation was all about.
They had a big ado in town last weekend.
I.S. did say we would be ridding around windmills.
Looks like things might get interesting in CC

319 Grant Projects - Gilson Gulch & Upper Trail Creek

Gilson Gulch Orphanage 1500 Suitable Acres


Clear Creek County Board of County Commissioners
Goals & Objectives

“Pursue and encourage opportunities that promote healthy stewardship of public lands” tup

Hopefully this will lead to more mtb opportunities and support from the local community.
I’m trying to remain positive but mountain biking doesn’t bring in that much revenue for the county. They prefer things that bring jobs and economic growth http://www.clearcreekwater.org/pdfs/RESymposium-Resource-Book-Feb-'09.pdf. Hopefully we an change that viewpoint.
Wonder if they will put bike racks on those trains?

I need to new place to get away to

Virginia Canyon has been my hang out in the winter for years now. The place is just getting way too crowded and it’s just not the same as it use to be. I’m kind of a recluse and need my space.

I’ve been thinking of a place not too far away.
It's been 15 years and it doesn't look like anyone has found this place yet.

I think it will work just fine.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Does it matter what’s right and what’s wrong?

It seems Big Money always wins out.

Just look at the government

We the people.

Do we stand a chance?


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010


A.K.A. CR. 279 or Virginia Canyon. This side of the hill remains snow free most of the winter making it the perfect place for a winter xc ride or shuttle. Before the construction of Central City Parkway this was a major route between Idaho Springs and Central City. The area is rich in mining history. At one time Central City was proposed to be the State Capital. It was also known as the richest square mile on earth.
Not much singletrack but there are a ton of roads to explore. From Russell Gulch you can also get to Fall River, St. Mary’s, Mammoth Gulch, Rollins Pass, Nevadaville and Central City.

Rode Virginia Canyon the other day -to the county line and back down Gilson Gulch. Not much snow anywhere. Hard to believe they have had 11 feet of snow this season already at the divide.

From Area 28