Shuttling Vans for the Pikes Peak Ascent & Marathon (Elks Lodge 309 – COS, CO)

This is a very early morning post to fill you in on Friday’s activities.  It’s now 2:30 in the morning on Saturday and since I volunteered to drive a van to pick up runners at the top of Pikes Peak for the 60th Annual Pikes Peak Ascent & Marathon, I have to be at the starting line by 5 AM.  I went to bed early – which apparently was a mistake since I’m up already and ready to go… so I thought I’d get this post done.

After picking up the Harley from Mike’s shop, aka “Chuck’s Auto” that I left there on Thursday after the flat tire incident, (link HERE for that post), I rode over to Manitou Springs.


Stilla stayed at the lodge to spend the day at the pool with our two daughters and grandson.


I met up with about a dozen other volunteer drivers in the parking lot behind the Moroccan Restaurant next to Memorial Park in Manitou Springs to pick up passenger vans from the local rental agencies.


It took several trips back and forth from a few different rental agencies in town, but we ended up shuttling in over 40 passenger vans.



We packed all the vans tightly into the small area of the parking lot allotted for our use.


I’ll be back here before 5 AM (on Saturday) to pick up one of these vans to drive up Pikes Peak so we can shuttle the runners back down from the top after they finish their run.


We finished getting all the passenger vans by 3 PM so I wandered the tents that had been set up in Memorial Park.  This is the runner registration area, and vendors (for running-related stuff) had also set up shop under the tents to peddle their wares.  There was also a beer tent set up with tables, but unfortunately it wasn’t open yet 🙁




There was a spaghetti dinner scheduled for later on in the evening here that I could have attended, but I already had plans to meet Stilla and others back at the Elks Lodge for Pizza.

I took a ‘short-cut’ through Garden of the Gods to get back to the Elks Lodge in time for the Friday Night Pizza.


It’s always nice to ride through scenic Garden of the Gods and since I grew up here it always seems like a trip down memory lane.

When I was a kid living down the street on Beckers Lane from the Garden of the Gods Trading Post; I remember the owner’s wife (Mrs. Straussenback) would take me and my brothers into the trading post for treats.  They used to have a little glass-enclosed case with the mummy of an Indian child inside that always fascinated me.  It’s long gone now.


I rode through the balanced rock area of the Garden of the Gods.  (Don’t forget to click on the links in green-font to see more)  We used to walk here from the house as kids and play on the rocks.  There used to be steps and a guardrail so you could go on top of the rock in the middle of the road back then.



The “Kissing Camels” rock formation as seen from a distance.


When I got back to the Lodge it was Pizza time.  It was also initiation night for our friend Bob McCord.  Bob & Mary are also in the same camping group (FCRV Rolling Springs) with my Dad and stepmom Elaine.  You may remember them from previous posts.  Bob finally joined up with the Elks so he can take advantage of the RV parking at Lodges across the country, like we do.

Bob & Mary McCord at Elks Lodge 309 on his initiation night.
(L to R) Stilla, Linda, and Biff at Elks Lodge 309 Pizza night.

OK, that’s all for now… gotta run and pick up my van to drive up Pikes Peak.  Check back later for a recap of the Pikes Peak Ascent & Marathon.