PlaTe and Fork Included LbNA # 22487
|Placed Date||May 24 2006|
|Found By||Fork Finders|
|Last Update||May 23 2009|
PlaTe and Fork Included
From our Packin’ It In box, instead of returning back to Conifer, for this box you’ll need to head downhill (left as you’re leaving the parking lot) for a few miles to the bottom of the hill until you get to the meeting of a Fork and a PlaTe. You’ll know it when you get there because you have to make a turn to continue. Before you turn left, stop at this junction and have a look at the map, and grab a copy to go with you. We’d also suggest you set your trip meter here.
The road you’ll now travel on for about 5.5 miles used to be a railway line: The Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad, a narrow gauge railway which opened up the first rail routes to a large section of the central Colorado mining district farther west. The route would have continued up river from where you turned to the town of Buffalo (on your map) then cut over to Bailey and followed what is now 285 over Kenosha Pass. At the town of Como it split, with one line serving Leadville and the other going to Gunnison.
The company operated as an independent railroad from its founding in 1872, until it was sold in foreclosure proceedings in 1889. During its short existence, the part of the line that served this area was very popular with visitors from Denver and the Front Range. This stretch of river had many late 19th century resort hotels which served summer visitors. We found some great old photos while researching this area! Keep your eyes open now that you know some of its history and you might notice some remnants of that time as you drive along this very scenic route.
For a map of the route served by this railway you might be interested in the hot link above or http://www.narrowgauge.org/ncmap/excur4.html
At approximately 5.5 miles from the junction where you turned left you’ll come to a popular spot where picnickers and kayakers and even more Forks and PlaTes meet. (You’ll really know what we mean if you have a look at that map we told you to pick up.)
An old hotel adds to your PlaTe collection as well, and you should park in the lot across the road. This hotel used to be a boarding house that served the RR siding here. (The Denver Public Library has a picture at http://photoswest.org/cgi-bin/imager?10013621+X-13621) Note the building on the right was located where the parking lot is now.
The parking area is in Jefferson County, but crossing the bridge will put you in Douglas County. This will be confirmed for you by noticing how the road numbering at the bridge changes depending on which way you’re facing. Because of which “nearest town” we’ve picked and the directions to this box, we’ve chosen to list this box in Jefferson county, though technically it’s just barely into Douglas County.
The blue sign on the Jefferson County side is badly obscured by bullet holes, but if you look you’ll see that this area is the North Fork Historic District and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Cross the bridge by foot from the parking area then Fork left onto a small trail on the other side and head downstream for a very short distance until you get to a pulley system that crosses the river overhead with a small green building on the other side of the river.
From this pulley you will see a tall single pine tree on the right side of the trail up ahead. From this single tree walk approximately 55 steps and you will come to a double tree also on the right of the trail. Now about 20 more steps down the trail, and again on the right you will come to a triple tree. From this triple tree take a bearing of 140 where you should see a large boulder on the hillside. Look in the crack on the downhill side and under this boulder for your prize. Please remember to rehide well.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning some history about this area and hope you’ll find a nice picnic area to enjoy some lunch while further exploring this area. We’ve provided some PlaTes and Forks!
Handmade stamp and logbook by Benchy, with ink for stamping in but no regular pen.
Kid, dog, kayak, and wheel friendly. Once you get to the place where you'll park, this is a drive by.
We are a combined entity which has, for what it's worth, disbanded under this trail name since this box was placed. HOWEVER: One of the placers is still very active. It might be a bit until messages are received/acknowledeged under addres but WILL be read...just don't be surprised if it takes as long as a month to hear back, however.
For that reason please, please send online status as is it likely to be ages between maintenance calls!
of the Forkfinders
Forkfinders (Lunchy and Benchy)
Take the Fork in the Road….