EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - Off-Roaders, hunters and campers were asked to stay off Old Stage Road Sunday to prevent further damage to the vulnerable road.
Sunday's sun coupled with cool temperatures and trees' changing leaves drew drivers to Old Stage Road. The fun ended where the road turned from pavement to gravel: drivers who ignored the road closure signs came face-to-face with a deputy with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office. Only residents and customers of businesses along Old Stage Road were allowed to keep driving.
"I've turned away approximately 70 to 100 people, just this morning on my shift," said El Paso County Deputy Richard Dorsey.
Old Stage Road is a hot spot for off-roaders, campers and hunters.
"We were going to go jeeping in the mountains," said Brad Varvil-Weld.
"This is my weekend hobby, is coming up here," said Christopher Ouzts.
Old Stage Road was the worst hit road in El Paso County during flooding almost three weeks ago. The road was almost completely washed out in some places. Repairs are underway, but some portions of the road are still only wide enough to fit a single car.
El Paso County Sheriff's Office deputies are overseeing the entrance to the gravel road to make sure unwanted drivers stay out.
"You go off-roading where the roads are torn up, they're going to tear it up more and (the road will) have more problems later," said Dorsey.
It wasn't the news Varvil-Weld wanted to hear. He drove all the way from Denver.
"It's kind of a bummer. I probably should of looked on the Internet first, but hopefully it gets fixed," said Varvil-Weld.
Early estimates suggest it will cost $800,000 to repair Old Stage Road.
The road is only open to residents and customers of businesses along Old Stage Road. It will stay closed to all other drivers until repairs are complete.