Monday, July 1, 2013

Vacation pics and highlights #2: Colorado Springs

Stop #2 on our Colorado vacation was Colorado Springs. A few pictures/highlights:

Highlight #1: Pikes Peak

Starting to drive up to the top of Pikes Peak: 14,110 feet high.

One of several bikers we saw biking UP to Pikes Peak! They amazed me.
Just in case nature called during the drive...this was about a quarter of the way up.
When we crossed the treeline, that's where things started to get scary...there were very few guard rails and many, many curves like this one! Mr. M was driving, and I was gripping the door handle, and turns out we both were thinking, "We should have taken the train up....!!!" (There's a train you can ride up to the top.)
Made it! Here's the view from the top. Honestly, we weren't that impressed. It was hard to see far because of the smoke from forest fires in the area. And we both felt a bit woozy from the altitude. Mr. M actually went to see the EMT because he was feeling so dizzy. It was hard to breathe up that high, especially for us low-landers! We didn't stay that long, only long enough to eat some over-prized, bad-quality food and buy a bumper sticker that said, "I survived the drive!" (although that seemed a little premature to me!)
An example of the snow we saw along the road.
Apparently Big Foot has been seen in the Pikes Peak area!
We both were quite relieved to drive below the timberline - me especially, because I drove down partway since Mr. M was feeling so poorly. And getting back into the lower altitudes with friendly aspen trees was much appreciated.
All in all, I'm glad we "did" Pikes Peak, but it was one of the less enjoyable mornings of our trip.
Highlight #2: Garden of the Gods
The view from the Visitors Center. The whole area was breath-taking.
One of the many huge, red rocks. Look at the climber (lower left, yellow shirt) to see how big this rock is! I was wondering whether Catholic Mutt has climbed in the Garden of the Gods before!?

My favorite rock formation: "Kissing camels"

There was an easy, flat path to see a lot of the rocks up close.

We then drove to a different part of the park. Doesn't this look straight out of Lord of the Rings? All the scenery had such a magical feel to it, especially at twilight

A view of Pike's Peak from a hole in one of the rocks.
After the Garden of the Gods, we went out to eat at a great BBQ place, strolled around Old Colorado City (a gold-rush town back in the day) and spent the night at a B&B called Spurs 'n' Lace.
Next: Boulder & Estes Park






  1. I would have been so scared to drive up those curves too!!! I would have probably been dizzy too.

  2. I loved Pikes Peak when I went there with my family...I remember those curves are pretty exhilarating! We had some sort of audio-tour thing we listened to in the that something they still have there? Your pictures are beautiful! Definitely wall-worthy. :)

    1. I don't remember seeing an audio-tour offered anywhere, but we could have missed it. I'll bet that was interesting to listen to. I loved seeing the pictures of people taking donkeys up to the top! The history was really interesting.

  3. Love the pictures. Looks like it was a great trip!

  4. Love the photos! And I love the kissing camels :)!

  5. In answer to your question, yep! :) In answer to your other question at my blog about where the hike was, it was up in RMNP from one of the trailheads south of Estes. Love seeing some great pictures of some places I know! And, yes, the top of Pike's is a bit overrated. I like the view on the west side a lot better, when the smoke isn't obscuring the farther mountain ranges. I haven't done the drive, but we hiked up the back side last year.

    1. Wow, I am duly impressed about the rock climbing in GofGods. We saw several of them when we were there - amazing! I'm sure the views were unreal.

  6. Everything looks SO beautiful! Colorado is on my list of places I really want to visit! Until then I will have to keep dreaming and devour your pictures :)

  7. Amazing scenery! We went to PP & GoG on a family trip back in 2000. I loved it! I know why Catholic Mutt lives in CO - beautiful scenery!!!
    Also ... is the Bigfoot sign really NOT a joke? That is too crazy! I guess I would think it was just a joke, but I don't think they would take taxpayer dollars to make the sign ... right?

    1. Well, all I can say is that we didn't see Big Foot ourselves...but I'm glad that we were duly warned ha ha!

      (Maybe there's a Big Foot Watching club that paid for the sign?)