Monday, June 11, 2012

Pike’s Peak! A Fun Week in Colorado Springs

It’s hard to believe that our week in Colorado Springs is coming to an end. We arrived here last Tuesday and promptly settled into Foot of the Rockies RV Park.

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As it had been 3 weeks since I’d been anywhere close to a nice sized grocery store, I promptly headed out to King Soopers, the Colorado equivalent to Kroger. They are somehow related, joined at the hip, with Kroger being the parent company, I believe. Many $ later, we were, once again, fully stocked with groceries :)

Wednesday

We spent Wednesday getting our bearings of the area, going to the post office, making a Costco run and stopping at Camping World to get a replacement part to our toilet that they did not have :) Oh well. Camping World is fun to wander through but we rarely find what we need there. They tell us it can be ordered, but we can do that ourselves. When you’re not in the same place for long, it’s usually  easier to order it yourself. Once we got home, the skies blackened, the wind whipped and the hail fell. We were very lucky. Our hail was normal sized; most of the area received golf ball sized hail. What we did get was a rainbow on top of the black sky :) We were so lucky! No rain, just hail and a rainbow.

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Thursday

Thursday was so much fun! We met our friends, Jim and Launi at Chili’s in Monument, CO., about 20 miles north of us. We met Jim and Launi at Estes RV Resort in Rockport, Texas during the winter. We had a great lunch and then spent the rest of the day playing “Hand and Foot” at their place :)

Left to Right: Jim, Gail, Rick and Launi

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We cut our visit short because there were storm warnings equivalent to those of Wednesday and we didn’t want to be traveling when the storm hit. Fortunately, for us, this was all we received.

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Just nasty clouds and a threat, but nothing else. Much of the area was not that lucky with reports of tennis ball sized hail and 2 tornadoes. Here we thought this route north would be safer than going straight north through tornado alley! I don’t think anywhere is safe in the spring. The weather is just too volatile.

Friday

Pikes Peak or Bust! :) We had a choice between taking another train ride to the top of Pikes Peak ($35 per person) or driving ourselves ($12 per person). We chose to drive and did not regret doing that. It was an excellent drive!

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The road was paved the entire way, it was in excellent condition and there was never a concern. It was absolutely beautiful!

The 6 mile marker: Crystal Reservoir with Pikes Peak in the distance.

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The 19th mile marker: the Summit-14,110 feet!

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It was a fairly clear day and the views were beautiful!

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The train we did not take :)

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When researching this excursion, I kept finding a reference to Pikes Peak Donuts. Everyone said you had to try the donuts. They were awesome because they had been “cooked” at 14,000 feet above sea level :) Voila! Further research gave us a coupon :)

One Free 
World Famous Pikes Peak Donut!

No purchase necessary.

Well, whatcha gonna do? We got donuts! :) They were pretty darn good…and hot! :)

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The drive down was as beautiful as the drive up.

P1020073 One of the things that kept avoiding us was wildlife, but as we took one of the switchbacks down the mountain, there was a Mama Big Horn Sheep!

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Her babies were close behind.

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Finally! I thought we’d leave Colorado with only a squirrel sighting! :)

We finished off our day with a short stop at historic Manitou Springs, but it was so HOT that we didn’t spend much time wandering around there.

The Weekend

Why did I think Colorado would be cooler? It’s been in the 90’s here. Warmer than I’d like. The weekend was devoted to cleaning, laundry and other things that would allow us to stay inside in the A/C.

It is now

Monday

and we’re not quite sure what to do. We are due to leave here tomorrow. There is a terrible wild fire north of us, on our route. It has almost tripled in size since yesterday and is now at 37,000 acres and 0% contained. Our master plan was to spend a week in Loveland and base out of there, touring Rocky Mountain National Park and visiting with friends in Estes Park and family in Denver. Evacuees are being taken to Loveland, so that plan is now up in the air.  We may have to go to plan B.

Stay tuned. Thanks for stopping by. Turtle

9 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures but oh what eerie looking storm clouds! Donuts look yummy!

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  2. We're right behind you, so we'll get the donuts too. (well, if the fires stop us we won't be going that way).

    Great blog, thanks for posting.

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  3. WOW those are ominous storm clouds. Great picture. Sorry to hear about such a big fire and sorry too that it looks like it will get in the way of your plans. But isn't it great to be able to be flexible??

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  4. We went to the Canadian Rockies one summer thinking it would be cooler. Hah! They had a heatwave!!! The scenery from Pike's Peak reminds me of the one from one of our hikes in Banff; so beautiful. Stay safe and stay out of the way of those fires.

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  5. Great photos Gail!! Oh, I am loving my new camera;o)) Please stay safe and take the route away from those trouble spots. Looks like it is far from contained!!

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  6. You could try the Cave of The Winds, just up above Manitou Springs. It stays 50*F year around. I love it summer or winter. I especially love the train to the top of Pikes Peak in January, after a snow storm. You might guess I miss southern CO. I just talked to my brother, who loves in Fort Collins, about the fires. We are very concerned. Have a safe trip.

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  7. I rode the train up to Pike's Peak many moons ago when I was a kid and thought it was the coolest thing ever. It was at the end of August so it was really HOT down at the bottom and really COLD up at the top!

    Be careful of those fires.

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  8. Great pictures! Those fires are awful. We planned on trying to get away to the Gila wilderness a few times while here but the place is on fire :(

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  9. Really like the pictures and the donuts make me hungry. Stay clear Of those fires they look bad on the news. (THE Berry's RV TRAVELS )Darren.

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