Saturday, April 23, 2016

April 7, 2016 - Colorado Springs, CO

America the Beautiful
After arising we discussed and decided to stay in Colorado Springs one more day because there are a couple places we wanted to visit today.

We checked with the campground office to see if we can stay at site #30. No, it is not possible because it had been reserved for one week starting today.  They assigned us to site #6, right across from #30, so it was an easy and quick move.  

We went over to Anna and Brian’s house for breakfast. Brian prepared french toast with blackberry topping and fresh bananas.  After discussing plans with Anna we decided we were going to drive up to Pikes Peak Summit this morning while Anna and Brian had things to do.  

We  did not know if we were going to be able to drive all the way to the top of Pikes Peak because of the snow, but when we got to the entrance gate there was an electronic sign that said “Open To The Top”.  We could hardly contain our excitement. After paying $18 ($20 minus $2 discount coupon that Anna printed online) we started the journey to the Summit.

There were several good pullouts allowing visitors to get out of the vehicle, taking pictures of the scenery and enjoying the view, as well. At Mile Marker 13 we checked out the gift shop, bought snacks, checked out the gift shop.  

Looking way off yonder!

Still have ice on lake!

Tattoed Tree
(Reminder: please don't tattoo any tree)
Gift Shop (it was closed)
We posed with Bigfoot!

Still climbing!
2nd Gift Shop at Mile Marker #13 (it was open)

Is Erwin trying to tell Edith she got FAT ASS?
Hey, DON'T eat the yellow snow!

You do get out of breath at the top, especially if you lived at sea level for a few years! 

There was a sign letting visitors know that we made it to the Summit at 14,115 feet.  The temperature was 32˚, but the wind was not blowing, so it was bearable to walk around without wearing heavy winter attire. 

Our GPS needs elevation calibration!

Yes, You all should be here!

At the observation deck there is a plaque of ‘America the Beautiful’ poem written by Katherine Lee Bates (1859-1929).  She was inspired to draft the poem when she and other teachers went on a trip to the Summit in 1893. At that time she was a teacher at Colorado College in Colorado Springs.

The view all around was so breathtaking especially with the snow present.  Edith remembered visiting an interpretive center or some kind of museum on the Summit in 1973, but there is none.  There was a gift shop and cafe.  Visitors were streaming inside for cup of hot chocolate, coffee, donuts and fudge after they got off the Pikes Peak Cog Railway.  After having a quick lunch and photo opps we left the Summit to go visit Manitou Springs, CO.

Checking time!

Getting ready to go down from the Summit

We are in love with Pikes Peak and each other!

Santa Claus' North Pole was closed and is not due to open until mid-May.

The parking meters are almost everywhere within the town.  After feeding quarters to the hungry machine that will keep it fed for an hour and half we started strolling up and down the street. At one point we bumped into a deaf couple, Danny and Sue, from Woodland Park.  They knew some of Erwin’s deaf relatives who live in Colorado Springs or went to Colorado Deaf School.  

Jackie texted Edith to let her know that her husband, Alan, was flying into Colorado Spring today and was staying until Tuesday. Alan and Edith worked for Food and Nutrition Service for over 20 years.  The last time they saw each other was in 2002 when Edith retired from the service.   

Anna and Brian had an appointment at 7 pm, but suggested that we come back for breakfast tomorrow morning.  Edith checked the restaurant list on TripAdvisor and found Rudy’s that was not too far from the campground.  

Rudy’s was packed, but we were able to find a table.  Erwin got pork loin and Edith had moist brisket after we had samples of both.  We got sides to go with our meals.  Delicious!!! 

Moist Brisket
Pork Loin
After getting back to the campground Edith texted Alan to see if it was possible for us to meet tomorrow before we leave Colorado Springs for Salida.  Alan suggested to meet at Gardens of Gods Gourmet at 8:30 am.  We checked the map to see where it was. Guess what?! It was right across the street from the campground!  Perfect!

We went to Gardens of God for sunset viewing. There were several mule deer grazing in the field.  The sunset was not spectacular, but still pretty.  Edith saw two climbers on top of one of the rocks.

It was a great day for us. We had fun and the weather cooperated greatly.  We cannot ask for a better day than this.

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