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Colorado Springs Travel Blog

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Jolene and Jessi in a Clown's Barrel (used as a safe haven for a rodeo clown, during the bull riding event)

We had three things on our agenda for today; The Rodeo Hall of Fame, The Pioneer Museum, and a chuckwagon dinner at the Flying W Ranch. But our first order of business was breakfast. As the only thing that had a specific deadline to it today was the chuckwagon dinner, we decided for a leisurely, sit down breakfast at the Manitou Pancake and Steakhouse. The name sounds redneck, but the food was great. We had our fill, took our time, and then made our way to the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame.

 

I have been to a few rodeos, but as they were mostly county fair types, my only experience with the men that were honored here came from the movies or TV. The movie 8 Seconds, a biopic about bull rider Lane Frost, came out a couple of years before. It was one of Margo’s favorite movies.

I give it shot
We knew that Lane was a member of the Hall of Fame so it seemed natural to visit since we were in town.

 

It was a bit disappointed with the inside of the museum. It didn’t seem to have “enough”. I thought it was a little on the sparse side.  But, it was still OK. That had displays outside as well. Our favorite was a hands on display with a lariat and a roping practice steer. The girls I each took a turn trying to rope the plastic cow. No luck. I only tried a couple times, and then gave it up before I embarrassed myself.

 

Deciding we had seen all that we were interested in we decided to head over to the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. The Pioneers Museum is located in the old (1903) El Paso County Courthouse.

The Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum
It’s an impressive looking building on beautiful grounds. The museum is dedicated to Pike’s Peak region, whose shadow Colorado Springs was built under.  The admission was free and we spent an hour or so wander around looking at the various exhibits. Both Dad and I like their weapons collection. Prominently featured in display case was a vintage Colt 45 Peacemaker.

 

I did a terrible job of taking pictures inside the museum. I don’t recall if they were prohibited or not. But the only shots I got were from the outside. It was around 1:30 by the time we finished up at the Pioneer Museum. We had gotten a late start this morning and ate a good breakfast. So instead of lunch we stopped at a Colorado Springs institution called Michelle’s.

Used for carrying an Indian baby
They specialized in ice cream and chocolate candy. Truffles, bon-bons, and toffee, to be exact. We didn’t try any of the candy, but the ice cream was great. Of course most any ice cream is pretty good on a hot day.

 

Our final stop of the day was the Flying W Ranch. The Flying W is real working cattle ranch that about 40 years prior had decided to branch out into the entertainment business. They dedicated a portion of their gorgeous foothill ranch to construct an old west style village, plus a stage, and outdoor dining area. Visitors spend the mid and late afternoon wandering around the village and visiting the various buildings. Then they close the village down at 7:15 and start serving a chuckwagon style dinner promptly at 7:30 PM.

 

That is exactly what we did.

Margo, Jessi, and Jolene
The ranch has a real church, used for weddings and Sunday service, a blacksmith shop, funeral home, a dry goods shop, teepees, a mine, and on and on. There was even a small playground where the girls had some fun. We wandered around for several hours see what there was to see. Then, as advertised, they announced it was dinner time and got us all over to the dining area. It was time for our chuckwagon dinner and show.

 

A Chuckwagon dinner is a western themed meal based on what an old west cowboy would have/might have eaten while on a cattle drive. Traditionally it would have beef, beans, and some sort of bread for certain. Other additions might be coleslaw, corn on the cob, baked potato, lemonade, coffee, and some sort of dessert. It varies from place to place. But, in my experience the food is usually decent, and the atmosphere great. The Flying W was no exception. They had recently added chicken to their menu, as not everyone likes or eats beef.

Clapping along during the show

 

Once the meal was going strong, the entertainment started. It was a perfect mix of Western music and comedy. Dad really enjoyed this. I am sure this was far and away his favorite part of the trip. The music was what he grew up with, containing a healthy dose of Sons of the Pioneers and such. Everyone else liked it, too. Some times we would sing along. Most of the time we just listened and laughed. It was a good time.

 

The show went on until sometime after 9 PM. Colorado Springs is only 90 minutes from home, so even though we knew it was going to be a little on the late side, we had decided to drive home after the show. We knew we would be tired, but Dad had enjoyed the show so much, that he bought a couple of the cassette tapes of the music, and we listened and basked in the afterglow on the drive home. By the time we got home, both girls were deep into sleep. After dropping Mom and Dad off, Margo and I headed home and put the girls to sleep. It had been a great trip, but it is always nice to be home.

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Jolene and Jessi in a Clowns Barr…
Jolene and Jessi in a Clown's Bar…
I give it shot
I give it shot
The Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum
The Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum
Used for carrying an Indian baby
Used for carrying an Indian baby
Margo, Jessi, and Jolene
Margo, Jessi, and Jolene
Clapping along during the show
Clapping along during the show
Our brochure from the Pro Rodeo Ha…
Our brochure from the Pro Rodeo H…
Jolene going for the horns
Jolene going for the horns
Mom, and Me
Mom, and Me
Jessi in the Clown Barrel
Jessi in the Clown Barrel
Jessi ropes, while me and grandpa …
Jessi ropes, while me and grandpa…
Jolene ropes, Jessi watches
Jolene ropes, Jessi watches
The statue is call The Champ
The statue is call "The Champ"
The Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum
The Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum
Dad, Margo, Jolene, and Mom
Dad, Margo, Jolene, and Mom
Jessi on the Playground at the Fly…
Jessi on the Playground at the Fl…
Margo and the Girls in the Big Tee…
Margo and the Girls in the Big Te…
Jolene and Jessi
Jolene and Jessi
Jolene
Jolene
Jessi
Jessi
Map of the Flying W Ranch
Map of the Flying W Ranch