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Colorado Springs Travel Blog

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City Scape on my way home
Colorado Springs: home of the the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, Olympic Training Center and Alfonso's.  This sleepy city of just over 600,000 is my home.  As George Eliot so poignantly reports in her book, Middlemarch, "...all country towns are pretty much alike...that one always believes one's own town to be more stupid than any other."  I am assuming she would say the same of the opposite and that we love our little towns the best in some ways.  And don't go shaking your head to this idea, either.  I've seen plenty of loyalists come out of the woodwork when something doesn't seem to be just so-in particular: driving.  If I never hear the words,"well, back home they're not good for much but at least they have some understanding of driving" I may never live to be so happy!  (yes, it must be those exact words.
Another red light!
..my friends are very verbose :)  And so I will begin my ravings on a town I have grown to love at first sight and equally hate some with its minor errances...

We'll start with the grievances as there are far fewer of them... 
-1. Parking Lots:  In the Springs and possibly all over this western state the city planners seem to have been instructed by playing at Sims.  The layouts of the most common of features baffle me!  Why do they INSIST on allowing for only one entrance and exit to their extensive lays of pavement?  And who are they trying to fool by establishing "compact only" spots in the most pretentious shopping strips?  Like the frequenters of Banana Republic and Pottery Barn would have anything to do with a small-sized coupe!  It's a pity the fellow who would remind us with a well placed bumper sticker on the parked beasts was persecuted.
Old Chicago's
  I would like to shake his hand and maybe the hands of his compatriots.

-2. No Helmet Laws:  In the state of Colorado you are permitted to risk your life for the sake of a well groomed mane.  Although I hate to differ with my father on any account he is willing to move here just because of that horrid allowance!  I think it's absurd that you can go about on a motorcycle without the least of protection but you had better "click it or ticket" in a far more sturdy assembly. 

-3. Traffic Lights:  Geez, I'm sure it sounds like I have a lot of issues with our traffic regulation, but I assure you, I'm quite peaceable on the roadways :)  I hate the fact that Colorado Springs seems to want to induce road rage in the best of us, though.
A legacy that will be missed
  On my way to and from work, I cannot time the lights to save my sanity!  Every time I get to the light at Academy and Woodmen it is red.  As I ease to the next intersection, I have this hint of hope that by the time I have to turn on to Union it will be there shining its welcoming beacon of green and I will pass with ease.  But no, instead I get to sit at the next light which is on just enough an incline for the sun to block out the signal I am looking for.  It doesn't help that I have to peek past the visor every 5 or so seconds to see if it is yet my turn only to realize I can no longer see the road in front of me without spots infringing on my vision!  Maybe instead of complaining I should opt to work someplace west of my house and live the happy existance like that of my husband who figured this out long ago.
Garden of the Gods


-4. Public Transportation: Or lackthereof.  I do enjoy the idea that you can use the wi-fi on the Frex line that goes up to Denver each day, but you have to be a regular commuter to make that worth your while.  To just get up to school and back the Springs' line is not so worthy.  It may have something to do with the fact that Colorado has a ton of open space which is great for a few country songs, but not so great for saving up pesetas in fuel charges.  The mass-transit system leaves much to be desired and takes forever to navigate.

-5. The East Side:  Imagine for a moment a prairie as far as the eye can see; then populate it with so many houses built on top of each other your neighbor is practically your suitemate for all intents and purposes.
Sis enjoying a Beehive
  No trees.  No natural plants.  No way in Hades!

As for the positives, I can hardly name them all nor give anywhere near an extensive list but here is my feable attempt.
1. Columbines:  The state flower of Colorado is the Rocky Mountain blue Columbine.  It has to be the most impressive flower I have ever dared to grow.  This flora is equiped with alien-like spires that come off the back of the bloom and have a simple petal rotation.  Perfect.

2. Natural Rock Formations:  Garden of the Gods, Red Rocks Open Space, the walls that close in the drive along US 24...BEAUTIFUL!  I lay no claim on geology, but I can admire those chunks of rock! I love the fact that this exposed sandstone can be found the world over and connect us in some way.
Compact Irony
 

3. Bars and Breweries:  Hooray Beer!  Some favorites found in the Springs: Bristol Brewing (Beehive) and Phantom Canyon Brew Co. (Cascade Amber).  I also get to delight in the fact that Coors distributes my all-time favorite--Blue Moon (variences include: Honey Moon, Rising Moon and even the Harvest Moon)  Perhaps I will one day be disillusioned with a true Belgian Wit but until that day...

4-5. Dog Parks and Trail Heads: Bear Creek Nature Center has an open space that our dog absolutely adores!  She can romp and play and sniff whomever and whatever she wants sans leash!  What dog wouldn't love that.  The Fountain Creek runs through the park so Rudy can have a little swim with her new friends and cool off after running around and through the park.
Blue Moon!
  As for the trails that run throughout our town, my favorite is a toss up between Waldo Canyon off of US 24 or the Punch Bowls.   The shallow pools are quite cold from the snow-melt but you seem to welcome that fact after climbing up in tired old boots for a few hours.

6. Weather Features: Friday as I was getting into my car the skyline (a positive all its own) was inexpressible.  The rain was a curtain in front of the Peak and the thunderheads were brewing in the south.  If I had a real camera with an orange filter I MIGHT have been able to show the contrast with some black and white pics, but alas another Kodak moment lost to an inferior camera and camerawoman!  The clouds were just towering above our 14er!  It was breathtaking!

For now I'll pause.  I need to acquire some more photos and this can lay in wait :)



five11d says:
love the Garden!! great start so far. ;)
Posted on: Sep 16, 2008
travelman727 says:
Melissa, in my opinion, the Colorado Springs area is one of our country's best :-) Whether horseback riding through the Garden of the Gods, taking the cog train to the summit of Pike's Peak, whitewater rafting a nearby river, strolling and shopping Manitou Springs... you've got it all! :-D
Posted on: Sep 12, 2008
smbcoffee says:
Great post! I liked your bit about the perpetrator who slapped bumper stickers on all the SUVs...
Posted on: Aug 31, 2008
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City Scape on my way home
City Scape on my way home
Another red light!
Another red light!
Old Chicagos
Old Chicago's
A legacy that will be missed
A legacy that will be missed
Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods
Sis enjoying a Beehive
Sis enjoying a Beehive
Compact Irony
Compact Irony
Blue Moon!
Blue Moon!
Of the MONTH!
Of the MONTH!
Quinns own mascot??
Quinn's own mascot??
Thunderheads above the Front Range
Thunderheads above the Front Range
Family at Rampart Reservoir
Family at Rampart Reservoir
Garden of the Gods with Pikes Peak
Garden of the Gods with Pikes Peak
A Day at the Reservoir
A Day at the Reservoir
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