Pike's Peak, or Manitou Springs, or bust!
Colorado Springs Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
I thought I had fell exclusively in love, geographically, with the area around Medford, OR.
Colorado Springs, CO, was just piu bella, bellisimo!
Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, Cripple Creek (up on cripple creek she sends me), Manitou Springs, Royal Gorge ---- I can't wait to come back here.
Arrived on 18 October to teach at Fort Carson for two weeks and ended up staying until the 2nd of November since we lost a training day to a blizzard and the students had to be rescheduled over three days (accomodating their needs).
Stayed at the Embassy Suites on Woodmen and highly recommend it based on the beautiful, complimentary, breakfast and the 2-hour free wine, beer, mixed drinks at night. Breakfast was typically loading a bowl full of omelet condiments such as bacon, sausauge, diced tomato, diced onion, diced peppers, sliced mushrooms, shredded cheese and other stuff I probably forgot (me, I don't do meat so it was primarily primavera omelet). Eggs to order were also available as well as pancakes, potatoes, cereal, immense fruit selections and fruit-embedded yogurts. Friday and Saturday nights they have karaoke in their restarant/bar area and there were some very talented folks. My colleague did not like the restaurant so much and she had good reason; food was not prepared as she requested or was barely luke warm. I ate there (sauteed mushrooms, fried zucchini, etc) and I received large servings that were prepared real well. Indoor pool and hot tub, great gym with enough machines that you did not have to time your stay and all of the staff were gracious (not official gracious but truly, westernly, welcoming).
Couple of great restarant visits including Zio's (Italian: wonderfully nice ambiance and a very low price and the food was outstanding) New South Wales (Australian American - again very good food in an outstanding setting for a fair value) and Los Palmitas (wonderful service and delicious Mexican food).
Manitou Springs was grand. The Saturday before Halloween Manitou Springs does the Emma Jordan Coffin Race. Appears Emma died of TB in the 1800s and was buried in one of the hillside cemetaries. Years later her casket was released to spill down the street during a heavy rain. Each year teams dress up and race coffins back up the hill. This coffin race was preceded this year by a 5k.
I don't gamble but we did go to Cripple Creek to look at the old mining town architecture. The drive around Pikes Peak and through Divide was worth the trip in itself.
We had also gone to Royal Gorge, I wish it had been open to get the full flavor and to do that thing were you strap yourself lying down in a harness and they haul you up and let you swing down at a pretty rapid rate of descent (can't remember the name - kind of like bungee except the view is probably better). The fact that its over 1000 feet about the Arkansas River would have made it a beautiful ride I think.
Did not go to the cliff dwellings or the cave of the winds; figured out after Royal Gorge that paying a lot to get into something doesn't mean you'll get the full value if everything other than the gift shop has closed for the season.
The song wrote about this area begins with "Oh Beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain, for purple mountains majesty...." Viewing the plains to the east of Pikes Peak from the 12k mark and you know where that lady got her inspiration from. Its like you can see all the way to Kansas.
Absolutely a place where you can go to get away from it all with miles of wilderness hiking and then jump back into it with both feet.
Anyway, I'm going back as soon as I can and taking friends.