In Colorado Springs, we camped at Cheyenne Mountain State Park. Our enormous site had a view overlooking Colorado Springs which was wonderful!
Unfortunately, all of the hiking trails throughout the State Park prohibit dogs because of all the wildlife in the park. Lucy loves to hike as much as we do, so when we learned that dogs were permitted on the trails in the Garden of the Gods, we headed over to the trailhead. Garden of the Gods is a 3,300-acre public park and is a U.S. National Natural Landmark. Red rock formations were created during a geological upheaval along a natural fault line millions of years ago.
We were planning to drive our car to Pikes Peak but the highway was closed that day for a film crew doing “Fast and Furious 7”. So if we wanted to go to Pikes Peak we would have to take the Cog Railway up there. I’m so glad that circumstances pushed us that way because it was a really fun experience and the views were amazing!
What is a “Cog” Railway? Conventional railroads use the friction of wheels upon the rails to provide locomotive power. A cog railroad uses a gear, “cog wheel”, meshing into a special rack rail mounted in the middle between the outer rails, to climb much steeper grades than those possible with a standard adhesion railroad. Pikes Peak Cog Railway grades are 25%.
After our train ride, we strolled the streets of the darling little town of Manitou Springs and stopped for drinks and a bite to eat at a cafe where we sat on a patio balcony overlooking the main street. Mike was introduced to a local brew, Old Chub Scotch Ale (8% alc!) and we had to immediately find a store to buy some to take home.
Mike wanted to tour the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. We toured the Visitor Center and drove around the parts of the academy that the public is allowed to visit. It is quite impressive.
Our next destination was Pueblo. The temps were in the high 90’s for our couple of days there. I was excited to visit my cousin Randy (RM to me) whom I hadn’t seen in about 20 years! He showed us around Pueblo and took us on the Pueblo Riverwalk. We also hiked along the Arkansas River at the Nature and Raptor Center. A real treat for Lucy was meeting Randy’s yorkie-poo “Jumper”.
Pueblo is themed “The Home of Heroes”. It is the only town to have four Congressional Medal of Honor recipients. President Dwight D. Eisenhower commented, “What is it…something in the water out there in Pueblo? All you guys turn out to be heroes!”
It was such fun to see RM again and I loved finally getting to meet some of his lovely family, including his precious great-grandson!
We are now at the Vallecito RV Resort in Bayfield Colorado (near Durango). We plan to stay here for the remainder of September (3 weeks!). It feels good to be in one spot for awhile. Just wish it wasn’t raining now! Can’t wait to get out and do some exploring!