From Colorado Springs to Pueblo

In Colorado Springs, we camped at Cheyenne Mountain State Park.  Our enormous site had a view overlooking Colorado Springs which was wonderful!

Cheyenne Mountain State Park Campsite

Cheyenne Mountain State Park Campsite

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.

IMG_3047 Garden of the Gods

IMG_5417 Garden of the Gods

Rock formations in Garden of the Gods

Rock formation called Three Graces

The Balanced Rock

The Balanced Rock

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!

Waiting to catch the Cog Train in Manitou Springs

Waiting to catch the Cog Train in Manitou Springs

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%.

View from the train!  Fun!

View from the train! Fun!

Cog Train at the 14,110 ft summit of Pikes Peak

Cog Train at the 14,110 ft summit of Pikes Peak

Most definitely the end of the line!

Most definitely the end of the line!

It makes you dizzy!

It makes you dizzy!

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.

Manitou Springs, Colorado

Manitou Springs, Colorado

IMG_5480 Manitou Springs CO

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.

IMG_3081 USAFA

IMG_3084 USAFA

IMG_3083 USAFA

IMG_5490 Profile of AFA Cadet Class

IMG_3073 Rain over Colorado Springs

Scattered showers on our final night at Cheyenne Mtn State Park in Colorado Springs

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”.

My cousin RM with Ouida and his puppy Jumper

My cousin RM with girlfriend Ouida and his puppy Jumper

Lucy and her new boyfriend Jumper

Lucy and her new boyfriend Jumper

Crossing the bridge on the Nature Trail

Crossing the bridge on the Nature Trail

Jumper cools his feet in the river

Jumper cools his feet in the river

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!”

Is it something in the water?

Is it something in the water?

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 loved meeting RM's family!

We loved meeting RM’s family!

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!

Cheers!

9 thoughts on “From Colorado Springs to Pueblo

  1. The town of Silverton is a fun day trip and a beautiful drive from Durango. Glad you enjoyed my old stomping grounds. Garden of the Gods was always a favorite of mine.
    Those clouds are starting to build again as I sit to the north of you….. off Highway 550 in Ridgway. Enjoy some down time 🙂

    • A few years ago we were here with our grand kids and we took them on the Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. That was a wonderful experience. Driving it sounds like a great idea. And Lucy could go with us this time!

  2. Your post reminded me of how much we enjoyed our trip to Colorado Springs 2 years ago. We also stayed at Cheyenne Mountain State Park and loved it. We were there in late May and were only able to drive to mile 13 on the road to Pikes Peak because of high winds and dangerous road conditions beyond that point. Enjoyed your photos.

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