It’s Day 8
The sky is big here and the air cool at night, so we stayed up late last night like big kids; watching strange lights on Cheyenne Mountain and listening to the distant rumbling of our armed forces doing…something big.
This morning, just before sunrise Lori spotted 6 beautiful deer in our camp. They were about 30’ away from us when we came outside to sit in our chairs and they just ignored us. As we watched the sun come up we heard the faint sound of a bugle playing reveille at Fort Carson, so we figured it was Uncle Sam telling us that it was time for a morning hike with Yogi and then to head out for our drive up Pikes Peak.
It took us about an hour to drive up to the 14,000 foot tall summit in the all wheel drive Subaru that we rented. It was a fun car to drive on the steep winding roads… for me. It wasn’t quite a treat for Lori, who gets nervous with my driving at sea level, but I did my best to take my time. Up at the top, the view was stunning, but not as cold as I thought it would be. It was, however, 45 degrees, so the fresh hot donuts and hot chocolate hit the spot. I didn’t know what to expect so far as the altitudes affect on breathing and I didn’t notice much difference… until I started up a steep slope and then my body was like… nope! Not going to do it.
On the way back to camp we visited the “Manitou Cliff dwellings”. It was ok, but it was crowded and very commercialized with a gigantic, glitzy gift shop! I wonder what the Anasazi Indians would think. Anyway, it was about noon and we were anxious to get back and check on Yogi (who was at the motor home lounging in the bed, watching soap operas) so we left and thirty minutes later we were back at the campground.
After lunch and playing with Yogi for a while, we decided to go see the “Seven Falls”, which according to the internet, is the only waterfall in Colorado mentioned in the National Geographic? About halfway there, Lori’s phone “Siri”, who was supposed to keep us from getting lost… apparently lost her mind, so we tried my phone guidance system. The mechanical Australian voice on my phone wasn’t doing much better and then some lady’s voice chimed in from the cars computer! The next thing you know we had three people barking 3 different routes at us. It was chaos! I kept saying “What? What did he say? What do I do?” Lori was struggling to shut them off and finally held her phone in the air and shook it yelling “SHUT UP!”
Somehow we finally got there, just to find out from a guy standing in front of the gate that they don’t allow people to park there anymore. He pointed down the road. “You have to drive three miles that way, park and ride back here on a shuttle.” I sighed. “Ok, how do we get there?” He shrugged waved another car past. “I don’t know… I can give you the address?” Well neither one of us wanted to see anything that bad, so we decided to visit the “Old Colorado City” downtown area instead. After our three mechanical guidance systems took us to the wrong place, we pulled over and pulled the plug on them, then found the place ourselves. After all that trauma, we ended up having drinks, fried pickles and a great time at a place called “Thunder and Buttons”.
The Old Downtown is the prefect area to shop, to dine, to have some fun and to get run over! It fronts one of the most dangerous roads I’ve ever seen. There’s four lanes of heavy traffic going 40 plus miles an hour, past the on-street, parallel parking spots and sidewalks and hundreds of shoppers wandering around trying to cross the street. It’s ridiculous. We hung out there for a couple hours and then decided to head back to camp, sober and not ran over.
Tomorrow, we take back the rental car and prepare for the next leg of our trip. Mesa Verde and the San Juan Loop road.