Colorado Springs, Colorado

5/10/2019 to 5/13/2019

Beautiful Weather, Beautiful Area

Friday 5/10/2019   Our drive today from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Colorado Springs, Colorado was 171 miles.  We began the day with gray skies and snow but as we headed into Denver the weather cleared slightly. The temperature climbed as high as 50 and the sun poked through the clouds a few times. Unfortunately, as we got closer to Colorado Springs it changed back to gray skies and colder temperatures.  (just a note:  some of the sunnier photos shown below were actually from the next day when it warmed up and the skies were blue.)  We arrived at our next campground, called The Garden of the Gods RV Resort around 2:00 and are staying four nights.  We are still a little early in the season and the place is fairly quiet.  It's a large campground that also has cabins and tiny houses for rent.  We set up the trailer, filled the truck up with fuel and just returned to the trailer and settled in for the night.  

Saturday 5/11/2019    We woke up to a gorgeous day - finally.  The skies were blue and the temperatures were supposed to warm up to near 70.  We decided to spend the day in The Garden of the Gods - a national, natural landmark which is only a couple miles away.  Our first stop was the visitors center which was full of circling cars trying to find a parking spot.  Luckily, we spotted a car leaving their spot and we were able to park.  The visitors center has park information, a small museum and of course, a gift shop.  We took a paved trail across the road from the visitors center and began our absolutely beautiful scenic stroll through the garden.  It's a very popular spot so if you're looking for seclusion, this is not the spot for you.  After walking a few miles, we headed back to the truck and took a nice drive through the rest of the park.  I'll let the stunning photos do the rest of the writing for me.

Sunday 5/12/2019   Our campsite was only a half mile from The Red Rock Canyon Open Space but it was across the highway so we had to drive the truck.  The park consists of 1474 acres.  Even though it was early, the two parking areas they had were full.  We drove around the first parking area then gave up and drove to the second area.  We were again lucky enough to find someone leaving and took their spot.  It was another beautiful, blue-sky day, started off a little chilly but quickly warmed up.  We hiked around amazing rock formations similar to The Garden of the Gods, but smaller.  The trails were well maintained and once we hiked away from the parking area, not that crowded.  Nearer the end of the hike was the quarry where they used to mine sandstone.  After the quarry, there was a small lake and a pavilion.  We hiked around four miles and on the way out of the park came across several grazing deer.  The last photo is a small bicycle course that was built for children.  

It was still early afternoon so our next stop was The Manitou Cliff Dwellings.  The Anasazi Museum was established and the cliff dwellings built starting in 1904 and were opened to the public in 1907.  The museum features displays about the lives of the ancient Anasazi, including exhibits of archaeological artifacts, tools, pottery, and weapons.  The Anasazi lived and roamed the Four Corners area of the Southwestern United States from 1200 B.C. to A.D. 1300. The Anasazi did not live in the Manitou Springs area, but lived and built their cliff dwellings in the Four Corners area, several hundred miles southwest of Manitou Springs.  The Manitou Cliff Dwellings were built at their present location in the early 1900s, as a museum, preserve, and tourist attraction.  The stones were taken from a collapsed Anasazi site near Cortez in southwest Colorado, shipped by railroad to Manitou Springs, and assembled in their present form as Anasazi-style buildings closely resembling those found in the Four Corners.   We roamed around for an hour.  It was basically a tourist trap but still interesting to see.

Monday 5/13/2019  I've learned that no matter how much you prepare for a long RV trip, something is bound to go wrong.  It was finally warm enough for us to use the air conditioning in the truck but when we turned it on, it wasn't working.  We are heading south and will spend most of June in 100-degree temperatures.  It needed to be fixed.  I searched the internet and found a few places in the area that repair automotive air conditioning.  But being a Sunday afternoon, they were all closed.  We needed to get it done on Monday because we are leaving Tuesday morning.  We woke up early today and drove to the first place on the list.  I was hoping that if I showed up when they opened, they would be able to squeeze me in.  The first shop was very busy with several cars ahead of me waiting for service and they weren't able to look at it. They suggested that I try another place close by.  We arrived there a little before 8:00 and they said they were able to work on it.  We waited in their lounge area for over three hours for them to test the air conditioning and give us an estimate.  He gave me the quote and said he would have to call for parts that he would be able to get today.  He offered us a customer shuttle and their employee drove us to an outdoor shopping area about a mile away so we wouldn't have to sit in their waiting room all afternoon.  The shopping center had a movie theater near where he dropped us off so we decided to catch a movie while we waited. After the movie, we walked to a nearby restaurant for a late lunch and then walked back to the car repair shop only to wait another hour before the truck was ready. Total time to repair the truck was eight hours.  All the waiting and huge expense drained all our energy so we just drove back to the trailer and settled in for the evening.

Tuesday 5/14/2019    Today we are leaving beautiful Colorado Springs and heading further south to Trinidad, Colorado.

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