The Rocky Mountain air in Colorado apparently suited Alex – he slept through the night! It took him a while to get to sleep, probably the result of Molly’s Raccoon Dance, but a good night’s sleep had transformed Alex into his happy baby self, a welcome sight and sound.
Garden of the Gods. So named in 1859, the land was donated to the City of Colorado Springs in the early 1900’s on the condition it would remain a free public park. We decided to hike in the back way and end up at the Visitors Center where we could take a trolley tour of the Garden. Our hike took us past local residences up a winding road to the land that was the Garden. We hiked steadily for two and a half miles in unseasonably warm weather – I loved it, having a new appreciation for physical exertion after long stretches in the RV. But of course I wasn’t carrying Alex – Laura did that part and made it look effortless.
At the visitors center we booked a trolley tour then found our guide waiting outside. Sidewinder, as he called himself, LOVED his job. When not giving tours, he was an elementary teacher. He loved kids so he took to our group right away. He seemed to know everything about Garden of the Gods. As he drove us through the park his running commentary provided grand entertainment. He pointed out Pikes Peak in the distance – a magnificent “fourteener”, “America’s Mountain.” Rock formations framed the mountain in the distance as we exited the center drive, capturing for a moment an image that was picture perfect.
Sidewinder drove us past the 3 Giants, Weeping Mother, the famous Kissing Camels and through an archway that gave a close-up view of Balanced Rock. It was easy to see why the huge clay colored formations had their names.
Sidewinder wound his way through the Garden and eventually deposited us back at the center. I was still marveling at what we had seen as the girls led us into the gift shop. Here Emily found one of her better buys – chocolate rocks. As she told me conspiratorially, the small bag held what looked like brown rocks, not something you’d want to bite on. But place one in your mouth and you’d quickly change your mind. I got to have several – it’s all about who you know.
We took photos of the fam on the scenic deck, Pikes Peak sitting atop our heads in the background. All in all a very satisfying day. Coming up in Blog 8 you’ll hear about our visit to Cliff Dwellings of the Pueblo Indians, a drive up Pike’s Peak in Big Truck, a hike on Cheyenne Mountain, and a visit to USAFA. Stay tuned!