Day 4, we packed up and head to Colorado Springs. We had discussed going to the top of Pikes Peak as something that is quintessential to Colorado. Well, $12/person or $40/car to drive the top really threw us for a loop. We aren't opposed to spending money for tourist-y things on vacation, but if we're paying money, we want to be doing something. Driving to the top of a mountain does not qualify. That, and when we arrived in Colorado Springs, I could only guess as to which peak was Pikes Peak. It wasn't glaringly obvious.
Luckily, Colorado Springs has a whole bunch of other, tourist-y things to do. The BF read aloud to me a description of the tours offered at Cave of the Winds with an emphasis on the zip-lining and ropes courses they offered. Zip-lining and ropes? Sounds fun to me! When we arrived however, we were less than impressed with the electrically powered, plastic-chair zip-line and the over-sized jungle gym that was the "ropes course". So, we instead opted for the lantern tour - a 1.5 hour trek deep into the Manitou Grand Caverns, learning about the folklore and eerie history of the cave, only lit by the hand-held lanterns you carry. It was an incredible tour, but I got really scared. At one point, everybody had to blow out their lanterns, and we were left alone in the pitch-black darkness not to mention that we were in a cave - you know, a confined space. Wow. Honestly, I think doing the cave tour (and with lanterns!?!?!) was a much braver and adventurous choice than the zip lines. We had fun, but we were both ready to get out of there by the end of the tour.
|Canyon by Cave of the Winds|
Wow. It was beautiful. We drove around the park, but we parked and went hiking in several different spots. Every thing is so surreal, and every angle provides a completely different view. If we could have, the BF and I would have returned with mountain bikes and running shoes respectively. The BF tried to get me to just run along one of the trails because he could tell how much I would love it, but I flatly refused since I was wearing jean shorts. Chafing - ugh, that would have been bad.
After we were done at Garden of the Gods, we swung by an A and W for root beer floats. We were planning for ice cream, but the root beer floats were perfect. Hit the spot. Then we drove to Castle Rock where we stayed with the BF's brother and family for the night.
While we were there, we went out to sushi (apparently, the BF's first and my second time). We had one roll that just blew us away - salmon, deep fried shrimp, avocado, (maybe crab?) with mango and a mango sauce. WOW. The texture and flavor of that was amazing. I have been craving sushi ever since.
We also spent a lot of quality time in Castle Rock playing. The BF's brother and sister-in-law have 2 little girls (3 and 5), and they were so excited to have new people to play with. Talk about an easy way to lower blood sugar.... :)
We hung out with them and took it easy for our last day in Colorado. In the afternoon, we packed up our rental car and headed back to the airport and back to real life. The return trip wasn't too bad except that the kid behind me kicked my seat for the entire 3+ hour flight. :-/ And then we were back to reality....
Did we miss out by not going to the top of Pikes Peak?
Most beautiful place you've visited?