08.19.17 Rocky Mountain National Park in Northern Colorado

Saturday, August 19, 2017 – We had not planned to go to the Rocky Mountains until our friend Teddy Forrest mentioned what a great drive the Old Fall River Road was.  That started me trying to find a place around Rocky Mountain National Park for us to stay for a few days.  That search went no where, so we decided that when we left Colorado Heights RV Resort on Tuesday, the 15th, we’d find the nearest Walmart to the Rocky Mountain.  We found one in Longmont, Colorado, went there,  unhitched our truck, went to see the Rockies and spent the night at Walmart.  That worked so perfectly.  The temperature at night was in the 50s and we both slept very well after a day of exploring the Rockies.  I’d never heard of Old Fall River Road so I looked up some information and here is a little bit of it before we go to showing photos!!

Opened in 1920, Old Fall River Road earned the distinction of being the first auto route in Rocky Mountain National Park offering access to the park’s high country.

Primarily gravel, one-way uphill and punctuated by switchbacks, slower-paced, 11-mile-long. The posted speed limit is 15 miles per hour, a clear indication that a journey up Old Fall River Road is not for the impatient. There are no guard rails along this road. Old Fall River Road is ideal for visitors seeking to become intimate with nature.

The graphic on the left shows some of the aspects of this road that make it very unique, definitely not for someone like our Dora to try to climb.  Boots had some rough times but the Explorers (that’s us, Roy and Rosalyn) enjoyed every unusual moment of the drive!!  In case you’re new to our blog, Dora is our motor home and Boots is our truck we tow behind Dora.

This is where the dirt road of Old Falls River Road began.

We got really intimate with nature at our first stop.  We heard water falling as we were driving up and so we stopped.  We climbed all around along the creek where the water was falling, it sounded so pretty.  I don’t climb or even walk very well which Roy thinks is funny so he takes pictures of me like this one! 

These next photos are of the beauty we got to see going up the Old Falls River Road. 

Yes it does feel like you’re going to drive out into the clouds!

When you reach the top, you are at 11,796 feet above sea level.  The Alpine Visitor Center and the Trail Ridge Gift Sshop await you at the top.  We enjoyed coffee and hot chocolate with whipped cream while enjoying the warmth of being indoors! From there you go down on Trail Ridge Road which is a paved road, much less “natural” than Old Fall River Road.

Panoramic shot of the views from the top.

This is the ride down on Trail Ridge Road in the rain.  We were in and above the clouds as the drive went on!

Crazy people that we are, we went grocery shopping after spending a day going up and down the Rocky Mountains.  We were quite a sight being deliriously tired, trying to stay standing up and awake while deciding what we needed to buy.  Mostly junk food came home with us! When we went to check out we realized that we mostly bought junk food, cookies, chips, etc. Being in Colorado (where marijuana is legal) I thought they must think we’re doing a marijuana hunger shopping.  It was the biggest Walmart I’ve ever been in and am sorry we couldn’t stand up any longer than in the grocery section to check the rest of it out. I barely got the groceries mostly put away before climbing in bed at 6:30 and woke up this morning at 10:30 am.

Thank you very much Teddy Forrest for sharing this little tidbit of your time in the Rockies with us.  It is such a totally different experience than going up Pike’s Peak was and I’m so thankful we got to do both of them this time!

When we left there we went to the coolest RV Park for just a one night stay.  Terry Bison RV Park in Cheyenne, Wyoming would be a great place to stay for a week or more but we only had one night there.  Exhaustion from Tuesday’s Rocky Mountain trip carried over to the one night in Wyoming so we did none of the things they have there. They have a restaurant that serves lunch and dinner. Another one that serves breakfast, a child’s play land that is bigger and better than any we’ve seen. A wonderful gift shop, train rides to see the bison, horseback riding and so much more. And they have a bunch of camels!!! They accept Passport America so the nightly charge is very reasonable. We will definitely stay here again and longer next time!

I am writing this on Friday, the day we went to experience Mount Rushmore.  Believe me I do realize how blessed we are are that we can see the Rocky Mountains and Mount Rushmore in the same week.  What a week this was!

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08.14.17 Magic Town in Old Colorado City, Colorado

Monday, August 14, 2017 – Saturday, Roy and I went to check out Magic Town in Old Colorado City  We didn’t know about it so I looked into it and was quite intrigued and am so happy we got to experience it!

Magic Town is located in the Old Colorado City historic district in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  It is a 3,000 square/foot, 1/6 scale miniature city, complete with dozens of different buildings, hundreds of characters, and interesting elements – like holograms, rooms that transform right before your eyes, and much more. It took him over a million dollars and parts of four decades to pull it from his mind and get the thing built.

When we walked in, it seemed like it was just a gallery where you could purchase any of dozens of three-dimensional sculptures of the people who shape America.  Michael Garman’s work is exceptional but his work is well out of our spending limit.  We learned that what we were seeing in this big gallery was not the thing we came for.

Magic Town is accessed through a door from the gallery.  We paid the $3 admission and were asked if we’d like to do a savenger hunt and have a bag of popcorn.  We said yes!   When we walked into the Magic Town we were instantly transported into miniature downtown streets, businesses and alleys.

We spent about 1 hour looking at all the amazing details in each building and each window and we could have stayed longer. The various scenes throughout the town, the different people, the holograms, the back alley shenanigans….. It’s a lot to take in with only a short visit. If you ever visit Magic Town, take the time to look at everything…. It’s worth it! If they don’t ask you if you want to do the scavenger hunt, ask them if you can do it. You will feel even more connected with the town and you may feel like you’re actually walking through the town. It’s that much fun!!!!

I took so many photos but I picked out a few that represent the magical town that Michael Garman created!

We were given a piece of paper with four things to look for on it as part of the scavenger hunt.  Here is Roy looking into one of the windows to find an answer! 

This four minute video from their website shows more than any of my photos could.

Here’s their information:  The Michael Garman Museum & Gallery, 2418 W. Colorado Ave. Colorado Springs, CO 80904, (719) 471-9391

Sunday evening we were able to spend some time with a friend of mine from our days at JFK Senior High School in New Orleans.  Imagine that, we’re both in the same park in Colorado at the same time!  We enjoyed the time we got to visit with Sue and Lou!  When we came home another couple we met last year at Gettysburg RV Park, that are in Colorado Heights RV Resort with us now, came over for Roy to work on their computer.  They have the most beautiful colored motor home so they will be very easy for us to spot when we arrive at a Resort.  This picture doesn’t even start to show how beautiful it is! I’m hoping we’ll see Sue, Lou, Bob and Diana again in the future!

Today, Monday is our last day in this part of Colorado.  We leave Tuesday morning to explore Rocky Mountain National Park and spend the night in one of our favorite places, WalMart!!  From there we head north to take in everything we can around Mount Rushmore in South Dakota!

08.13.17 Manitou Cliff Dwellings in Manitou, Colorado

Sunday, August 13, 2017 – On Friday we headed out to see the Manitou Cliff Dwellings and then to go to Magic Town in Old Colorado City.  Someone had the bright idea of having a bike riding contest right in the middle of Old Colorado City.  We couldn’t even get close to Magic Town in Old Colorado City so after seeing the Manitou Cliff Dwellings we headed home.

The history behind how this all came together is very interesting.  The Manitou Cliff Dwellings are comprised of Anasazi ruins that date back 800 to 1000 years.

The 40 room site was originally located in McElmo Canyon, which is in the southwest corner of Colorado. The process of relocating these cliff dwellings began in 1904 and was completed in 1907.  The ruins from McElmo Canyon were collected, packaged, and moved by oxen to Dolores, Colorado. There, they were loaded and shipped by railroad to Colorado Springs, and finally brought to Cliff Canyon by horse and wagon. The workmen then faithfully reassembled the dwellings in dimension and appearance to those in the four corners region.  They used a concrete mortar in 1907 as opposed to the adobe mud/clay mortar the Anasazi used. This allows individuals to walk inside and tour through the dwellings.

Besides the Cliff Dwellings, Pueblo Museum, Cave Museum and Gift Shop, there is a Snack Bar and Picnic Patio.

The entrance to Manitou Cliff Dwellings

 

You can see some of the buildings after going through the entrance.  It’s all so well done that it looks and feels like it has all always been right here.

We found a parking spot very close to the Cliff Dwellings

Look at the beautiful mountains as seen from the Cliff Dwellings

A few of the photos we took while inside the dwellings.  

Looking down from the second level of the dwellings

This is one of the entrances to the Museums

This is the Pueblo Museum

The bread baking oven used long ago

 

One of those cute little characters that tells us goodby and reminds us to buckle up!

We really enjoyed the exploring the Cliff Dwellings, the Museums and especially the Gift Shop!  Saturday we went to Old Colorado Springs to see Magic Town which turned out to be a REALLY fun place to visit!

I’m writing this on Sunday.  I got up early to work and Roy got up early to go flying his remote control plane at Pike’s Peak R/C Flying. He’s going to write about the fun he had there in a separate blog post.

When it came near time for Trinity to broadcast the sermon I got my computer set up to watch and listen.  When it never came on I finally realized we are in Mountain Time so our 10:30 is their 11:30 and church was over……………….. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

We hid several painted rocks at Manitou Cliff Dwellings and one was found and posted on Facebook!

I’ll share our visit to Magic Town next!

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08.11.17 Santa’s Village at the North Pole in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Friday, August 11, 2017 – On our way back down the mountain from seeing Pike’s Peak on Tuesday we saw that the North Pole was open and the sun was starting to come out.  We only had about an hour there before they closed but we went in and rode the rides we could while they were open.

These are the beautiful mountains that surround this special place.

More wacky mirrors  Looking down from the gondola

While our time was limited we walked way to the back of the park and climbed up what felt like a mountain to get to where the Santa Clause Zip Line ride was.  That was my favorite ride last time and this time.  You are carried in his sleigh backwards really high and then shot back down the zipline to the beginning.  The ride acts like it’s not going to stop but it goes past the stop point and does stop!!!

I found a YouTube video that shows most of this amazing park from the air.  Near the end they show the Santa Clause Zip Line in action.

This is really a wonderful place for children and adults like us.  Here is a link to our last visit here in 2015 if you’d like to see more about it.  That particular blog also shows the Cog Railway we rode to get to the top of Pike’s Peak.  Having gone up there both ways last time we knew we liked driving it better.

Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole

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08.10.17 Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Thursday, August 10, 2017 – At 14,110 feet elevation, Pike’s Peak is America’s Mountain.  It is a 19 mile highway up to the clouds where we explored Colorado’s most famous peak on Tuesday. Two years ago we were here and at the top there was deep snow all around.  This time there was very little snow anywhere on the mountain.  It did start hailing while we were at the top. The cost was $30 for the two of us to go up the mountain.

Neither one of us were affected by altitude sickness but I could tell there was a change in my breathing up there. I think some of  us not being sick is because our RV park is at 8,000 feet so going up to 14,000 from 8,000 feet wasn’t as big of an adjustment as going from 0 feet to 14,000 feet would have been.

These are a few pictures of our travels up the mountain.  It’s wonderfully cold at the top and after eating a couple of their World Famous Donuts the last time we visited we planned to have some this time also! This is the only place in the world where you can get donuts (and hot chocolate) at this altitude.

Some of the views from the top of the mountain.  There were too many clouds to get very good pictures this time.

Before we left it started hailing, pretty heavily so we headed down in pretty heavy clouds and hail.  This was the only accumulated snow we saw this time.

Most of the way down the clouds were gone and it was sunshiny again!

There were many more photos taken and shared the last time we were here so I thought I’d include a link to those two blog posts in case you want to see more and see what it looks like with snow everywhere!  There’s also a photo of me laying face down in the snow so if you’d like to see me looking foolish, check it out!!

Pike’s Peak visit in 2015 Part 1 

Pike’s Peak visit in 2015 Part 2

We still have more to do while we’re here so, ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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08.08.16 The Colorado Springs Flea Market in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Tuesday, August 8, 2017  We are enjoying a good bit of down time here.  The last time we were here we went out every day to see one or two things.  This time our list of things to see is much smaller and that’s okay!

Saturday we went to the Colorado Springs Flea Market.  This was the biggest, well run flea markets I’ve ever seen.   They even have carts driven around to sell you food and beverages so you don’t have to stop shopping and find the food building!  

There is a fee just to enter the flea market of $2 per person which is a first for us.  You can also rent a grocery cart for $2. There was lots of children activities which meant that for only $2 you could bring your child there to play even if you weren’t going to shop.

Live Music and a shaded area to enjoy some of the food you could buy there.

This was one of the places you could get food and drinks.  There was also an ATM which got heavy use, even us!

We walked all around the grounds and bought a small fan/heater for $3, a couple of hair clips for my hair, a New Orleans Saints watch for Roy, a bag of fresh plums and the freaky looking fruit below.

 

This is the freaky looking fruit.  I’ve seen them at Walmart and always thought who would eat that?  I bought 3 just to try them.  You peel off the prickly covering and there is a grape like fruit inside.  Turned out to be very good!

It’s been raining a lot here in Colorado and the high was only 53 degrees.     We are planning to go to Santa’s Village on Tuesday since the shower possibility is fairly low.   We went there two years ago and us two old folks had lots of fun in what is suppose to be a kiddie land!

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08.07.17 Ghost Town Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Monday, August 7, 2017 – Last Thursday we planned to go to two places.  One of them worked out and it was really cool!

Ghost Town Museum was created in 1954 from a desire to preserve Colorado’s Wild West era for generations to come. This ghost “town” is an indoor collection of the very structures that were left to decay around the Pikes Peak region, all looking much as they would have 100 years ago. An impressive array of everyday artifacts is displayed in each building.

Ghost Town Museum serves as a permanent example of Colorado’s Wild West towns. There are many hands-on activities for the young and old: Crank a butter churn. Operate an old-time arcade or nickelodeon. See a short film on the gold mining era. Pan for real gold in the seasonal panning areas!

Your thoughts when you read that this was an indoor museum were probably like Roy’s and mine.  How could this possibly be great or in anyway realistic, yet it was!  As soon as we walked into the huge room that is the ghost town you feel like you are outside and way back in the Wild West!

There are over 50 photos I chose out of around 200 that we took.  There was just so much cool stuff that I couldn’t bear to leave out many!

 

General Store

Washing Machine

Butter Churn Blacksmith

Newspaper Office

Look at this cute guy I found in one of the buggies!

The Jailhouse

 

Old time telephone

Apothecary (Pharmacy)

Barber Shop

Rooms for Rent

Wells Fargo Co.     

 

Pike’s Peak Saloon 

Oops, I got caught in the Saloon!!!

 

Old time arcades

Fire Department

Roy was trying to hitch a ride on this stage coach!

1903 Cadillac One Cylinder

They had two of these funny mirrors like we use to see at Pontchartrain Beach in New Orleans when we were growing up.   This one made my legs look so short in the mirror.  The other shows what Roy and I would look like if we were really thin! 


An Old West Home

A portion of the town seen from above

The gift shop was great!!

I was a happy lady getting to see all that!

When we arrived I hid two rocks. They were both still there when we came out but later someone found the chick/egg one and posted the find on Facebook!

The other thing we planned to see was the Pioneer Museum in the Old Courthouse in Old Colorado City.  We parked near where we thought it was and walked around for a long time trying to find it.  Roy finally figured we had something wrong and that the museum was two miles away.  Even thought we didn’t see what we planned to we enjoyed strolling through Old Colorado City and I of course left some rocks there.  One was found and they posted it on Facebook.  

Since we had not killed ourselves with exhaustion yet we went to Walmart to get groceries and left a few rocks outside the store.  Three rocks were found by this cute girl below! Her mom gave me the okay to post her photo.

This rock was left in Russell, Kansas while we were there last week and was just posted as found on Facebook!

It was hidden again and this young girl found it!

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08.02.17 Focus on the Family and Garden of the God’s – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 – Two years ago we traveled for several months through the western states on a different travel path than we are going this year but we are again staying at Colorado Heights Resort in Monument, Colorado. After staying in non Coast to Coast parks for a week on our way to Monument it made us really appreciate Colorado Heights Resort which is a Coast to Coast park. The weather here is so perfect that we’ve slept every night with the windows open and most of the day the windows are open and the air conditioning is off. We are surrounded by mountains and I couldn’t be in a happier place! This was one of our first sightings of mountains and it even got better from there!

Colorado Heights Resort

There are a few things we saw the first time that we will be seeing again. We did not see Focus on the Family the first trip, but we did see Garden of the Gods. Today we went to both of those!

These were hidden at the Focus on the Family property.

If you do not know what Focus on the Family is, here’s a little summary: Focus on the Family has long been a global Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive. They provide help and resources for couples to build healthy marriages that reflect God’s design, and for parents to raise their children according to morals and values grounded in biblical principles.

They produce a half hour radio program, in the studio below, which began airing in 1977 and is now aired daily on 2000 radio stations in the US.

 

Focus on the Family welcomes visitors to the ministry’s Welcome Center in Colorado Springs. There, guests can become better acquainted with the ministry via a self-guided walking tour of that building, as well as have fun with their children in the Kid’s Korner play area and Whit’s End Soda Shoppe.

The Welcome Center has had more than three million guests walk through its doors since its opening in 1994, and is located next to the on-campus bookstore. Learning about the history of their ministry was very interesting but I have to admit the kids play areas was lots of fun! I especially loved their bookstore and bought a few things there!

An exterior view of the slide at Kids Korner.Downstairs in the Welcome Center, young visitors were having a great time newly expanded Kid’s Korner. One of the main attractions is A-Bend-A-Go, a three-story corkscrew slide that’s 76 feet long.

KYDS Radio is where a child can record his or her voice on an actual Adventures in Odyssey episode written just for KYDS Radio. They get to take home a complimentary CD ! They wouldn’t let me in. I think I was too tall! Couldn’t be my age!!

From there we went to Garden of the Gods’ to see that amazing and natural creation of the one and only God. Last time we were in Colorado I wrote about our visit to Garden of the God’s. The rmountainous rocks are still the same rocks they were then so here’s a link to that visit. 2015 visit to Garden of the Gods The first part of that blog post was our visit that year to the Olympic Training Center. If you don’t want to see that just scroll down to the Garden of the God’s info and pictures!

A couple of things were different this time. They have a new place there called the Trading Post. It is a super gigantic gift shop that was lots of fun to stroll through.

The other thing that was different was that the last time we went through the park one time. This time it wound up being three times around. Their sights for which way to when coming to a fork in the road. A clear sign that said “Exit” would have been quite helpful. It started storming somewhere near the end of our first time around and we couldn’t even see the signs so around we went again. Then near the end of the second time around the skies cleared up and when we came to another Y in the road I told Roy to go one way which turned out to be the way to go around the park again! Finally Roy decided not to listen to me and turned a different way than I thought he should and guess what We Got Out!!! It felt more like we’d been around four times but three is bad enough to admit to!!

This rock below was left by me outside the Trading Post.

When it was found the finder posted a picture of it on Facebook!

That particular saying was funny and people liked it. so I’m gong to make another with that same saying on it! I absolutely love painting and hiding these rocks. My hands are usually covered in paint, mod podge and glue and it takes time to do this. The positive comments I’ve gotten and the happiness that children are getting from finding them makes it all worthwhile. Mom’s have shared with me how much finding one meant for their child and one lady shared with me how stressed she had been and that the saying on the rock lifted her spirits. God absolutely uses a simple thing like a painted rock to speak to someone in need.

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