06.19.15 Riding on the COG Railway, Cave of the Winds and the North Pole!

its who you go withFriday, June 19, 2015 – What an ambitious day we took on today!  We set out at 6:50 am which is way before we usually wake up!  Our reservations were for the 8:00 train.  The town of Manitou Springs is a unique, quaint town loaded with charm.

pikes peak train depotFirst stop was the Pike’s Peak COG Railway.  No driving for Roy and clear skies this trip!  We met two nice guys from Ohio who sat across from us!  The path we took on the train ride was 95 percent different than what we drove in our car.  Lots of different sights from our first driving trip, but the snow was still on the ground near the Summit.

At the Summit,we DID NOT venture out into the snow where we sunk the last time! We tried the Pike’s Peak donuts.  The only donuts made at an altitude of over 14,000 feet. They were very good.  You can see Roy enjoying them in one of the pictures below!

Following are pictures from our train ride up, at the Summit, and our ride down the mountain.

20150619_08162920150619_08443120150619_093139 20150619_084739 20150619_084838 20150619_085032 20150619_085815 20150619_085847 20150619_090431 20150619_093445 20150619_093449 20150619_093526 20150619_094712 20150619_094726 20150619_100348 20150619_101044 20150619_101244 20150619_102546 20150619_102638 20150619_102946(0) 20150619_103556 20150619_105235 20150619_105623 20150619_110459 20150619_114708This is a panoramic picture of the view from the Summit.  Click on it to see it full size.  Then click your browser’s back button to come back to the blog post.

20150619_093750From there we drove over to nearby Cave of the Winds.  The road up to the Cave of the Winds begins directly across the highway from where you come down from Pike’s Peak.  We only drove up to their parking lot and saw the different views from there.

Following are a couple of pictures we took from there:

20150619_115018 20150619_114914 20150619_114750 20150619_114708 20150619_114705 Santa-2011-0121-300x255Our last stop, and the most strenuous, was visiting the North Pole Colorado Santa’s Workshop, a Christmas themed family amusement park..  This is a huge 25 acre amusement park with several rides for us old children and many rides for the littler children.  Several shops and food places too.  We rode on the Ferris wheel, Santa’s Sleigh zip line, Candy Cane Coaster, Sky Ride, the Paratrooper and the train.  The admission here is $21 per person but since we are both 60+ we got to enjoy it all FREE!!!

The following are pictures we took throughout the park and from the air during the Sky Ride.

20150619_135400 20150619_135250 20150619_135240 20150619_131825 20150619_131332 20150619_131258 20150619_131059 20150619_131007 20150619_124149 20150619_124110 20150619_123823 20150619_123642 20150619_123031 20150619_122800 20150619_121209 20150619_121046 20150619_120448

We purchased a large snow snow globe with Santa’s feet sticking out at the top and his head at the bottom in his red Santa suit.  The snow in the globe circulates constantly because of a little fan at the bottom.  We decorate the dashboard at Christmas and thought this would make a great addition to our current decorations.

To say that after this very busy week we are quite exhausted would be an understatement.  I’m looking forward to some down time this weekend when I  can spent a few hours working!   Wow, working is way easier than all this sightseeing.  It’s getting hot here in Colorado now and we really felt it today.

On Monday we have tours scheduled at the Denver Rockie’s baseball Coors Field and the Denver Bronco’s Mile High football stadium.  I’ll probably wear my Atlanta Braves Jersey and some New Orleans Saints apparel to spice up the day!  The high Monday is suppose to be in the mid 90s.  Eek! Too much like the southern heat…….

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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06.17.15 US Olympic Training Complex AND Garden of the Gods

22800_10152913697526198_5636189900868181414_nWednesday, June 17, 2015 – Today’s adventure took us to the US Olympic Training Complex and the Garden of the Gods.

First stop US Olympic Training Complex:

The U.S. Olympic Complex in Colorado Springs is the flagship training center for the Olympic Training Center programs.

The Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center rests on a 35-acre complex located near downtown Colorado Springs. The center has sport venues and support us_olympic_training_centerfacilities for fencing, gymnastics, judo, modern pentathlon, shooting, swimming, taekwondo, weightlifting and wrestling. The facility also includes a state-of-the-art sports medicine and sport science center, and an athlete center featuring a dining hall and multiple residence halls.20150617_153417 20150617_153517 20150617_154427 This is the Olympics Hall of Fame museum where we played around a bit!

20150617_154741 20150617_154859 The Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center is able to provide housing, dining, training facilities, recreational facilities and other services for more than 500 athletes and coaches at one time on the complex. Athletes are selected to train at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center from the top 15% in their sport.

20150617_155031 Our visit began with a video presentation showing highlights of USA athletes from the Sochi Winter Olympics and the London 2012 Summer Olympics.  I snuck a few pictures during the presentation!

20150617_15463720150617_160415 20150617_160517 20150617_160949The video was followed by a walking tour of the complex.  During the tour we saw:

The shooting training center

20150617_161841 20150617_162011 20150617_162041The weight lifting training center

20150617_162412The wrestling training center

20150617_162538The swimming training center 20150617_163151 20150617_163228 20150617_163308 20150617_163340The basketball training center

20150617_162808The gymnastics training center where a young boy was getting lessons

20150617_163745 20150617_163756 20150617_163837The athlete’s residence halls and dining room

20150617_162902 20150617_162949Sports medicine and sports science center

20150617_164132 20150617_164113 20150617_164110The weight training center and running track for non weight lifting trainees

20150617_164759 20150617_164749 20150617_164727Our guide was very informative and sweet.  The center use to be a military training center but definitely has a USA Olympic look about it now!

20150617_164941Next stop was the Garden of the Gods.  I believe there is only one God so the Garden’s name goes against that but it was a beautiful drive through the park. 20150617_132722Garden of the Gods Park is a registered National Natural Landmark. Imagine dramatic views, 300′ towering sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snow-capped Pikes Peak and brilliant blue skies. This world class Visitor & Nature Center is the most visited attraction in this area.  It is a city park so visiting it was free.

20150617_133418We stopped at the Visitor Center first, got a map and information on what to see, got back in our truck and were on our way to see the sites.

20150617_133733 20150617_133645 20150617_135251It is a beautiful drive with lots of giant red rocks rising up from the earth. I see that in the pictures they do not look the same red they do in person.  It was all much prettier than the pictures show.

20150617_140011 20150617_140722 20150617_140627 20150617_140622 20150617_140533 20150617_140350 20150617_140230 20150617_140225 20150617_14154020150617_144147Kissing Camels

20150617_145007This one is a panoramic shot from one of the overlooks.  Click on it to open then after seeing it click the back button to come back to the blog.

20150617_141437The last rock formation we saw was Balanced Rock which Roy was able to crawl up on for these pictures!

20150617_143642 20150617_143650 20150617_143603When on our way out of the park we saw a deer crossing the road.

20150617_144618 20150617_144553A house on the mountain side!20150617_144450 That’s it for today folks!  These two tired old folks are taking tomorrow off from sightseeing.  Friday’s adventure will be taking the Cog Railway up to the top of Pike’s Peak where we drove to on Monday.  We’ll also be visiting the North Pole where we’ll have fun with Santa!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!


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