Thursday, May 7, 2015

Colorado Springs Trip

Colorado springs is the second largest city in Colorado and has 300 days of pure sunshine, that is 300 days of bliss! Colorado Springs is like many say, an extraordinary place to not only visit but live.

On the way to Pikes Peak

When we planned the trip, we really just wanted to experience Colorado's many trails, hikes, and scenery. We went towards the end of April, beginning of may. The weather could not have been perfect, holding strong at around 70 degrees; not too hot and not too cold. We did get showers here and there but nothing major. We flew into Denver and then rented a car and drove to Colorado Springs, which took us only an hour. Our hotel was right by The Garden of the Gods and was a 15 minute drive to practically all the events that we had planned. We started the evening with a christian concert and then dinner. We hit the sack early due to the early wake up time the next day. Wake up time was 7am and then we headed up to Pikes Peak.

Drive to the top

Pikes peak is the second most visited mountain in the world, surrounded by thousands of acres of timber. It has more than 12 species of trees that color the rugged mountains.
We didn't have time to make the 12 mile hike up Pikes Peak but we did drive up the windy path, which we stopped every few minutes to just gaze at the work of Gods hands. In the 1890's gold was discovered on the western slope and by 1904 it was home to a third of the nations millionaires. The small rock that I found was unfortunately far from gold, I guess I'm just not cut out to be a gold miner. As we approached the peak, the temperature dropped down to 35 degrees with snow on the mountains. It was absolutely beautiful at the top, an image I won't be able to erase.

Pikes Peak

We also did lots of hiking around Helen Hunt Falls which, by itself, is a one mile easy hike. The hike takes up beside the face of the falls and over the Cheyenne creek. When we reached the end of the trail the scenery was indescribable. We saw the entire valley with a small hint of the city all around us.

Cheyenne Canon Park

My adventurous side

Cheyenne Canon Park

After us gazing at the beauty around us, we wanted to explore a little and so we veered off of the path and started to climb up some steep rock formations. I love venturing off where most don't attempt to go. It gives oneself a sense of adventure and wonder. I have always had an adventurous side to me and was a tomboy when I was little; playing with cars, swords, and enjoying the outdoors. When we reached the very top we felt exhilarated and a sense of achievement. We stayed up there for quite some time just talking, gazing at the scenery, daring each other to do stupid things, and just relaxing. After that we were scratching our heads and wondering how we were going to make the descend down the slope. Fortunately we made it down without any scrapes or scratches.

Steps to Helen Hunt Falls
Different plants along the way

We then drove to another trail that was fairly close by to Helen Hunt Falls. This trail was about two miles long and was on the difficulty level. We packed our snacks, water, and camera and headed up the incline. About a mile into our hike, I noticed something in the distance moving along the trail. It didn't take me a long time to realize there was an adult brown bear, often called a grizzly bear, just ahead of us. With no one around we froze and my heart was pounding out of my chest. I turned to my husband and it didn't even faze him. He thought I was joking around. Before the bear took a sudden left turn, I took a picture to prove that I wasn't going crazy. At that time I was backing up as my husband was moving forward. I told him that we better turn around and go back because who knows if we'll run into it again. He, like always, convinced me to keep moving. I felt like we were being watched by the bear that entire two mile hike. Later on, I was reading up on brown bears and they say that they are extremely fast, reaching speeds up to 30 miles per hour. They are also dangerous to humans if they are surprised or if there are cubs with them. I just want to say that we are fortunate nothing happened and next time we will be more prepared. All in all, the hikes that we took were nothing but spectacular and that the beauty of nature never gets old!

Encounter with a brown bear

We also spent some time at the Garden of the Gods. It's a free public park that consists of the famous red rock formations. Each rock has it's own size and shape that makes this park very unique and a great evening or morning walk.

Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods
Manitou Cliff Dwellings

Here is an overview of some of the things that we got the chance to experience:

1. Drove up to Pikes Peak
2. Walked around the Garden of the Gods
3. Hiked up to Helen Hunt Falls and Seven Falls
4. Hiked many trails in Cheyenne Canon park such as Mt Cutler hiking trail
5. Visited the Manitou Cliff Dwellings
6. Went to a concert

These were just some of the many things that we did in Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs was far better than what we had ever expected and we can not wait to go back.