|Garden of the Gods|
What a wonderful place this is. So much to do that I am sure we will have to return and with my good friend Mary living here it will be a must. Mary and I lived together for 3 years when we were just out of college in Iowa City. Two of those years were with our friend Trudy. If you want a good chuckle you’ll have to picture the three of us; we all are about the same height from 4’11” to 5’1”. We took a lot of teasing but boy did we have fun. We ran together, went on ski trips, hiking trips to Colorado, camping trips and just plain had too much fun. I was even with Mary when she met her now husband Kevin. We were all at the 1980 Final Four Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis. The Iowa Hawks made the cut that year and Mary talked me into camping out all night for tickets. She was working nights as an RN at U of I Hospitals and I was working days as a hygienist. What a crazy time. It is so much fun to have some time with her again.
Tuesday, John and I hiked to Garden of the Gods, about half mile from the campground. We had been here before with our kids, so some of it looked familiar. It was also a little bit like a piece of Sedona plopped down in Colorado Springs. The only thing I don’t like about this park and hiking here is the horse poop. They have lots of trail rides and the poop is all along the trail so that you have to really watch your footing to avoid it and for me that takes some of the fun out of the hiking. It was a very nice day so when we came back several hours later we just sat outside with a little wine and dinner.
|Cadet Chapel exterior|
|Organ loft of Protestant Chapel|
Wednesday we headed to Mary’s house to pick her up and head to the Air Force Academy. This is one of the things we didn’t do the year we brought the boys here. Did you know there is a High School on the property? It’s not just a base school either, it’s just one of the area high schools so you would see school buses coming in and out. Recently they shut down part of the area to military personnel only and what’s interesting is the high school is in that area. Not sure how they handle that but it is so new that Mary took us to the South Entrance to find out that now visitors must enter only at the North Entrance and then when she tried to take us through the loop to see the high school we were turned away at another check point for the same reason. She asked the young man guarding the gate about it and he said the policy is fairly new. We were able to go to the visitors center & Cadet Chapel. The Chapel is beautiful. The main chapel is a Protestant chapel but there is a Catholic church area in the basement along with a Jewish and Buddhist temple. All are absolutely beautiful areas. This building won a lot of architectural awards and it is easy to see why.
After our tour we took Mary back to the trailer for her to check out our home. It made for a nice relaxed visit. This also was John’s birthday (the big 60) and so we met Mary’s husband Kevin for dinner at Amanda’s Fonda just across the street from the park for dinner. It was a great day.
|Janie & Mary|
|Kevin, Mary and John(birthday boy)|
Thursday was an at home day of laundry, groceries etc. Sometimes it is hard for people to understand that when you live in your rig at some point all those things have to be done, even though it was a beautiful day and we were surrounded by all these great things to do.
Friday Mary called and was taking the son of a friend to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and invited me along. Marcus is in the 3rd grade and had the day off from school.
|Mary and Marcus being checked out by the giraffe|
|Don't you love that tongue?|
This is a great little zoo built on the side of the mountain. They have a great giraffe exhibit but I think our favorite of the day were the river otters at feeding time. Marcus made it fun too; we laughed at how when we arrived he wanted to see everything as fast as he could but by noon he was dragging up the hills. I so remember those days with my own boys. If you are in the Springs and like zoos you should check this one out.
|This guy would kiss your hand if you put it up to the glass.|
Today we are going to hike to downtown Manitou Springs and do a little shopping and then later meet up with Mary and Kevin to check out a couple micro-breweries. The weather today and tomorrow is suppose to be a little iffy so it may affect what we do. No matter, like I said at the beginning, we will be back. So much more hiking and biking in the area and a few other attractions we won’t get to this trip.