After our brief detour to the southern part of Colorado, we headed back toward the mountains, by way of Colorado Springs. The drive from Alamosa to Colorado Springs was just long enough that we needed a stop to break it up, so we stopped in Pueblo for lunch. I am of the age where I associate Pueblo, CO, with public service advertisements that played during my Saturday morning cartoon viewing, telling me to write to some government office in Pueblo to request some pamphlets- I think maybe about small business ownership? I can't remember that detail. But I can still hear the voice announcing the address in my head. It was a folksy male voice. Of course, the only part of the address I remember is "Pueblo, CO."
So, I was sort of excited to see this town. It turns out to be a mid-sized town, probably struggling in the way that many mid-sized towns are these days. But it has a nice riverwalk, and we had lunch along that. Then we strolled the riverwalk for a bit, although Mr. Snarky complained that it was too hot for much of that stroll. He does not like temperatures that get above about 80 degrees F. It is a good thing I moved to San Diego when he said he'd come to America to live with me. He claims he liked New Jersey (where I was living at the time), but he was never there for the summer.
Anyway, we got to Colorado Springs early, got checked in to our hotel, had a nice dinner at the Phantom Canyon Brewing Company downtown , and still had time to go check out The Garden of the Gods, which was #1 on my list of things to see in Colorado Springs.
|It starts off slow
|That's Petunia in the picture, for scale
|In my defense, the kids are the ones who like to match their clothes.
The next morning, we headed to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, to pass the time before our scheduled train ride to the top of Pike's Peak (#1 on Mr. Snarky's list of things to do in Colorado Springs).
They particularly enjoyed grinding corn:
You'll note from that picture that the kids are wearing rain jackets. This was the first day of our trip on which it rained. I was bummed, because I was worried that the rain would ruin our train ride up Pike's Peak.
It turns out, we went above the clouds.
|That is one of the other trains ahead of us. There were three trains that went up together.
|I had no idea marmots were so cute
The clouds below us did impede our view, so we didn't get the grand panoramic view for which Pikes Peak is known. (It is not the only "fourteener," or mountain of 14,000 feet or more, in Colorado, but it is the only one that is not surrounded by other tall mountains, so it provides a particularly panoramic viewpoint.) Still, the view was nice.
|Pumpkin and Petunia admire the view
On the way down the mountain we saw some big horn sheep, which was pretty cool.
I had hoped to explore Old Colorado City after the train ride, and maybe get dinner there. The kids co-operated with that plan long enough to get some ice cream, but then got too whiny to tolerate, so we headed back to the hotel instead. We had dinner at a chain restaurant near our hotel and called the visit done. The kids were bitterly disappointed that we hadn't gone swimming in the hotel pool, so everyone was a little grumpy as we got ready for bed.
We had a suite, though, so Mr. Snarky and I got a chance to unwind with a beer or two before we called it a night. As I leafed through the hotel room travel brochure and sipped my beer, I noticed that there was one local attraction we had missed:
|A Creation Tour through a local canyon, to see evidence of the Biblical Flood