Monday, August 14, 2017

Pikes Peak - America's Mountain

On July 5th we went up drove up to the summit of Pikes Peak. 

Pikes Peak is one of Colorado's 53 fourteeners (which are mountains over 14,000 feet in elevation). 

The mountain was named for Zebulon Montgomery Pike, an explorer who attempted to climb the mountain, but due to heavy snow, did not make it all the way up.  

After I took this picture, Mig looked around and became terrified! We did not realize that he has a fear of heights until this moment. You can tell in the next picture, that though we are not close to the edge, he is completely uncomfortable and leaning as far as he can away from the edge. 

Mig spent the rest of the time on the peak holding Byron's hand or telling us all to be very careful. 

The views from the peak are amazing!! These pictures do not do it justice. 

You can take a train from Manitou Springs up the mountain, or you can drive up Pikes Peak Highway for a fee. Adults are $15 and children 6 - 15 years old are $5. We drove the highway. We knew that when the train gets up the mountain the gift shop becomes very crowded, so we hung out outside until the train headed back down. Then the shop was nice and quiet. The donuts on the peak are SO GOOD! They have to use a special recipe because of the altitude. We got a dozen donuts so we could each have 2. Byron got carried away and ate his two plus one of mine. 

We also spotted Bigfoot hanging out in the gift shop. Mig was quite comfortable with Bigfoot - but Faith was a bit freaked out. Byron makes Bigfoot look cuddly in comparison. 

Once we had eaten our snacks, roamed the gift shop and used the facilities, we headed back outside. Did I mention that it was cold? As you can see there was still snow - even in July!

Although not the tallest peak in Colorado, it is the most famous thanks to Katharine Lee Bates who pinned the words to "America the Beautiful" after having seen the view from Pikes Peak. This plaque on the summit commemorates the words of her famous song. 

These yellowed bellied marmots are so fun!! We saw a lot on the drive up and back down the mountain. This one was posing for pictures! 

Such a beautiful backdrop.

Can you see the climber taking a selfie?!?

One of our favorite restaurants while we lived in Colorado was The Wines of Colorado. It is at the foot of the mountain. After we headed down, we went there for lunch. It was so good!! And the weather was beautiful enough for us to sit creekside! 

What a treat! 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Independence Day in Colorado

Our second day in Colorado just happened to be the 4th of July! 

When we lived in Woodland Park, we would go to the cities "Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration" downtown. So, it was like old times! 

There were booths set up all over the newly renovated Memorial Park with games, crafts and food. 

There was live music and so many people! We ran into a few old friends and it was so nice to see them again.

The kids even saw Elvis. Don't worry, I reminded them not to step on his shoes....

 Mig even got to sit in the front of a police car. 

And he made some very important arrests....

That evening a family that we were close to while we lived there in Woodland Park came to the campground for hot dogs and marshmallows. It was a Fourth of July to remember! 

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Mountains Were Calling and So We Went

After Missouri, we loaded up in the truck and took a long drive to Colorado. 

A long and windy drive to Colorado....and after a hose popped loose on the truck as we crossed the Kansas boarder, we wondered if we would really make it! 

The truck was really having a lot of trouble. The turbo was not kicking in like it should, and a few times we really wondered if we should just head back to Texas. 
We said lots of prayers and held our breath many times and we did make it to Colorado! 

We camped in Woodland Park. We hadn't been back to Colorado as a family since we moved back to Texas in 2009. It was really, really nice to be back!

For our first day in Colorado, we went to Colorado Springs - just down the mountain from Woodland Park. Our first stop was Focus on the Family. 

This was one of our favorite places to visit while we lived in Colorado and we couldn't wait to take the kids! They rode the 3 story slide, did a scavenger hunt through Witt's End and even went through the wardrobe into Narnia!

Our next stop was the Garden of the Gods. 

The Garden of Gods never ceases to amaze! Such a beautiful location!

Gorgeous girl.

 We even logged our very first out of state Geocache at the Garden! 

We had to venture a little off trail to find it. 

We even broke a few rules....

But we won't tell if you don't! 

The kids love the "Kissing Camels" right behind them here - can you see them?

Gabe really wanted to go rock climbing like these guys. 

He had to settle for going just a few feet up. 

We did a lot of walking and were getting very tired just about the time an afternoon storm started rolling in. That was our cue to head back up the mountain to our home away from home.  

What a fun first day in the mountains!