Our Good and Bad Adventures in Colorado Springs

This week my mom and I decided to go on a road trip before I went back to college, thus we drove 10 hours to Colorado Springs. My parents lived here for several years when my dad was stationed at Fort Carson, where my sister was also born. I had been to Colorado Springs/Grand Junction area when my sister graduated from Mesa College, but don’t remember anything since I was so young at the time. Now that I’m 22 years old, I thought I’d see Colorado for myself and why my family loves it.

The First Day:

It felt like forever until we got to the Colorado border, and once we got there I was wondering where the mountains were. I kept looking and looking and couldn’t find any and was getting tired of seeing what most Kansans in every day, which are endless flat plains.

Before we went into Colorado, we had to stop and get a photo of us underneath the sign. It’s a necessary thing when traveling.

We had made it to Colorado Springs in pretty good timing though, and my mom gave me a little tour of where my parents used to live in an apartment and in a little trailer park area. She was enjoying the little familiarities that came along with driving around seeing how much the city looked the same and didn’t. After the little tour of Fountain and their apartment off of University, we decided to grab something to eat and get a hotel room, which ended up being a chaotic situation. Most hotels were booked due to a Bike Event up by Garden of the Gods that was happening the next day, and when we did find a hotel room… the front desk attendant said there were no elevators. Now I’m not sure how a hotel doesn’t have an elevator considering it’s Federal laws to have at least one in the building, but it did not. So we went out again searching for another hotel room until we found a Holiday Inn with an elevator, thank goodness. By that time, we were both exhausted and hungry so we enjoyed our dinner and the hot tub that the hotel had available for us to use before crashing for the night.

The Second Day:

This was the busiest day we’ve had on any of our trips, I think. We wanted to start at Garden of the God’s, but every route our GPS lady took us…just led us to either construction or the road being blocked because of the Biking Event. We eventually gave up and decided to head to Cheyenne Mountain.

Fun Fact: The NORAD complex was designed to withstand a nuclear blast, and it’s also ready to handle an EMP or electromagnetic pulse.

To me, that was incredible. On our drive up to Cheyenne Mountain, it was slow and tight, with my mom driving a rental and on those curves. Luckily, it wasn’t terribly busy on the roads up to Helen Hunt’s or on the way down. When we got to Helen Hunt’s fall, it was the perfect weather for it and felt refreshing having the water blow onto our faces, while we stood at the bottom.

Funny thing when we got to Helen Hunt’s falls, I kept joking with my mom about going up Gold Camp Rd, but she kept declining my suggestion after the last time my parents went up there and were both terrified of the small road. On the way down, Cheyenne Mountain is known for a lot of trails on the mountain, so the park always has little areas to pull off and park your car while you walk the trails. We decided to pull into one that had a little creek next to it and walk down by it. It was so peaceful to just stand by the water and listen to it, considering that it’s one area that probably hadn’t been touched by chemicals or anything man-made before. The next thing we went to was the Seven Falls, which required us taking a shuttle up to the attraction. For anyone that loves waterfalls, hiking or just has a sense of adventure….you need to see this at least once. My mom had seen it already when she lived in Colorado Springs before, so I was the only one going up to the top. So this meant I had to get over my fear of heights. There were 224 steps leading up to the top of the falls, along with two platforms where you could rest, and boy did I take my time walking up the stairs and at the landings.

At the top of Seven Falls after 224 steps, the Troll and I were both terrified but so glad we made it.

My legs were shaking and I was trying to keep myself from having a panic attack on the way up and down. I do have to say, going down felt like it took forever but going up was the worse since you could see through the steps. This was a beautiful attraction, and while I was terrified I would recommend this adventure to everyone!

After we still had several hours to kill before going to the AirBNB so we took a trip to Manitou Springs and looked through the cute little shops. There were all kinds of shops that you could think of from Head shops, nick-nack’s, Apothecary’s, to Ice cream stores. It was a tiny, quaint little town and I loved the vibe it was giving off. It even had an area of old video games for the kids to play while their parents shopped. Eventually, it had started to rain, so we decided to call it an afternoon before the traffic changed our minds. So we took a trip up to Cave of the Winds, while we waited out the traffic. That cave was amazing! It definitely had some tight spaces, but the rocks were gorgeous. I think those pictures are the most I got on the entire trip. After we got to the Airbnb and settled in, we went out for some food at Rasta Pasta off of Nevada Ave….Words can’t describe the flavors of the salad dressings or the kinds of pasta we order or the whole vibe of the place. That was my favorite food place the entire time we were in Colorado Springs, and I wish they had some in my city. lsIf you love pasta, Bob Marley, and some local food you must try Rasta Pasta if you go to Colorado Springs. We left and went to bed with full and happy stomachs, and with some rather sore legs. 

The Third Day:

On our last day, we decided to try Garden of the Gods again…with no luck. Due to the Bike Event and the tourism surrounding the Garden of the Gods, it was so packed that we didn’t even try it. Our next idea was to either eat something or go to the Citadel (the local shopping mall), that was close to where my parents used to live when my dad was stationed at Fort Carson. We thought they might have something for us to eat or somewhere close by, but we did find some really adorable animals in the mall, which were sadly from Pet Mills and breed for the money. Our next stop was to a Head shop which led us to Emerald Fields and man, was that an interesting procedure. Before anyone makes any judgments, I don’t smoke, I use edibles for my anxiety during the semester when I’m stressed out and anxious the most. The procedure once we got in was thorough, they took our ID’s and ran a background check, told us to wait in another room before we were given a “tour” of the next room where you could find everything you might find in a Head shop. I ended up leaving with cookies and some strawberry chews, which both I had yet to try, but I hope it works.

We ended the day by taking a tour of Fort Carson, seeing what had changed and what hadn’t….and let’s just say, according to my mom, a LOT has changed. Buildings are used for other things, some of the barracks (housing) were there, but most people had brand new houses along with Commissary, movie theatre, bowling alley, and schools. If you were stationed there, you’d never have to leave since everything that you could possibly want/need is in one location. It goes to show how much money the government puts into the Military, instead of paying their soldiers better. It was nice though to see the base my sister was born on and where my dad spent his years in the army.

 The Fourth Day:

That last morning, we woke up earlier than the other days because we had such a long and boring trip to make. When we were leaving, I could see the mountains disappear slowly into the fog and clouds when I realized that I was really going to miss seeing the mountain everywhere I looked. That’s something that Kansas just doesn’t have, and I realized that Kansas doesn’t really have anything other than beautiful sunsets and sunrises. Everywhere else you look, it looks boring, flat and empty especially along highway 50/400 that we took home. Kansas has so many fields, cattle feeds and just grass for miles and miles before you see any resemblance of a town. That, along with having beautiful sunrises and sunsets, sets Kansas apart from everyone else. That’s what makes Kansas beautiful.

Between the funny jokes, familiarities for my mom, changes in our original plans and the rainy weather…..we enjoyed the trip and I have to say, I have a new found love for Colorado Mountains. No matter what road trip or vacation you take, you will inevitably run into some kind of situation that makes you stray from the original plan, you’ll get a flat tire, or forget something at home that you needed, or in our case have several different things happen to us on the road trip. You just gotta look at it as an adventure as my mom always tells me, and enjoy the ride because you will never be in the same moment twice and you can’t change anything about it after it happens. You have to enjoy the moment that you are in because when you look back you will remember the funny and bad moments, just as you will remember the good ones.

From the Ashes,

The Rising Phoenix

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