21 February 2009

A Walk in His Gardens--Manitou Springs

I visited Manitou Springs twice during my time in this part of Colorado. None of it looked familiar to me so most likely we didn't go here in 1977 and this trip was my first to the town.
A quick note here: I DO remember going to Cripple Creek in 1977 - it was quite an interesting place back then, with donkeys running loose through the town, great historic buildings and bats flying overhead at the nearby campground we stayed at (if you know me then you know I really, really don't like bats and was thankful my sleeping bags was long--so I could bury myself totally in it that night!). We did consider going to Cripple Creek this time, but I decided against it because I wasn't sure how I'd react to the road there (even though from the description we were given it probably would have been OK).
As for Pike's Peak and the drive UP there--you already know I was "quite content" to view Pike's Peak from locales, like Manitou Springs and the Garden of the Gods this time.
Well back to Manitou Springs and my visit there...

I had first heard about the town (and seen some photos) on another website. It looked like a place I'd really like, and the friend I was visiting had never been so my first time there was with her and we had a lot of fun:)
Our first stop was at the local Visitor Center where I can report that they were very knowledgeable about the town and other nearby locales--including Cripple Creek and Pike's Peak. With maps and pamphlets in hand, we set out to eat and explore the town and it's springs! There are LOTS of springs in town!!

One of our first stops was to eat and we had amazing food at the place we chose for lunch (it was busy, busy though---Manitou Springs seems to be very popular even on late spring/early summer weekdays)
Afterwards we walked around--shopped, drove up to (but didn't visit) the Miramont Castle Museum and explored many other areas of the town. Of course, I took a lot of photos--just because it was so nice there and green!! Us Pacific NW'ers LOVE green!! And forests! And mountains! Manitou Springs had all three:)
The next time we went to Manitou Springs was after the trip to the Garden of the Gods. I was with a couple then and he took us up to the home of the Pike's Peak Cog Railroad which one can take to --- I know you already guessed this --- Pike's Peak! (for those who may not want to drive to the summit) Even though it was early, early in the morning there were a lot of hikers in this area so be very careful if you're driving here. Three hikes I know of are: the Manitou Incline, the trail up Pike's Peak and the Barr trail. I believe all the hikers we saw were going up the Barr Trail. Hiking, biking and other outside activities are BIG in Colorado and it's no wonder with the unbeatable scenery, weather (for those who love it like me!!) and areas that are just made for outdoor enthusiasts!!

So, Manitou Springs is very beautiful, very popular and easily accessible if you are anywhere in the Colorado Springs area. Everyone we met there seemed friendly, the food was really great, but still I have some mixed feelings about going there. Would I go again? Probably but not definitely.
Next post: more Colorado and then--maybe--Wyoming and Utah:) Did you know the deepest (as in most intense color) blue water I've ever seen was in the NW at Crater Lake and also in Wyoming? Did you know that the Red Desert is actually green in late spring/early summer? Did you know that Utah also has seagull 'conventions' or so it seems? Did you know that the Wasatch Mts are also green at that time of year and they glow a beautiful gold if the lighting is just perfect? So many facts, so little time...
Blessings, Aimee
Photos: as listed on pictures.

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