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Colorado Day 5
7 Aug 2017
Our longest stay of the trip was in Colorado Springs. We started this day with a walk through Garden of the Gods Park. It was raining, but we still managed to see the massive rocks between the rain drops. We then headed to an indoor (make that underground) attraction, Cave of the Winds. We toured the cave and stayed dry. The cave is not for the claustrophobic because there are some tight tunnels, but thankfully that doesn't bother us and we enjoyed it because it was something unique and unlike other cave tours we've taken on the east coast. We spent the afternoon at Seven Falls at the Broadmoor Resort. We climbed 224 wet and slippery stairs to the top of the falls. (No one ever said vacationing is easy!) We were starting to acclimate to the altitude a little by this point but it was still quite a challenge. We saw people at the bottom sitting in rocking chairs before we started the ascent and wondered what they were doing. When we got back to the bottom, we realized they were recovering! Thank god the mile walk back to the car was downhill! We finished the night in downtown Colorado Springs at a little gastropub for dinner.

(click any photo for a larger version)

DAY 4 | COLORADO INDEX | DAY 6
05-001 US Olympic Committee Sign 05-002 Garden of the Gods Sign 05-003 Garden of the Gods
As the sign says, Colorado Springs is the home of the US Olympic Committee
Garden of the Gods Park is first on the agenda today
Garden of the Gods is a series of massive red rocks
05-005 Garden of the Gods Landmark Marker 05-007 Garden of the Gods 05-008 Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods is a registered natural landmark
Garden of the Gods is a series of massive red rocks
Garden of the Gods is a series of massive red rocks
05-009 Garden of the Gods 05-011 Garden of the Gods 05-012 White Rock & North Gateway Rock
Garden of the Gods is a series of massive red rocks
Garden of the Gods is a series of massive red rocks
Walking between White Rock & North Gateway Rock
05-013 White Rock 05-014 Garden of the Gods 05-016 Garden of the Gods
White Rock is one of 2 rocks that aren't red. Wonder where they got its name from?
Garden of the Gods is a series of massive red rocks
Garden of the Gods is a series of massive red rocks
05-018 Gray Rock 05-019 Rattlesnake Sign 05-021 White Rock
Gray Rock is one of 2 rocks that aren't red. Wonder where they got its name from?
Thankfully we did not see any rattlesnakes
White Rock is one of 2 rocks that aren't red. Wonder where they got its name from?
05-022 Garden of the Gods 05-024 Bird 05-029 Garden of the Gods
Despite some rain, we walked the entire main garden area
I haven't been able to figure out what kind of bird this is.
Garden of the Gods is a series of massive red rocks
05-030 Garden of the Gods 05-033 Garden of the Gods 05-034 Garden of the Gods
Am I the only one who thinks this rock looks like one of those giant foam fingers?
Despite some rain, we walked the entire main garden area
Despite some rain, we walked the entire main garden area
05-037 South Gateway Rock 05-038 Three Graces 05-042 Balanced Rock
This is South Gateway Rock
These are called the Three Graces
This is the famous Balanced Rock. Not sure I'd be walking under it if i already had a bandage on my head.
05-043 Balanced Rock 05-045 Garden of the Gods Trading Post 05-046 Mom in Mustache Glasses
This is the famous Balanced Rock.
We ducked in Garden of the Gods Trading Post for a while to wait out the rain
My mother likes purple. Enough said.
05-050 Stuffed Ram 05-051 Stuffed Animals 05-052 Historic Souvenir Plates
The Garden of the Gods Trading Visitor Center has some nice displays about the animals of the region
The Garden of the Gods Trading Visitor Center has some nice displays about the animals of the region
These souvenir plates in the museum are totally something my grandparents would've bought
05-053 Red Rocks Banner 05-055 Cave of the Winds Sign 05-056 Cave of the Winds Archway
How did those red rocks get here?
The next stop is Cave of the Winds. It'll be good to be underground in this rainy weather.
The next stop is Cave of the Winds. It'll be good to be underground in this rainy weather.
05-057 Bear Statue 05-058 View from Cave of the Winds 05-061 Canon City from Cave of the Winds
We were greeted by this guy as we entered
Not optimal weather for looking out over the valley
Not optimal weather for looking out over the valley
05-063 Canon City from Cave of the Winds 05-064 Cave of the Winds 05-065 Cave of the Winds
Canon City as seen from cave of the Winds
Heading to Cave of the Winds
It's a tight squeeze in Cave of the Winds
05-066 Original Tour Route 05-068 Cave of the Winds 05-071 Cave of the Winds
The original tours of the cave had you climb up that ladder! Yikes!
Exploring Cave of the Winds
Exploring Cave of the Winds
05-072 Rock Formations 05-074 Cave of the Winds 05-077 Stalagtites and Stalagmites
Stalagtites and stalagmites abound
Exploring Cave of the Winds
Stalagtites and stalagmites abound
05-078 Original Cave Entrance 05-079 Cave of the Winds Sign 05-081 Cave of the Winds Driveway
This was the original entrance to the cave when it was discovered
A year round temperature of 54 degrees. I could live with that!
Cave of the Winds' driveway is winding and hilly, like everything around here
05-082 Canon City from Cave of the Winds 05-083 US-24 05-085 South Cheyenne Creek
Canon City as seen from Cave of the Winds
No level roads around here!
The South Cheyenne Creek at Seven Falls
05-086 Seven Falls Driveway 05-088 South Cheyenne Creek 05-090 Eagles Nest Steps & Elevator
The driveway at Seven Falls is a long uphill walk, but it's worth it
The South Cheyenne Creek at Seven Falls
The Eagle's Nest is accessible by stairs or elevator
05-091 Waterfall 05-093 Base Pavillion 05-094 South Cheyenne Creek
Not actually one of the Seven Falls
This pavillion is where you sit and recover after climbing up and down Seven Falls
The South Cheyenne Creek at the base of Seven Falls
05-096 Waterfall 05-097 224 Steps Sign 05-098 Waterfall
The lowest of the Seven Falls
224 steps to the top of the falls. That slippery when wet sign applied the day we climbed it!
Another of the Seven Falls
05-101 Steps & Base of Falls 05-102 Waterfalls 05-103 Steps
Look how far we've climbed so far
I forget which number falls these were. I blame the lack of oxygen.
We completed another leg of the climb!
05-104 Steps & View from Landing 05-105 Waterfall 05-106 View from Top of Seven Falls
Third leg complete! Look how far down we started. Also, note the Eagles Nest off to the right.
This is waterfall number six or seven.
We made it to the top!
05-107 View from Top of Seven Falls 05-109 Steps 05-110 Steps & Waterfalls
We made it to the top!
Stopping for a breather at the half-way point on the way down
Back at the bottom on solid ground
05-113 Mountain Elevator Entrance 05-115 Steps & Waterfalls from Eagle's Nest 05-116 Chipmunk
We opted for the elevator to the top of the Eagle's Nest
You get a great view of the Seven Falls from the Eagle's Nest
A chipmunk at the top of the Eagle's Nest
05-119 Mom & Indian Statue 05-120 Seven Falls Archway 05-121 Bacon Sampler
My mother made friends with an Indian
Headed out of Seven Falls for the shuttle back to the parking area
Bacon Sampler at Odysey Gastropub
05-122 Bison Gnocchi 05-123 Hanging Lamps
I ordered the bison gnocchi even though the bison comes from Iowa
I'm not sure that's how lamps are supposed to be used.

DAY 4 | COLORADO INDEX | DAY 6

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