Local Attraction…

Alas, my friends, we have returned to Colorado.  It’s not quite two weeks since our return from the “adventure” and Al and I are antsy to get out and explore.  We wish we were still out on the road exploring in our RV.  The Rig is sitting on the side of the house, empty and locked.  She’s had a thorough cleaning inside.  The outside will need to wait for more cooperative weather.  Just as we anticipated, we had a snowstorm a few days after our arrival back in Colorado.  The moisture however was definitely welcome and very much-needed.

The snow has since melted at the lower elevations and this morning we were blanketed by fog.  The weather is expected to be in the upper 60’s and sunny.  Pikes Peak is gorgeous with a fresh coating of snow and I’d like to take some new photos of the mountain.  With that in mind, Al and I decide to take a short hike in Garden of the Gods and go out to lunch at one of our favorite Cafe’s in Colorado Springs.  Prepared for the day we head out, hoping the fog burns off, leaving us with an unobstructed view of Pikes Peak.

Snow capped Pikes Peak

Our first stop is my favorite scenic overlook on Mesa Dr. just north of the visitor center.  The mountain looks spectacular.  The sky is as blue as can be, and the wind, oh the lovely wind, will take anything not firmly latched to the ground, off to Kansas.  Just three miles east, it was as calm as could be.  The wind surprises us.  I’d like to use my tripod to capture a photo of Al and me, but the wind has other plans.  Since we were planning to hike, I brought my light weight tripod which is no match for these winds.  Not wanting my camera to eat dirt, we forgo the self-timer on the camera and I search for a willing tourist to assist in my photo-op quest.  Never mind, the winds are whipping my hair and I’m having trouble seeing.

With these ridiculous winds, we decide to forego the hike.  Al and I decide to stop in at the Trading Post for a look around, and a much-needed potty break.  This is a must see stop when visiting Garden of the Gods for the first time.  There’s a little cafe, coffee shop, and more tourist “stuff” to purchase than you can imagine.  Their book section also offers some comfy seating.  In addition to the Trading Post, I would highly recommend stopping at the visitor center.  The visitor center offers free maps and a ton of information on Garden of the Gods.  Definitely worth the stop.

Last year we hike to the Siamese Twins

Not far from the trading post is the parking lot for the hike to the Siamese Twins.  This is a hike we’ve taken numerous times in the past.  It’s super easy and the views are amazing.  The parking lot and trail are clearly marked on the maps handed out at the visitor center.  I guess we will just need to reschedule for a less windy day.  Another fun activity, one we did a few years back….horseback riding through Garden of the Gods.  The near by stable offers one to three-hour tours.  If you visit in the summer, be sure to go on a weekday.  Weekends are super busy and bustling with tourists from around the world.

It’s approaching lunch, an early lunch, and Al and I are anxious to savor some tasty Escargot.

Our favorite Cafe

LaBaguette has remained one of our more desirable places for lunch for the past five years. LaBaguetteFrenchBistro.com  They have delicious soups, especially French Onion, as well as some of the best Escargot Al and I have ever had.  They are located at 4440 N. Chestnut St. in Co. Springs.  The original location and still very much active, is located in Old Colorado CityThis is an old, historic part of Colorado Springs, located off Hwy 24 and just south of Garden of the Gods.

Parking at both locations can present a challenge.  Parking at the Chestnut location is easier but can sometimes be a problem as it’s a small lot.  However, on Chestnut down just a tad, parking can usually be found.  The area can also be congested, and thus I would not recommend big rigs.

After a lovely lunch, Al and I return to Garden of the Gods in hopes the winds may have died down.  At least enough to allow our hike to be enjoyable.  20-30 mph winds take the pleasure out of the ability to enjoy the surroundings.  Much to our dismay, the winds have only worsened.  The severe gusts….50 mph + are churning up dust and dirt and are obscuring the bright blue sky.  Oh well, we decide to head home knowing we are in a position to return another day.  Yes, we are lucky to have such beauty in our backyard.  I plan to do future posts on the area with more details on campgrounds, restaurants, and sites to see.  Until then, happy travels !