Sunday, October 13, 2013

Colorado Springs, CO -- Part 2

One day I decided to drive up Pikes Peak.  I did this several years ago when part of the road was still dirt.  It is now paved all the way to the top.  A few days after I drove up, I heard on the news that the road up would be closed for a while so that they could do some filming for Fast and Furious – Number 7 ( I think it was 7??).    I would have hated to drive there and find that it was closed!!.

Driving up, you not only get great views of scenery but also have a chance of seeing wildlife.  Below is a sign warning of some of the local wildlife!!


Above is the Crystal Creek Reservoir with Pikes Peak behind the lake. 

Since it is paved, it isn’t as scary as it was last time I drove up.  A couple of shots from stops along the road are below--

I was only at the top about 15 minutes.  I did see the cog train on it’s way up.  A few years ago I took the train up, but I enjoy the drive better. 


On the way down, I stopped at one place and did a short hike.

Another day, I drove through Phantom Canyon which was at one time a railroad route.  It is now a dirt road that in most places is too narrow for 2 cars.  Just my type of scenic drive!!  

From Phantom Canyon, I drove through Cripple Creek.  I had planned on stopping and exploring a bit, but the day I went they were having a huge motorcycle festival with 1000’s of motorcycles and while I was there a parade was going on.  So I decided not to stop.  I went on to the Florissant Fossil Bed National Monument.  They have found a lot of fossils in the shale rocks and they also have petrified wood.


In the Big Stump below, you can just make out 2 saw blades where people tried to cut the petrified wood many years ago. (the blades kind of look like eyes on the stump)

I visited the Royal Gorge Park area several years ago and again this year.  But this past spring they had a wildfire and it destroyed all of the Royal Gorge Park buildings so the park is closed.  The pictures below were taken from the one road in the area that is still open.   I liked the picture below because you can see that just months after the fire wildflowers are blooming and life is coming back to the area.

If you look closely or expand the picture above you can see a train just about in the center of the photo.

From Colorado Springs, I am slowly taking my time in going back to Georgia.  A couple of people had suggested I stop at the Balloon Festival in New Mexico.  I want to do that sometime, but I decided not to do it this year.  I stopped in Amarillo, TX for a couple of days, then I will take a couple of days to get to Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas.  I’ll blog about those later. 

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