Travels with Bentley

Travels with Bentley
Bentley - our Heartland Bighorn

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 - Colorado Springs KOA, Fountain, CO - Shopping, Swimming & A Movie

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 - Colorado Springs KOA, Fountain, CO - Shopping, Swimming & Movie

This morning we are having breakfast out.  I've done some research and found a place downtown Colorado Springs called "Over Easy".  It had wonderful reviews so we decided to try it out.  I really like finding places with a good selection of breakfast meals, not just the regular stuff.  They are known for their famous biscuits & gravy and Dean ordered those and they come with hashbrowns, Haleigh had french toast, Dacy had blueberry pancakes and I had Huevos Rancheros.  Everyone loved their meal.  Dean said the gravy and hashbrowns were wonderful and the biscuits were okay.  I loved my breakfast.  It was the best Rancheros I've ever had and the hashbrowns were as close to Tina's (our local diner) as we've ever found.  I wish we could eat there one more time before we leave, but we are leaving about 9 in the morning.  With a five hour drive facing us, I think we'll get on the road early so we can have a little downtime tomorrow.

Caught the girls off guard - these are pictures of "Over Easy"

In the entryway

Booths in the upper area

Bar area behind Dacy



After breakfast we drove to Citadel Mall.

Neat statute on the way.

Beautiful park.


We walked around the mall, visiting several stores, and we saw our first "marijuana store".  Seems so weird to have it right out in the open and in a mall, no less.

We came back to Bentley and had some lunch of leftovers and almost got those cleared out of the refrigerator.

Dean took the girls up to swim for an hour or so while I worked on the blog some more.  We are taking them to see a movie this afternoon.  "Alice Through the Looking Glass"  I wasn't too excited but they both mentioned they really wanted to see it on the way out, so we thought it would be a treat for today.  It was actually better than I expected and actually held my attention - which doesn't happen a lot with movies.

Afterwards we stopped by Culver's for ice cream, since we refused to pay almost $40 for popcorn and drinks at the theater.  Can you believe that?  We went to the matinee and even at that the tickets were over $30.  I can't believe it costs so much to attend a movie.

Once we returned we all did some things to make our moving day tomorrow go a little smoother.  I hope we can pull out by 9:00 or so.  We have at least a five hour drive tomorrow.  We prefer getting set up early enough we can check out the community we are staying in.  We are actually staying in a State Park north of Scott City, but we'll still drive down and check out their community.

Here's a picture I took of Pike's Peak today.  We have not seen the top of it all day.  Lots of weather going on up there.  Tonight I got a picture of the sunset - what little sun there was peeking through those clouds.
This is how Pike's Peak has looked all day - hidden behind these dark clouds.

The sun set peeking through this small window.
This campground has really worked well for us.  It was a good location for us for our travel days.  It was clean, with several amenities, and nice sized lots.  Here are a few shots of our site.
Across the road behind us.  It was very full until Monday.  When we returned from our day trip we were amazed at how many of the rigs had left.



These pictures show the nice spacing between sites.

One negative for the park was the water pressure.  We were barely getting water out of the bathroom sink and into the toilet.  It was just okay at the kitchen sink.  Yesterday we drove down the road to Camping World to see what we could find.  We found a water regulator that we can adjust ourselves.  Dean put it on yesterday and it has improved drastically.  It's still not like we would have at home but more like what we are used to having in other campgrounds.

We also made a stop at Wal-Mart and they happened to have a Sam's next door.  Dean has been looking for a new camp chair.  He saw one he really liked at one of our rallies and they told him they bought it at Sam's.  Well, we were lucky today and found it.  It was very reasonable too, so we marked two "wishes" off our RV wish list.



Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - Colorado Springs KOA, Fountain, CO - Garden of the Gods


Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - Colorado Springs KOA, Fountain, Co - Garden of the Gods

This morning I made breakfast biscuits before we left for Garden of the Gods.  They weren't quite as good as McDonald's but almost!  

Originally the weather channel was calling for rain all day today but when I checked this morning it said no rain until 12 or so.  Since the temperatures were to be in the 60's we thought it would be a better day to visit Garden of the Gods, because now they are calling for rain all day tomorrow. 

We arrived about 9:30.  Our first stop was balanced rock where we took several pictures.











The red rocks are beautiful but when the sun hits them they really light up.

There are a couple of routes with in the Garden.  One is Garden Lane and the other is Juniper Way Loop.

Not too long after we left Balanced Rock we noticed two deer crossing the road.  Funny, they crossed at the crosswalk.  Do you think they are trained?  Lol!



We first drove the Juniper Way Loop, where we stopped to walk a trail up to some beautiful red rocks.  We took several pictures at this location as well and saw a number of different birds, including magpies, falcons and pigeons.

Surrounding landscape.  Unfortunately the sun wasn't in our favor for this picture.

Looking back towards Pike Peak.

Dacy

Beautiful red rock.

Pretty granddaughters!

Dean

Me

Nana and the granddaughters
The sky was beautiful this morning!

Beautiful in the sun!
This rock seemed to be a bit out of place with its white granite color.
We came across this young lady rock climbing.  She was getting lessons.
Here's a close-up.
 We stopped at the gift shop as we were leaving.  I'm not sure but we might have spent more time there than scrambling around on the rocks in the Garden of the Gods.

We returned to Bentley and had some lunch.  Later Dean took the girls up to the pool so they could swim and I worked on the blog for awhile.    I made pizzas later and we just hung around the campground the rest of the evening.  It rained this afternoon for awhile leaving things pretty muddy.



Monday, May 30, 2016 - Cliff Dwellings & Pike's Peak

Monday, May 30, 2016 - Cliff Dwellings & Pike's Peak

We have been watching the weather to see what would be the best day to visit Pike's Peak.  There was a very heavy snow storm several days ago and the summit had yet to be cleared.  We heard on the news when we were in Seibert, CO that the snow was nearly to the top of one side of the Summit Visitor's Center.  Weather has continued to play a part in getting the roads open to the top.  I called this morning and 16 of the 19 miles has now been cleared and they are working to have the summit open by noon today, Memorial Day, so that is our big destination.

The Cliff Dwellings are near the Pike's Peak entrance so we are going to visit them first allowing plenty of time before we begin our drive up Pike's Peak.  It will take approximately 2 hours to drive up and down, depending on how much time we spend stopping along the way.  We packed our lunch again today with plans to eat on the way up the big hill!

The Cliff Dwellings are very interesting but it has a very tight parking lot, so if you plan to visit, go early when it first opens.  Traffic gets a little crazy even trying to get out.  Their museum had some really nice displays regarding their everyday life, including what they ate, how they made vessels to carry and cook their food, their tools to hunt, etc.  We spent a lot of time in the gift store as the girls were having a hard time deciding if they wanted something here or not.  I even splurged and bought a t-shirt.

From there we actually walked through some of the cliff dwellings to see how they were made and used.  We should have done this as soon as we arrived before so many others started going through them as well.  I took a few pictures inside and then a few outside.


The required selfie!


Dean had his smile on again.  After a few comments he received on some of the pictures I posted on Facebook he's been doing a great job!  Isn't he handsome when he smiles?





We left the Cliff Dwellings around 11 and drove down the road a bit to the entrance to Pike's Peak. There was a quite a line and of course I decided I needed to go to the bathroom before we started up - not knowing where or when we might be able to stop again.  Once I returned to the truck we drove back down the road a ways to a cut out and then turned around and got in line once again.  Of course of three lanes, we got in the slowest one.

Entrance to Pike's Peak - this was before we got out of line - it was worse later!
The drive up the first few miles was similar to what we have seen throughout the area of Colorado we are in.  After that it began to change a bit with many more pine trees and even some cooler temperatures.  The aspen were beautiful along the roadways - a beautiful bright yellow color.  One of my dreams is to return in the fall and see the aspens with their beautiful leaves.  We stopped at Mile Marker 5 at the Crystal Reservoir Visitor Center.  What a beautiful location this was alongside the Reservoir.  It has a gorgeous view of Pike's Peak.


This is Crystal Lake Reservoir!  It was so beautiful.  
We did stop here to eat our lunch and it was a beautiful setting to do so.  It started to rain as we finished so that eliminated any further picture taking I planned to do.

Neat rock slabs on the way up.

That white topped mountain is where we are headed!


Beautiful views around every corner

At the top of the middle snow portion, you can see a cap along the top.  If or when it falls it might be an interesting sight!



As we got closer to the top the storm clouds started building.

This is the mountain we saw skiers on.  They were coming right down the middle of the large white area. 

Interesting rocks.  Look close, they remind me of stone people.

We wondered if we would be getting a rainstorm.

At times, it looked like we could just touch the clouds.




Where did the road go?




Just one more corner - we are almost there!

We made it!

It was cold up there.  While the temperature says 36, it felt much colder with the wind blowing.

Required selfie!

A happy man - we made it!

The two snow queens!  Aren't they pretty?

That's the edge!  It's a long ways down.
 We walked around outside a bit, looked over the edge above taking pictures.  By the time we headed toward the Summit Building, we were beginning to feel a little weird.  Yes, altitude sickness was affecting all of us except Haleigh.  It never bothered her at all.  We didn't even feel like looking around once we got inside.  All we wanted to do was set down and wish the feeling would go away.  It was better outside with the cold air in your face.

When we came outside it was snowing - and getting heavier every minute.

Leaving the parking lot.  See the white truck - he had tried to go around on the snow rather than through the parking lot and got stuck.

This is the edge of the road but you can not see anything beyond it.  It was eerie!

The wind was blowing the snow everywhere and it was blowing off of the loose snow already on the ground.

You can see the snow blowing across the road here.  Corners were interesting and very slow going.




I couldn't believe the traffic we met coming up as we began our descent - but of course it wasn't snowing down below, and who wants to turn around before they make it to the top anyway.







Picture back at Crystal Reservoir to pick up a souvenir we had passed up on the way down.  I took another shot of the mountain.  You can see the storm is still hanging over the area.
We made it back to the bottom.  It was a great time.  We did feel better by the time we got to the bottom.  It was great we got to experience rain, snow, near whiteout conditions, skiers on the mountain, and seeing the snow plows and blowers leaving after cleaning up the parking area and the upper 3 miles.  We felt like it was worth it even if we did feel lousy for awhile.

I do wish I would have thought to take a picture of the parking lot at the top.  It was just packed as was the store.  Also Dean walked out the back door where they do have an observation area.  He said they had cleared a path to get to the train but the snow was still almost as high as the eave of the building.  

These two girls could not wait to get into the pool every night.  It's really nice that it is heated but they sure are cold when they get out.