Colorado is an absolutely beautiful state! Next time I go the the South West, I’m spending more time exploring the mountains of Colorado.
After Mt. Rushmore, we stopped briefly to see the Crazy Horse Monument. I’d last seen it in 1993. Back then, I don’t think he had a face. He looks much better now.
Moving on, we took the curvy mountain highway west until suddenly, we were out of the Black Hills. Then, without any fanfare, we were suddenly in Wyoming. We drove to Newcastle, and turned South on Highway 85. This was a long, straight road with a lot of sky and a few antelope. Just before the sun went down, we could see the first dim silhouettes of the Rocky Mountains.
We spent the night in Wheatland, WY. By now, we were heading away from motorcycle mecca, and the bike traffic had cleared up. We saw one interesting bike in the parking lot next to out hotel. I call it the Millennial Nomad.
We got up and headed south on I-25. Soon we were in Colorado. I was hoping to meet a friend from school for lunch. I hadn’t seen him since 1996.
After a few hours of driving with the stunning Rockies always looming at our right side, we got to Colorado Springs. We stopped at a rest area near the Air Force Academy. I got out to stretch, take pictures, and call my friend. He didn’t answer. So we decided to kill a little time.
We drove into Colorado Springs and found Garden of the Gods park. We went into the visitor’s center first. They had a mounted rattle snake in a glass bubble. It was viciously posed, coiled up with it’s deadly maw wide open, it’s fangs dripping acrylic venom. The Boy was mesmerized. He asked a worker at the desk if there were any rattlesnakes in the park. “Oh yes!” he said. This did not make the Boy feel better about snakes!
So we went into the park. It’s a city park, so it’s free! I stopped so we could walk around, but the Boy complained about the heat, and he was hungry, and I think worried about snakes. So we just took a short walk. We drove around the park for awhile, checking out the rock formations and the mountain views. When we left the park, we drove into the mountains a little bit before heading back to the interstate. My only regret is that we didn’t go up Pike’s Peak.
Before we left town, I tried my friend’s cell phone again. This time he answered! We managed to squeeze in a lunch at a nearby truck stop. My friend is in the Army, and I was happy to see him again, and happy to buy lunch for an Iraq War Vet! I tried to shake his hand, but he wanted a hug. He invited us to spend the night with him and his wife, but I was determined to get to New Mexico THAT DAY. We already had reservations at a Santa Rosa hotel.
So we jumped in the Aveo, and kept going. New Mexico, here we come!