Monday, June 16, 2014

Southern Colorado

This past weekend we decided to take a driving trip to explore some areas of Southern Colorado that we hadn't yet seen. The photo above is of the Sangre de Christo mountain range. This region is so incredibly beautiful. I had to thank John for bringing me to live in this beautiful state.

We started in Manitou Springs, one of my favorite little towns. I had been here before, and it was nice to show it to John. Manitou is full of little galleries and pretty little shops. This is the hotel where we stayed, The Cliff House. It was built as a stage coach stop in the 1870's. It was a real treat. Our room was in the tower at the left, so it was round. There were roses, a bottle of wine, and chocolate covered strawberries waiting for us in our room!

It was nice to see some of my products in the shops!

Manitou is very close to The Garden of the Gods. This park is famous for it's standing red rocks. This one is called Balanced Rock. It is a little hard to tell, but this huge rock is balance on a quite small point. John is making sure it doesn't fall off.

I am holding up a different one.

There are ancient, gnarled trees growing put of the red soil.

The towns are brightly decorated. There are many murals on the walls, and sculptures in the gardens. And there are lots of little humorous touches like this one!

The next day we drove to Royal Gorge, site of the world's highest suspension bridge. You can see it in the distance. There was a dreadful fire last year, so it is temporarily closed to car traffic, but the park operates a shuttle that goes across. It stops halfway across for you to take photos, but I was too afraid to get out of the bus. The wind was blowing so hard, and we were so high up!

John was brave enough to get out though, and he took some wonderful pictures.

John convinced me to sit here for a photo. I was so frightened of being that close to the edge! Does it show?

The next day we drove through absolutely spectacular scenery to visit St. Elmo. They say that St. Elmo is the best preserved ghost town in Colorado. I am not sure if it truly qualifies as a ghost town, as the general store is still operational, and a few of the cabins are used as summer residences, but it was well worth a visit.

There are many structures still standing.

One of the best parts is that the chipmunks are very tame and you can feed them sunflower seeds. Now, I know you shouldn't feed wild animals, but these little creatures are taken care of by the general store and tamed as part of the tourist draw. 

John enjoyed feeding them too!

There were chipmunks and two different types of ground squirrel. Look at how chubby this little fellow is!

And there were so many hummingbirds! I think there will be quite a few paintings in my future as a result of this trip!

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