This site of thousands of fossils and petrified wood became wildly popular in the late 1880's. During this era droves of academicians and tourists came to Florissant to see and collect the specimens. The result was that truckloads of specimens were removed with little or no accountability. In response to a local grass roots effort to protect the area, the National Monument was created in 1969. Today it is a peaceful site with lots of trails, a historical homestead,
some enormous petrified stumps,
and cataloged fossils for viewing. Debbie and I spent a couple hours there before moving on to Cripple Creek. Our original goal was to spend some time driving a couple scenic roads south of there. But by the time we got ready to begin the drive we had to acknowledge that it was really too late in the day to start driving unknown gravel roads. So we wimped out and followed the main roads back to Colorado Springs. The saving grace was that there were some nice fall colors to enjoy.
We committed to an earlier start on Tuesday. Success! We were out of the camper by 10:30. Not wildly impressive but far better then the previous day! Our first destination of the day was the Red Rock Canyon Open Space. It's a city owned expanse of wild country similar to the Garden of the Gods. The bonus is few people and endless trails coupled with the natural beauty. The weather was beautiful and Debbie and I hiked 6 miles.
|View of Downtown Colorado Springs|
|Lots of wildflowers still in bloom|
|Time to pose!|
So please let me pause with a bit of a news flash. If you're keeping up with us you know that Debbie and I have, during the past summer, started giving our exercise and weight loss a high priority. Well much to her delight, Debbie just passed the 20 pound mark. That means she has lost 20 pounds in the last 2 1/2 months. Plus she's becoming like the gnarly exercise queen! Her steady goal is to walk/hike 100 miles a month. And most surprisingly she told me today that she LOVES the exercise. Debbie is a great dancer but an athlete she is not. So I'm telling you this is a GREAT transition. Can you tell I'm pleased?
So, while you were viewing the photos did you notice our new Tilley hats?
|Notice the new hats|
OK, one more sidebar. While we were hiking, my father called me just to tell us how much he was enjoying our blog. Love ya Pop! So I'd like to share a thought. We enjoy doing the blog and we also enjoy the feedback we receive. So if you're reading the blog please let us know you're out there. All you have to do is go to the bottom of the blog and click on the Comments and share your thoughts. No need to sign up for google or blogger. Just post as "anonymous" and add your name to the post. We thank you!
So back to our Tuesday. After our hiking, we moved on to Manitou Springs. This historical little town found itself on the map because it was the source of natural springs containing carbonated mineral water. There's lots of other historical stuff related to resorts, explorers and Pikes Peak. But the bottom line was/is the mineral water. I tasted the water, YUK! Today it may be a quaint little town but I'd put it in the tourist trap category. We walked around town an hour or two. The highlight was playing PAC MAN and GALAGA (remember those?) at an Arcade. Surprisingly, I won both. That rarely happens. Then we went home. After dinner I went to ride my bike. That lasted about 10 minutes. The bearings in the pedal crank seized up...boo hoo. I'll be trying to deal with that first thing this morning, then we're off to drive up Pike's Peak.
Lovin' "the Springs"!