With the heat & canyons of Arizona and Utah behind us we climbed up onto the Colorado Plateau and was instantly amazed at the transformation of landscape and milder temperatures. Debbie had researched a place called “Hanging Lakes” which was described as the most popular hike in all of the national parks in the USA. What she didn’t tell me was that it was a 2.5 miles round trip over a 1000 feet of elevation, basically as steep as you can get without needing climbing gear….and over very rocky & rough terrain. However, as you can see it was worth it, even though neither of us could move the next morning.
The AirBnB we got in Aspen was about 3 mile out of town and looked out over a serene lake. Aspen itself was very upmarket and was the first Main Street I’ve ever seen where the dress shops were outnumbered by Art Galleries. There is a lovely park sanctuary in Aspen that serves as a tribute to John Denver. As you stroll through the gardens the rocks have the lyrics to his songs engraved in them…..I think the fire department may still be a little “Rocky Mountain High”
Making our way from Aspen to Colorado Springs through Independence Pass we passed not only stunning scenery but visited the authentic ghost town of St Elmo.
When we arrived in Salida for what we thought was just a quick stopover, we were amazed to find that it was actually a thriving Art community. No shoes this time but Deb did find some creative jewellery.
You can’t visit Colorado Springs without going on the Cog Railway. With the departure station at around 7500′ the train takes 2 hours to climb to over 14,000′ atop Pikes Peak.
Well above the tree-line it was a little dizzying to walk around up there and I was glad to return.
The Wild West museum was interesting with a very rare original stagecoach on exhibit.
Finally arriving at our last destination of Estes Park I looked forward to driving Trail Ridge Road, 50 miles winding through Rocky Mountain National Park and coming out at Grand Lake. When we headed out west that morning we were SO disappointed for as we ascended into the heavens the cloud became like pea soup and visibility was near impossible. Deb was having kittens as we crawled up the windy mountain road not being able to see a thing. Coming down on the other side misery was increased when the rain went from drizzle to torrential. Making the best of it we were lunching in a shelter at the lake when suddenly the rain stopped and the sun peeped out. You can see from the photos below what a difference 2 hours can make.
Deb was screeching with glee as we spotted various wild-life along the return journey.
A walk around town followed by an evening rodeo.
On our last day today we took the local sky-tram and viewed the surrounding valleys.
For most of you, by the time you read this Deb & I are already on our way home somewhere high over the Pacific. It has been a wonderful journey but we’ll both be glad to be in the company of our friends and family again. I hope you have enjoyed being a back-seat passenger and hopefully you will join us again next time….thanks for reading.