Sunday, September 20, 2020

Colorado Road Trip {Day 3} Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods

Wednesday morning I got up and went for a run in the neighborhood. The funnest thing to do when traveling is go for a run! You get to see and explore areas you otherwise never would have seen. These are always favorite memories from different places we went. I went this morning and Kyle went the next morning. I haven't been running much but was sure to get one in a week or so prior to this so I'd be a little prepared for this one. However Kansas is so flat... and the altitude change was an adjustment as well. But it was a beautiful morning. I went down to this trail I had looked up before hand. Had a nice view going down. 

But the trail was pretty dull and boring and I couldn't see the mountains. So I ran a ways down then back up the hill so I could at least run parallel to the mountains for a view. 

Ran by our AirBnB, sprinted up the hill for one last push before I finished. 

Today's plan was to drive up to Pike's Peak, then go to Garden of the Gods which were all nearby. We were only about 10 minutes from the entry of Pikes Peak climb. We hit the bathroom ahead of time. They are doing construction at the top and aren't allowing traffic to the very top so we planned to take one of the shuttles at either the 13 or 16 mile marker. But since we had kids in car seats we got a special summit tag that allowed us to drive ALL the way to the top. 

And so we began. Educating the kids about mountains the entire way up. 

I was driving it was a little unsettling to my tummy but I think it would have been worse if I was in the passenger seat. And this way Kyle could enjoy the views while I distracted myself with not driving off the cliff, haha. 

We had to pull over at one spot to allow some construction semi's to make their way down. 

We passed the last rest stop at mile marker 16 (I think it's 18 or 19 miles to the top). We thought Thomas was tired cuz he was looking like he was wanting to rest... but turns out he just needed to hurl. At this spot he upchucked all over himself in his car seat, we were able to pull over and get him cleaned up and changed. I guess the altitude got to him, poor guy. But he was better and we made it to the top. 

We MADE it!! 

It really was a disappointment being on the top... you couldn't see anything because of the haze, the construction was everywhere. There was just a gift shop... but hey the joy is in the journey. We didn't stay up top long before heading back down. Where the views were MUCH better than from the top. 

It was a gorgeous day. We stopped a couple times on the way down to enjoy the views. Photos just don't do justice to what it actually was. 

We stopped and walked around at this reservoir. It had amazing views and we could see the peak top that we were just at. Looks so far away, but we were THERE! 


There was one spot I saw on the drive up that I wanted to be sure and pull over to capture a photo. Good thing we did because the timing was perfect with Emma getting car sick and throwing up. Luckily she was able to grab a throw up bag in time and it wasn't quite as messy as when Thomas did. Mental note for next road trip to restock the barf bags. We ended dup only have two in the car (Had more but turns out the kids had played with a few and destroyed them... I didn't think to check this before leaving home. Emma has had a history of car sickness so I have a stash of emesis bags on hand)

We managed to make it to the bottom. Oh we were a little worried about gas. Forgot to fill up before hand thinking we wouldn't be driving to the top because of the shuttles. The guy at the admissions gate said we'd be fine. We were cutting it pretty close cuz those low gears on the way down used up a LOT of gas. But once we were down it leveled off and we had more than it was showing for a while. We also did greta with the breaks cuz they weren't very hot at the temp check at mile 13. Helps to have that low gear, made driving easier too! 

We went into Manitou Springs to find some lunch. Well searching for a gas station but when we couldn't find one we figured we'd do lunch in the mean time. 

We ate at a little local brewery. Reminded of how amazing non-wichita beer actually tastes haha. We have found a little brewery here in Wichita that we like... but even though it's the best in Wichita it's really not that good. So much about Colorado was better, clear sign from God that we are not meant to stay in Wichita, just a place we are for now. So going to enjoy this chapter while we're in it. Then the kids had some ice cream and we managed to find a gas station. Where there was a DEER just feet away from us. The whole way up and down the mountain we barely spotted any wild life... then here at the gas station we see a mama and her baby. 

About this time it starts to rain as we make it to Garden of the Gods. We drove around for just a little bit in the park. 

The rain stopped long enough for us to get out and explore the rocks for a bit. 

Had to get a picture of this. Wichita parking AND Hiawatha parking, lol. 

Thomas finally conked out in the van. We went back over near our AirBnB to a park. You can see the storm still rolling in in the background. A nice lightening storm came soon after. 


After discovering this lake just at the end of the road we were staying on, Kyle decided his run the following day would be around this lake. Much better view than my choice of run was. 

Thomas managed to wake up just in time to get some play time in before the rain came. 

The rain poured in and we saw some pretty cool splashes of lightening. Headed home and ordered some take out dinner.


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