On our most recent road trip we made a stop on the way home in Colorado Springs. This town holds a significance in my family because it is where my mom spent part of her childhood while my grandfather was attending the Nazarene Bible College. It is also my reference for Colorado because it’s where we used to go when I was a child. Since it was the end of the trip we only had one and a half days to spend there, but tried to make the most of the time.
Once again we were lucky enough to get a camping site with a beautiful view of the mountains in the area.
We got in late in the afternoon, but I still wanted to do something while we could, so we went to the Garden of the Gods. It was a good thing we did and got some good pictures because the weather interrupted my plans to go hiking there the next day. We got there in time to get out and do some walking and enjoy the views at sunset.
Since we only had one full day we got an early start with plans to go up Pike’s Peak, drive to see some other sights and then hike at the Garden of the Gods that evening. None of those plans ending up working out. Although I checked the website before we went, and verified that you can take dogs up Pike’s Peak, after waiting in line at the base of the toll road for an hour, I was told you are only allowed to drive up if you have ADA (Americans with Disabilities) status or kids with car seats. At that point I was not going back to the campground to take Bella back, then sit in that line again.
I decided to move on to checking out some of the other dog friendly activities I had found online. One of the best we found was the Cripple Creek Railway in Cripple Creek. Dogs are allowed to ride the train as well as go in the store at the train depot. Bella hopped right on and made herself comfortable against her neighbor on the train.
If you have ever watched Thomas the Tank Engine you will, of course, realize that these trains resemble the trains on that show. They are true, antique coal burning engines, with everything that goes along with that. If you go, I recommend sitting as close to the engine as possible since the wind carries the smoke away from the train and isn’t as bad in that section.
The train ride is 4 miles and takes you through the area with the old gold mines and gives you a history of the area. It also has amazing views of the mountains and the town and makes a stop in echo valley.
After our train ride, it was starting to warm up quite a bit so we got lunch and headed back to the camper to relax for a little while before heading out to go hiking. Before that could happen though, the storms starting rolling in. We went ahead and went to the Garden of the Gods though and made the most of the opportunity to continue the theme of the trip, which was of course storm photography.
Although Bella would have been much happier if we could have gotten out and hiked, I was able to get some amazing pictures with the stormy skies. We did get out and visit and do some shopping at the Trading Post, which does allow dogs. I recommend making a stop for your souvenirs as well as the homemade fudge.
Sadly, this was our last stop before heading back home and to work. The next morning we got an early start on the 2 day drive back from Texas. Fittingly, the morning started with storms rolling in over the hills and allowed for one last storm picture to end the trip.