After leaving Cheyenne, Wyoming we headed for Colorado. Due to flooding and washed out roads earlier this fall, 17 of the northern counties had some closed roads and crews were still cleaning up storm damage. We decided to drive on the interstate roads as they were said to be open all through the state, and headed directly for Colorado Springs. We didn’t really want to visit Denver as we had been there in the past, and didn’t want to waste time with winter approaching.
We stayed at a very nice camping resort, Mountaindale, about 16 miles south of the city. A beautiful resort, with large sites and views of the mountains. The sites were built up, very spacious, with rock walls elevating some sites; most sites had rock walled fire rings, and many had views of the mountains. We planned to tour this area of Colorado, drive through some of the state parks, and had researched scenic byways we read about on the internet; also planned to ride our Jeep on an old stagecoach trail and the Pikes Peak Road.
Unfortunately, many of the state parks in this area were closed; as were the scenic byways and the stagecoach trail due to storm damage and flooding, many roads had sustained storm damage and needed cleanup and repair. After reading some of the literature we had picked up at the Colorado welcome center, we decided to visit Garden of the Gods. Both of us were glad we did; it was so beautiful and strange looking at the same time. With the cooler weather, it wasn’t too crowded, and we made our tour in no time. We discovered that Pikes Peak Road was open, so we headed there early that afternoon. What beautiful scenery, along a well maintained road. Our Jeep Wrangler handled the climb and the descent with no problem. There were times when all we could see was sky as we approached a steep curve of the road, but it was worth the drive once we reached the top. We both felt as if we were on top of the world; what a fantastic view. We stopped several times at overlooks on the way down, one of our favorites was at the Ute Pass marker overlooking Manitou Springs.
Shortly after our ride to Pikes Peak, snow was forecast for several other areas of Colorado we wanted to visit; and the Durango and Silverton railroad had closed because of heavy snow. The temperature was dropping, especially at night, and we decided to leave Colorado and come back another time. It was too late in the fall to take a chance of getting caught in another snowstorm. So we reluctantly headed for New Mexico after only a few days in Colorado.