September 23-24, 2018: 
Colorado Springs (and Walensburg), Colorado

On our drive into Colorado Springs via Highway 25, we started to notice that the topography was changing.  We still had the Rocky Mountains on our West side, however we started to get a lot of high desert, cacti, and dry barren land.

Our primary goal in Colorado Springs was to visit with our friend Elizabeth and see the Garden of the Gods.  We were unable to hook up with Elizabeth, but we did get to stop at the Garden of the Gods (GOTG). 

In the GOTG we wanted to ride our bicycles and do a little hiking and we were not sure how long this would take.  We opted to spend the night in the Colorado Springs Bass Pro Shop parking lot which would get us within 9 miles of the GOTG.

If you have never been to the GOTG, it is a must!  The red rocks and scenery is absouletely amazing!  We spent about 2 hours in the Visitor Center getting the lay of the land, information on how the rocks were formed, the indiginous people, flora and fauna. 

Once we were done at the Visitor Center, we unloaded the bicycles and started our ride around the 15 miles of paved road in the park.  The hiking trails are walking only.  As we unloaded the bikes we saw dark skies and thought...rain.  Sure enough.  About 1/4 of the way into the ride, it started to rain pretty hard so we took cover under some trees to wait it out.  At one point we started on a hike, but noticed some really dark clouds coming our way.  Since we were riding the bicycles, we opted to stop the hike in the middle and bust it back to the trailer.  And...got there just in time before the next big rain storm!  Even with the rain, what a great adventure!

Notice the dark storm clouds overhead.  We stopped at this pullout to put on our rain gear.

And...it got darker and started to rain...

This is where we waited out the rain, we stayed pretty dry.  However, Craig's bike did have a problem with the electrical part after sitting in the rain for about 20 minutes.  For the rest of the time in GOTG, his bicycle electronics would work sporadically.

We rode to the next pullout and watched while it rained

Bluebird enjoying the rain and drinking from puddles

An as usual....I want to come back here again.  There were so many things that we did not get a chance to explore.  Pikes Peak (in the background of the picture below), Royal Gorge, Manitou Springs, Manitou Incline, etc. 

The rain went away, out came the sun.  This is Balance Rock

We cut the hike short and busted it back to the trailer.  Notice the dark storm clouds again.

After visiting the GOTG, we stopped for the night in Walensburg, Colorado on some BLM land off Exit 56.  This was a great little spot that we found on our FreeCamping.com website.  Our closest neighbors were...cows and cacti.

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