Heidi, my coworker from my days at JCPenney, and I have been planning for this weekend of adventures for a little while now, and I am so happy that we completed both adventures we had planned.
Heidi picked me up around noon on Friday. Destination: Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs, Colorado. She had my favorite frappuccino ready for me from Starbucks (caramel, for you curious readers) sitting in the cupholder of her car, perfect for my drowsy, sleepy brain on my day off.
As I had only woken up an hour earlier, the first thing we did was drive through Chick-Fil-A for some protein. The drive-thru line was so long that we decided going inside would be better, and after a not-so-ridiculous wait, we got our food AND coupons for waiting! It really is the little things in life that matter, folks.
We headed onto I-25 South for the hour and a half drive from Denver to the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Heidi miraculously getting us there without a GPS. We pulled into the parking lot by the main building where the gift shop and restrooms are located. While Heidi was inside, I grabbed my camera bag and started taking photos of the rock formations across the highway.
Heidi came back out towards the car, and I started grabbing my bag, ready to cross the highway into the actual Garden. She laughed and told me we were heading down to a parking lot that is closer to where we would be hiking, and we headed on down.
With nature surrounding us, we became extremely curious anytime we saw something out of the ordinary, like this fire hydrant off in the distance (we originally thought it was a bird house):
The rock formations boasted beautiful colors and detail, jutting out from the earth proudly, making me feel small, which is hard to do to this 5'10.5" tall woman.
The best part about the Garden of the Gods is how pure the nature is around you.
Now, as with any photographer that goes on walks with groups of people who don't take photographs, Heidi was ahead of me on the trail while I kept making stops to take photographs.
We also got to see some rock climbers up on the rock formations. I have no upper body strength, so I cannot even imagine starting to crawl up one of these rocks. There were a lot of other people there as well, strolling along the paths and enjoying each other's company.
I immensely enjoyed visiting Garden of the Gods. It was so peaceful, and so beautiful. The landscape was breathtaking, the animals so cozy.
I, having two fur-babies of the rabbit species, especially enjoyed coming across a few rabbits grazing not too far from the footpath.
The rabbit must have heard my shutter go off, which I ended up not minding, because then I got to see the rabbit's gaze as it turned its head around.
After having a wonderful time hiking around Garden of the Gods, we headed over to Manitou Springs. Heidi wanted to show me around the town, and it was my first time there.
We ate lunch at Townhouse Sports Grill, where we enjoyed a small-town environment, something I miss from my days in small-town Wisconsin. The staff was pleasant, the food was good, and it definitely filled us up. I had spotted a small ice cream shop not too far down the block and asked if we could get ice cream for dessert, and we headed over. We were SO full after the ice cream, that we were glad we were already sitting in the car and didn't have to move for the next hour and a half as we drove home.
Thank you, Heidi for hosting our trip down to Garden of the Gods and opening my eyes to new experiences.
Photographer, visual artist, wife, mother to five fur-babies, and travel enthusiast.