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Trip Report Go_laura's Denver area trip report, Part II

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Monday it was extremely windy and we got a rather late start again - this is vacation after all! - we decided to head to Manitou Springs for Garden of the Gods, but to forego the ride up to Pike's Peak, figuring if it was 45 mile per hr. winds down below, what it would be up there, held no appeal! We also weren't sure we had time for both.

We stopped for lunch at Adam's Mountain Cafe which was absolutely delicious; service was friendly and not at all too slow as we'd heard it could be. Garden of the Gods lives up to its name with its stunning rock formations, and it was amazing to watch the real rock-climbers with their equipment on such a windy day - true proof that it takes all types to make the world go round, 'cause you sure wouldn't catch me doing that!! In addition to the main paved path, I did manage a short little hike on one of the trails, as my heel wasn't so bad that day, and it was fun to view Pike's Peak right through the rocks.

Tues. thanks go especially to furledleader - we took Route 70W, got off just before the Eisenhower Tunnel, and took Route 6 up and over the Loveland Pass. Wow, wow, wow!! Truly mountain scenery galore. And we did not expect all that snow there! We ran into some friendly skiers up top about to take off, and they took a pic of us by the Continental Divide sign and the snow. Our breath was taken away - rather literally as at one point I forgot about the altitude difference from what I'm used to, and ran for all of one minute, and then felt dizzy! But it passed immediately, and the quiet beauty of the spot actually brought tears to my eyes. I realize that a big advantage to taking this trip when we did, was the lack of crowds everywhere - the quiet truly did feel like it added splendor that otherwise might have been slightly disturbed (tho' I'm sure we would still enjoy!)

Before going up over the pass, we enjoyed lunch in Georgetown at the Happy Cooker (actually were heading to Ed's next door but they were closed due to some construction taking place) and walked around there a little...it's touristy but I greatly enjoyed it anyway, spending some time in a gallery and then just walking around, especially a few blocks away from the shops, looking at the mountains behind the old buildings.

On the way back we tried to take someone's suggestion (sorry, forgetting who right now) to stop in Empire for a malt at Lewis's Sweet Shoppe, but it was closed. Too bad, 'cause it looked like such a fun little place - my husband was thrilled with the South Park characters, while I preferred the rest of the decorations :-)