…perfect. Today was one of them. We actually slept until around 7 am, which is late for us (especially me!). Thanks to a Benadryl I had to take in the middle of the night for my damned itching, but it worked, at least. I didn’t scratch myself raw in the night. So, the sun was up, G. made coffee, which we had in the meditation garden, and then I cooked breakfast. I made a ham and cheese omelette with pancakes and warm strawberry compote–yes, made fresh. It was our first spring breakfast out on the porch, and it was delicious, if I say so myself:
We had a lot of options about what to do today, but we finally settled on taking a drive up to Deckers to try to find this trout fishing place that G. remembered from when she and her ex were raising her ex’s niece and nephew. In order to get there we had to go through Woodland Park which is west of Colorado Springs and has a cool dinosaur place. Millions of years ago, this whole area was under water, so there are tons of fossils out here. We were looking for 2 things: fun places to take the boys this summer, and fun places for US to have little “getaways” from time to time that wouldn’t cost a lot.
We got on the road with a minimum of effort. We have learned that we travel pretty well together, and can be ready to go usually in under about 20 minutes, depending on how many times we have to pee before we get in the car (I know, TMI!). So, armed with water, camera, extra shirts/jackets (still chilly at altitude), hats, and the dog, we set off. It was a beautiful day in Colorado, I tell you. We got through Woodland Park, and onto Highway 67 towards Deckers. The first place we stopped was at Manitou Lake picnic/day use area. There was a nice little lake for fishing, and off to the left, a loop trail that offered a great walk. On the way back, the dam that created the lake was evident:
Looking back the other way, we could see the small stream meandering its way north and west, where at some point, it would join a larger river:
This was definitely my favorite view from this place. It shows the back of Pike’s Peak (on the left), and surrounding mountains. Even though the temps were in the 70s today, the snow hung on in the mountains.
But I think the best sign at this place was right before you started to go over that little foot bridge above:
Yes, we do have wildcats in Colorado!
After our little hike there, we continued on, G. looking for signs for the place she remembered. Of course, it had been probably 9 years since she’d been there, and lots has happened in that area since then. Not including the normal land development that 9 years of more people moving into the area brings, there was also a fairly significant forest fire in that area a couple of years ago, and we drove through that area. Pretty grim, but signs of regrowth were evident, and hopeful. We saw numerous deer, and G. was thrilled when she saw some wild turkeys in the brush. I was driving, so no pics.
When we got to the little village of Deckers, we saw something that is pretty rare these days:
I mean, how many times do you see a man and his mule in front of the general store?? An even better side note to this photo is that while I was taking it, I got hit by a car! Yes, some, um, shall we say…”older” folks just backed out right into me. I mean, I walked behind their car just a minute before, and didn’t see any indication that they were leaving, and I THOUGHT I was kind of in the middle of the parking lot, but I guess not far enough! Anyway, it was a very SOFT bump, but a bump nonetheless. Had I been of a different nature, I might have caused a great scene, but I just waved to the poor man and told him everything was fine. I didn’t want to scare the mule!
After a stop for BBQ sandwich and ice cream, we decided to head back, but took a quick side trip up a little road across the street from the general store, where we found a great campground right on the South Platte River. THIS would be a fabulous place for G. and I to come for a getaway. The campground was small, clean, and very quiet. I could just imagine watching the sun go down and the myriad of stars coming out as we sat by a fire and cooked fresh trout (yes, I can clean and cook fish). There were several folks out trying their luck:
And the view was just stunning:
I particularly liked this tree that was determined to grow right out of the rock. You’ve got to admire persistence and strength like that!
All too soon, it was time to turn around and head back. We are definitely going to be back at that campground in the next couple of months. It’s probably a little TOO cold at night right now (over 7,000 feet altitude), but in May/June, it should be perfect.
Just like today with my wife. What a great way to start a new week. Hope yours was good, too!