Four women, showered & dressed by 6:40am. Definitely a miracle.
After breakfast, we stripped the beds & threw dirty towels and the linens in the laundry room. We packed the cold food in the cooler, the rest of the groceries in bags, closed our suitcases up, and packed the car. By 8am we were on the road.
We were thrilled to head north to Salida, then east to Canon City in the daylight. Once we left the valley, the drive east was gorgeous through the Royal Gorge area. We wished we had time to stop and see the Royal Gorge bridge, but we needed to get to Co Sprngs. Since we knew how to find the Carrabbas this time, we decided to meet Margaret there to do the car switch rather than at the car rental place at the airport. We still had to get to the airport, but that was fairly simple. We waited to ensure that Margaret had the rental car that she and Michelle would drive back to Hoxie.
By 1pm, they were on their way. I followed Angela and we caravaned to our hotel on the north side of the Springs, checked in, then headed off in search of lunch. At 2:20, we waited on stand-by for tickets for the cog railway at Pikes Peak. At 2:40 the train – with us on board – departed for the 1 hour 15 minute trip up. It was raining lightly and lightning. (Did you want to see pictures?) Though the rain hampered seeing the fabulous vistas as we moved higher and higher up the mountain, the lightning provided quite a show. Along the way we saw deer, a herd of elk, marmets, ponderosa pine, aspen trees, wildflowers of all kinds, and another type of pine that had purple pinecones!! I couldn’t get any pictures of those! The train was moving too fast!
I felt a little dizzy at the top so I sat for about 15 minutes before exploring the gift shop. We went outside briefly to take a few pictures. We didn’t want to stay outside too long because of the lightning! Back on the train for the ride down. We drove through Manitou Springs, a lovely area with lots of unique stores, most of which were closing for the evening. Then we headed over to the Garden of the Gods for a driving tour and visit to the information center. Around 7:45 we headed back to Manitou Springs for a nice dinner at the Stagecoach Inn. Traffic on I-25 was a nightmare – road construction – so we didn’t get back to the hotel until around 10:15. By 11, we had lights out.