It’s been over 26 years now since I’ve lived in Colorado, but the mountains don’t change that much, and neither do the things to do near them. My family and I made a trip back there a few years ago for a weekend and it was enough to say, “Yes, I miss the mountains, and I miss the lack of humidity, and we will be making another trip there to visit again sometime soon.”
The first thing I can tell you about are the views that you see while just driving in the area. Nothing beats the winding paths upwards, with the trees and nature surrounding you and your ears popping as you go up. On some paths you can look over the mountain range and see nothing but trees, which makes me remember the trips through the mountains in the fall. I wish I had appreciated fall more when I was a child because the changing colors are beyond words when all you see are shades of green, yellows, and browns. If I like one thing about fall, it’s the vastness of changing leaves on the trees and in the mountains you can see a lot of them. The Rocky Mountains have mostly evergreens or aspens, the colors are more limited to the greens, yellows, and of course the dying shades of browns.
There is a place nestled in the mountains called Santa’s Workshop. It is located on the side of Pike’s Peak and it has a fun little amusement park, and you can usually get a chance to see Santa. It’s a quaint little village with Santa’s home, his toyshop, gift shops and other small Christmas buildings to make a village. The thing I remember most is that while driving through the mountain pass, around Pikes Peak, we could always look out our window and see the Ferris Wheel above the trees (it’s one of the tallest Farris Wheels). My siblings and I always looked for it when we were close enough, on the way up through the pass.
Nature is definitely a big thing in the mountains and I have talked about our many hikes through that nature, but there is another place we liked to visit that is full of nature and walking, called the Garden of the God’s. It is a public park located in Colorado Springs and was designated a National Natural Landmark for its natural towering sandstone red rocks. Visitors can climb most of the rocks and it’s a great place to take pictures, go for walks, bike, and have weddings (my cousin was married there). We visited there a lot and again while driving toward the park you can easily see the formations from afar and become awed. One of my favorite formations are the Kissing Camels. While living there the two stones met and it looked like two humped camels sitting together their noses touching. Unfortunately since then one of the camels has lost its hump, but you can still make them out .
Now there is a place I haven’t visited yet, but some of my family has, like my grandmother, parents, and sister. I am not sure I could handle it knowing my fear of heights, but the next time my immediate family makes a trip to Colorado we plan to put this on our to-do list. The Royal Gorge Bridge. From the bridge you can marvel at awe-inspiring panoramic views from one of the world’s highest suspension bridges and enjoy more excitement than ever. The total length of the bridge is 1,260 feet and the 10 mile long canyon is a narrow, steep gorge and the bridge is 955 feet above the Arkansas River. The bridge itself stretches 880 feet between two 150 foot tall towers and is 18 feet wide. On either side of the gorge are things of interest to do and fun parks to do things in. Sounds fun but BIG!
Another place we liked to visit was Helen Hunt Falls. It’s a good hiking trail if the weather is good and you can make the 4 mile hike up the stairs going upwards along the falls. Of course going back down is easy but the hike up takes some stamina. That was one thing I wasn’t ready for when we made our last trip to Colorado. We thought it would be the same as when we were kids, but it was a lot more work this time.
If your family has the time, plan a drive up Pike’s Peak. It’s roughly a three hour trip but along the way you will pass Santa’s Workshop, a handful of reservoirs, Glen Cove Inn, picnic areas, visitor’s centers, scenic overlooks, information areas and peek-a-boo moments. At the top you can see for miles and miles, parts of the Garden of the Gods, Denver skyscrapers (on a clear day), and so much more.
One last place I want to mention is more in Colorado Springs and we made many visits there while I lived in Colorado for the eight years we were there. It’s called Fox Run in the Black Forest north of Colorado Springs. There are 145 acres of open space to drive through and many many trees and trails along with parks to play in with your kids. My parents took us there in the winter and summer and we have many fun memories as siblings, of our trips, and the crazy things we talked about and did. The playgrounds have changed since we were little and since the fire in 2013, and I am positive the look of the park too has changed, but it still would be a fun drive to add to your trip.
These are just a few places in the mountains that hold special memories for me and are places I will take my family to again, when we visit. If you are planning a trip in that direction do some research and make it a memorable one because not everyone gets to experience living in or by any mountains and these trips only happen once or twice in a lifetime for most people. Enjoy the pictures, that I am sharing and happy travels!
*All images are provided by the author, Delaina, from her trip to Colorado a few year back*
About The Author
Delaina Cischke (author name D.S. Wells) is a loving mother, wife and, of course, a writer. She has been writing since she was a young teenager and says that she feels the Lord has given her the talent to write, “My writing has taken me many places and as I continue to write I enjoy seeing what the Lord will show me next. My desire when writing is to share the love of Jesus and hopefully inspire my readers”, Delaina says, “I like to see people smile and try to accomplish good feelings with my works. Hopefully all my readers will get a blessing when they read anything I have put pen to as it is the Lord who leads in everything I do”. She has been married over 20 years and has two adult kids in her home along, with her youngest, who is in high school. She loves spending time with them as much as she can as her family is “growing up too fast”, she says. During the warmer months, her and her family enjoy spending lots of time outdoors, and most of their Saturdays are spent doing exactly that.
Her blog, Connect With God Daily, mainly focuses on inspiration that show God is in our everyday lives, through things as simple as doing laundry or skipping stones. She also has two other categories she writes in a few times a month, family, marriage, and kids, and lifestyle from health to exercise. Another passion of Delaina’s is making gift baskets, which is a side business she is currently working on, and you can find these, along with some of her published works here.
Delaina would like to to thank you for taking the time to get to know her and what she does. “May God grant you many blessings daily” – Delaina Cischke.