The last day of our vacation. We woke up early in KC and spent some time before heading home to St. Louis. But not before having fun at the house.
Of interest to me, we passed 222,222 miles on the odometer during this trip.
And when we pulled into the driveway, we ended with 4,758.6 miles driven. It was good to be home.
Today was probably the most disappointing day of the trip. We drove to Pikes Peak to go up the mountain. We found out when we got there, it was under construction. We were able to drive about 2/3 the way to the top, then had to park and get into vans to be shuttled to the top. These are the vans optimized to fit tons of passengers, but where no normal sized American can fit…
At the top, the construction took something natural and rugged and made it what I expect to be a fancy more expensive thing to “enhance” what was already a great experience. Its now truly “America’s Mountain” because it appears to be all about consumerism.
When we finished at the top, we had to get into what felt like animal pens to wait for a shuttle to go back down. Don’t waste your money or time. There is still Mount Evans near Denver that you can drive up.
On the way home, we stopped in Oakley, Kansas to visit Monument Rocks. This is a cool formation where Corvin and I did some more unicycling.
Then we drove to my parents house in KC.
We woke up from a night of camping and enjoyed the sounds of the campground.
We didn’t expect ducks, but they were fun to watch.
They had lots of stuff laying around that we saw on a morning walk.
With the campsite packed up, we headed on to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. We got there around 10 am and it was starting to get crowded. We walked through Medano Creek that separates the parking lot from the large dunes. It was flowing and surging, requiring shoes to come off if you didn’t want them soaked by the time you got to the other side.
We spent a few hours playing in the park. Corvin and I climbed up to the highest dune we found and then ran down. We dug in the sand, then had enough an headed out. On the way out, people were parked quite a ways away on the road, making us very glad we got there early!
We planned on more interesting stop for the day. I had read about Bishop Castle online and wanted to see it in person.
You’ll have to judge for yourself, but the place felt like a safety nightmare. There as little in the way to protect a person from a long drop to their death in several places. Its one of the few places on the whole trip I have no desire to revisit in the future.
This walkway shook every step I took. I’m pretty sure if I rocked side to side it would have collapsed to my doom!
It was a good day together but it was time to find a hotel and rest!
We got up later this morning that we have most of the trip. In fact we were late enough that we were nearly late to our whitewater trip. The river was up and running fast. This meant that we got to go a little farther than normal. 14 miles of great whitewater paddling! I would show you photos of our whitewater, but ‘m too cheap to buy any!
After paddling, we walked over to the outdoor restaurant nearby. It was next to the river and a ropes course. It was great, except for the TV blocking the river. Who needs a TV when you are this close to a river?
Now was time to drive. We were headed to the Great Sand Dunes National Park the next day. We ended up taking a narrow mountain pass to make the drive interesting. Also interesting was the Ride The Rockies event going on the same route as us in the opposite direction. We had to wait at an intersection for a long time before we could get through. We were going up a narrow pass as they were coming down.
We stopped to take in the view.
This person had a snowboard and kite and was moving quite fast all over the mountain.
Its hard to beleive that we went from snow, to a warm summer evening when we got to our campsite. We were staying at a resort/oaisis/campground/swimming pool for the night. The water came out of the ground around 90 degrees and non-stop. The swimming pool was constantly refreshed with new water from the spring.
I often cook pizzas on camp fires and BBQ grills. This one wasn’t quite hot enough, so we used the “bottom rack” to get the oven effect we were looking for.
With food out of the way, Corvin and I did our Colorado Unicycle ride while the girls relaxed.
With the constant hot water flowing in, they had a few ponds with interesting fish and other wildlife hanging out. It was a very interesting and cool place to stay!
The only drawback to the campsite was the wind. Our tent rattled all night and I thought it might blow over, but I would go back and stay there again!
First off, Happy Birthday to me! Nothing like being with my family on my birthday to make it a great day! We started off the day driving to Arches National Park where Corvin and I did our unicycle thing. Of course, there was tons of scenery for us all to take in!
After we were all arched out, we started driving. We headed to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Danelle had booked a whitewater rafting trip for us the following day. We spent time walking the downtown and I picked a fancy BBQ place for dinner.
Along the walk, we saw a cute puppy and the kids wanted to take it home.
The sun was setting as we drove back to our hotel for the night. Oh how we all wanted to stay in this town forever. Look at the mountain with snow in the distance!
We picked up some Hostess cupcakes for my birthday and spent a fair amount of time in the pool and hot tub before calling it a fantastic night!
Note to self, we should come back here and spend multiple days just hanging out!