One Night Stands Returning to Prescott Thursday, Aug 8 2019 

Angel Fire Vista

Angel Fire Vista

On Sunday we drove from Manitou Springs, Colorado to Angel Fire, New Mexico. We saw last year’s extensive forest fire damage west of Cimarron, New Mexico. Fortunately, the Cimarron Canyon State Park along Highway 64 was not burned. I took advantage of the hot tub at our RV resort.

Because the engine light continued to warn us of a problem, we left Angel Fire Monday morning headed to the Mercedes-Benz dealership in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They discovered that the downstream and upstream sensors were faulty. We were lucky that they had the replacement parts in stock, they had a technician who could perform the work in a timely manner, and that these items were covered under warranty. After the repair work, we continued to a RV resort west of Albuquerque, New Mexico. We took advantage of their large, warm water swimming pool and hot tub. Their related buffet offered two-for-one, although it closed shortly after we entered.

On Tuesday we enjoyed a breakfast for 99 cents each plus tip. We joined the caravan of trucks on I40 to Holbrook, Arizona. We encountered heavy rain before leaving New Mexico. It took us longer than usual to set up camp. Because our first site did not have good power, we asked to be relocated. The second site was 50 amp only and marginally better, but we were told we went to the wrong site and would have to pay more. Not! Our third site’s power was better than the other two, but the water connection didn’t allow us to mount our filter. The quality of this park is less than our last two stops.

On Wednesday we made it home safely. Many interesting sites, but now I need to recover my strength.

Manitou Springs, Colorado Adventures Saturday, Aug 3 2019 

Our RV navigation system directed us over Independence Pass, the highest paved state highway over the Continental Divide in Colorado at an elevation of 12,095 feet. Because our RV and tow vehicle may be over 35 feet, we decided to unhitch our tow vehicle rather than risk a $1500 fine. It was a slow, difficult drive that left us not fully appreciating the scenic drive, and the Via’s engine warning light got activated. Nevertheless, we arrived safely in Manitou Springs near Colorado Springs.

Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock

We camped only one mile from the Garden of the Gods Trading Post. On Friday we hiked the Balanced Rock, the Cabin Canyon, and the Siamese Twins Trails before visiting the Visitor’s Center where we scrutinized the exhibits about the geology, flora and fauna, and history of the Pikes Peak region. Then, we toured the Rock Ledge Ranch, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which is divided into the following sites: American Indian Area (1775-1835), Galloway Homestead (1867-1874), Chambers Farm and Rock Ledge House (1874-1900), Blacksmith Shop, and Orchard House (1907-1910). On Saturday we parked in the north main parking lot. Last year’s information kiosk is gone, and the bathrooms are closed during major renovation activity. We walked the paved Central Garden Trail and the Upper Loop Trail, admiring the highest rock formations in the park. A deer grazed in the shade under the South Gateway Rock. Rock climbers were active on North and South Gateway Rocks and Sentinel Spires. I especially liked seeing the Cathedral Spires from different vantage points. After our hike we visited the Trading Post and were impressed with their large inventory.

Pike's Peak through Siamese Twins

Pike’s Peak through Siamese Twins

We spent part of the afternoon exploring Manitou Springs. The naturally carbonated mineral springs of Manitou Springs inspired the town’s early development. It was sold at the 1883 Columbian Exposition in Chicago and through a national network of dealers. Currently, there are 8 springs open to the public, each with its own distinctive flavor and effervescence. During a walk around town we encountered three of the springs and tasted the water from two of them. The city caters to tourists with a free shuttle system, many restaurants and boutique stores. Perhaps we’ll get atop Pikes Peak on our next visit. We highly recommend visiting Manitou Springs!

Iron Mountain Adventures Thursday, Aug 1 2019 

Mt. Garfield

Mt. Garfield

The scenic drive from Fruita, Colorado to Silts, Colorado on I70 included passing the dramatic Mount Garfield near Palisade, Colorado. After setting up camp near Silt on the Colorado River and eating lunch, we headed to the Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs. We immersed in the 101-degree Jade Pool water while listening to relaxing music. What a relaxing afternoon!

 

 

King's Cave Fluorescence

King’s Cave Fluorescence

On Wednesday we returned to the West Glenwood area where we boarded the Glenwood Gondola. 44 cabins run continuously up Iron Mountain to an elevation of 7,100 feet with great views of the Roaring Fork Valley. Later, we learned that in April this new system replaced an old tram. We visited two caves. We were especially impressed with the King’s Row Cave. While the Fairy Cave was discovered in 1895, the King’s Row Cave wasn’t discovered until 1960 and didn’t open until 1999. Interestingly, the name King’s Row was named because formations were reminiscent of chess pieces. Seeing fluorescence in a formation was a new experience. We walked around the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park admiring the noteworthy rides on top of this mountain such as the Giant Canyon Swing, the Mine Wheel, and the Glenwood Canyon Flyer. Another great day in Colorado!