If you’ve been listening to the Living Unconventionally Podcast for any length of time, you know that Colorado Springs has been our backup plan for if this whole RV trip doesn’t work out for any reason.
We first visited, and fell in love with, the city in August 2015 when we came here to attend the first annual Tiny House Jamboree.
Bryan’s sister and long-time boyfriend actually moved here in October 2015 so it was a perfect destination because we could go the second annual Tiny House Jamboree AND visit family … what could be more perfect?
Bryan’s parents, who live in South Carolina at the moment, flew out for a visit since it’s rare that their family can all be in the same location at once.
Beside spraining my ankle so bad after being at the Jamboree for only 30 minutes that the doctor was convinced I had broken my leg(!), we had an amazing time!
We were able to do some hiking, family bonding in the form of multiple games of Cards Against Humanity (which I am proudly undefeated in), and just got to experience freedom in an exciting and adventurous way.
We got into town a few days before our campsite reservations so we stayed with his sister. However, as soon as we got into town, our truck started acting very oddly. It became sluggish all of the sudden (which is not a good thing when you’re towing several thousand pounds up and down mountains).
We ended up having to take it to the shop and about $800 later ended up with new spark plugs … and a few others things but I don’t know much about trucks so …
We ended up being a day late checking into our campsite as a result of the truck issues but, luckily, it worked out well and the view was incredible!
Until I injured my ankle, we spent the majority of our time hiking a few of the different places around town. The plethora of outdoor activities within a very quick driving distance, some actually in the middle of the town itself, is just one of the reasons we love this year.
While I was stuck inside getting some work done, Bryan went on a hike with his sister and her boyfriend to Pulpit Rock.
The next day I was able to join him and his sister on a hike up to Helen Hunt Falls. It’s only about 1/10 of mile in length but you can over 200ft in elevation. The awesome thing is, they have the trail very clearly marked with steps so it’s a relatively popular hike. The end is a spectacular view of the falls and surrounding mountains. And no … it’s not name after THAT Helen Hunt. (Although I would be lying if I said that wasn’t my first question as well.)
After that hike we went over to Palmer Park and hiked for about an hour or so. Spectacular views right in the middle of the city!
By far my favorite hike we did while in the area was at Red Rocks Canyon Open Space! It ended up being about a two mile hike (although there are several different trails) and we saw multiple wild animals. It’s also right across from Garden of Gods so you have an incredible view of that and the mountains.
Here’s a shot I took of Garden of the Gods during our 2015 trip.
It was at about this point in our trip that we attended the second annual Tiny House Jamboree. As I was stepping out of the 4th home we toured, I sprained ankle very severely. I managed to hop my way over to the stage where some presenters I wanted to see were going to speak. After a couple of hours, I was too uncomfortable and had to leave. The pain and swelling intensified overnight and I ended going to an urgent care facility. The doctor swore it was broken but the x-rays didn’t show a fracture so they sent me home with pains, crutches, and brace. He said I should be back to normal in about a week. I’m writing this post almost exactly one month since that day and I still can’t walk normally yet.
The pain and swelling intensified overnight and I ended going to an urgent care facility. The doctor swore it was broken but the x-rays didn’t show a fracture so they sent me home with pains, crutches, and brace. He said I should be back to normal in about a week. I’m writing this post almost exactly one month since that day and I still can’t walk normally yet.
The rest of time there was limited to what I could on crutches so we ended up taking a drive up to the top of Pike’s Peak with Bryan’s parents. The summit is 14,115ft and the drive up takes at least an hour. We took a little side trip though on the road for Catamount Reservoir and couldn’t have been more pleased. I wouldn’t want to take that road in a car but if you have 4-wheel drive, I highly suggest not passing up this little detour. The shot below was taken from that road.
This was actually our second trip up to the top Pike’s Peak and the road was only slightly less terrifying the second time around. If you’re afraid of heights, it might not be the activity for you. The payoff is worth the anxiety though.
On another day we took a trip out to Cripple Creek, Colorado because Bryan’s dad wanted to look at some property that was for sale out that way. It was another gorgeous drive through the mountains and the town was absolutely adorable. If you’re not into gambling though, there isn’t really much else there to do. If you are into gambling, you have your choice of about 5 different casinos in this tiny town in the mountains.
We also took a trip out to the Royal Gorge Bridge. I have to be honest, when we agreed to go on the 1 hour+ drive we thought we were just going to across this cool bridge over a gorge and get some pretty pictures. We had NO idea until we arrived that it was actually more like a park with a variety of different activities. There was NO WAY I was going to be able to walk around on my crutches all day so Bryan ended up having to push me around in a wheelchair. Thank the Lord I married an amazing man!!
It was neat and I’m glad I went to once but it’s honestly WAY too expensive. It’s $25 just to get in and then you have to pay extra for some of the activities (like zip lining across the gorge or doing the swing over it). The view was pretty awesome though.
The last thing I need to mention is the fact that I FINALLY saw a bear in the wild! Luckily, it was from the relative safety of our truck. As we were driving back to our campsite (which was only a couple of miles of the where the bear was) we noticed it coming down the hill along our side of the highway. Bryan pulled off to the side of the road and we proceeded to watch it walk across the highway, grad some roadkill, head up another hill, and eat dinner. We couldn’t see enough for it to be gory or disgusting so it was actually a pretty cool moment to witness. Check out the video below!
Luckily, it was from the relative safety of our truck. As we were driving back to our campsite (which was only a couple of miles of the where the bear was) we noticed it coming down the hill along our side of the highway. Bryan pulled off to the side of the road and we proceeded to watch it walk across the highway, grad some roadkill, head up another hill, and eat dinner. We couldn’t see enough for it to be gory or disgusting so it was actually a pretty cool moment to witness. Check out the video below!
Below are some of my other favorite shots from our time in Colorado Springs!
Check out the next stop: Pike National Forest, Colorado