Colorado Spring Visit from Laramie, WY

Two weeks ago we visited Colorado Spring area of Colorado with some friends. We live in Laramie, a small school town on south east of WY. CS was one of the near by tourist places in a driving distance. It is ~4 hrs drive, some other touristic destinations are Yellostone national park and Grand Canyon. The later ones are far, require more time and money. We plan to see Yellostone in late July this year.

Shashi sir family at Colorado Welcome Center
Our journey started early morning (~7.30am) on Saturday, stopped by at Colorado Welcome center in Fort Colin. This is the place where I stop by every-time while travelling to Colorado. They provide free coffee, have restroom, map, and other stuffs related to Colorado. This time, Basanta bhauju had brought MO:MO, maalpuwa with tasty and spicy chatni. That was our breakfast. Brad, post-doc researcher in my lab liked the Nepali dumpling and chatni. Second stop was in Denver to pick up Sasi and Ravi. Then, 3rd stop was at the US Air Force Academy( AFA) which is like 30min drive from Denver.

Chapel at USAF Academy. Inside is really beautiful
AFA is a historic place for people interested in army. Most of the people there, I believe, were somehow related to army. We stopped at Information Center and had our lunch there at SubWay. Then we walked down to see Chapel. Everyone in our group liked the architecture of the chapel. It was beautiful inside and good looking, attractive from outside. One more attraction there was the old plane where you can take pictures. This was not exciting to me because I have been to the Boeing museum in Seattle where they have all kinds of planes including Air Force 1 (US president plane). If you are not interested in above things then, its worthless going this place. However location itself is nice, on the lap of mountain with forest.

Planning to visit this area? Interested in my travel diary? More story with lots of pictures inside.

Sasi and Brad Jumping below the plane
Lights inside the Chapel

Inside the Chapel

Royal Gorge Bridge
This was the rope from one side to the other side
of the river for aerial tram
Then, we headed to Royal Gorge Bridge. This place is ~1 hr drive from Colorado Spring downtown. After you reach Canon city, the drive is pretty nice, windy and narrow roads on small hills. I like this. There are two entrances: north gate (main gate) where information center is located and the south gate. These two gates are separated by the gorge and bridge. We ended up to the north gate. Finding a parking place was not easy. But one can find parking place easily on 2nd parking lot. Entrance ticket was $23 for adults. I was little worried abt the price but later on found that it was worthy. NOT expensive at all. The landscape of the river around the gorge bridge is amazing. First of all we walked on the bridge and crossed the river looking down on the river. Awesome. Then we hiked little bit up to the Skycoaster. This coaster was built in 2003. It is 1200 ft above the Arkansas river and has 100 ft tall towers. They charge $25/person. I thought it is bit expensive. My friends Sasi and Brad did the swing. After this, we went to the Aerial tram station. This was also awesome. We crossed the river (2200 ft) using the tram which runs back and froth above ~1200 ft above the river. Next thing we did was that took the inclined raliway to reach the river. It takes ~6min to reach the river, inclination is ~40 degree. It was also awesome. From the river, we could see the bridge. Took lots of pictures around and came up to the information center on the last car at about sun set time. Inside the information center there are lots of things that kids could enjoy. It was lots and lots of fun. The entrance ticket included all activities except the Skycoaster.
Sasi and Brad on the Skycoaster

Summit of Pikes Peak
Our hotel was ~10 miles away from downtown Colorado Spring. We reached the hotel ~10pm. Next day we headed towards Pikes Peak. Entrance fee for the area is $12/person, but some time back I wrote an email to the officials stating that we are students from Laramie and want some discount. They offered discount rate with $5/person. This way we saved $57 bucks. After catching the pikes up road, driving is challenging, exciting, breathtaking whatever you want to say. We stopped by at the lake on the side of the road. I forgot the name but its pristine, beautiful, you can do fishing on less than half way of the pikes peak. The peak itself is at 4,115 feet (4,302 m) elevation. We saw Rocky mountain peaks way below from the Pikes Peak. That was awesome. The weather was not bad, little bit cold and little bit windy, and also little effect of high altitude. We came back to the base and had lunch at Nepali restaurant. Our last destination was Garden of Gods. 
Our team on the bank of the Lake on the way to Pikes Peak

Windy road to the Pikes Peak

Brad jumping at ~1400 ft. Rocky mountain range on the backgroun
We didn't spent much time at Garden of Gods. We stopped by at the visitor center looking to the garden of gods area. Looked beautiful. And, drove around the garden, took some pictures and came back to Laramie.
Garden of Gods mountain

We four: Sasi, I, Ravi and Brad
I believe our choice of specific locations in Colorado Spring area (Royal Gorge Bridge, Pikes Peak and Garden of Gods) was right. Everyone enjoyed a lot this time. We also did right decision for not going to Seven's Fall.

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