Colorado Springs has stunning mountain ranges in its backyard. Waking up to this beautiful backdrop inspired me, and I decided to go for a run with Ollie. To save him from having a complex, I started my run in the opposite direction around the Fountain creek. It had been a week since my last run, but boy, was I huffing and puffing. Having a very tough time trying to breathe, the scenic creek carried me back to the car. Ollie was just coming back too and I saw him struggling with his breath. Only then did I realize, it wasn’t me but the elevation of the city. Being about 6000 feet above sea level, the beautiful tall mountains were making me feel more unfit than I was!
We went to the Garden of the Gods and understood that the place was rightfully named! The mountains were absolutely stunning and landscape breathtaking. If Game of Thrones was filmed in USA, this is where the Gods of the Seven Kingddoms would reside. We learned a bit about the geology of the place and saw the red spikes that were originally horizontal earth squeezed to be vertical due to tectonic movements. We did a small hike, which funnily sometimes ran right next to the highway. You could drive to the scenic view points too (duh – it’s America). The weather was starting to turn and so did we.
We got some lunch right by the university and started to drive towards the air force academy. Astonishingly we found a few inches of snow on the ground that we had passed only a few minutes before we arrived. The traffic had come to a standstill, as I guess everyone was coming to terms with just a 3 mile square area covered in snow. We were forced to change plans and drive directly to meet the Bourke family. We were greeted by the smiling handsome face of Falco and the smiling pretty face of Andrea in the parking lot. Happy to see our friends and their newest addition, little miss Vienna, we settled into their cozy apartment. Andrea had cooked some delicious vegetarian chili which we devoured with great appreciation of a home cooked meal. We went spent the night catching up and were woken up Rira (their cat ) chewing on our toes, as we were warned.
The only attempt I made of doing any sort of exercise was trying to look up for a free yoga class with my excuse of still getting acclimated to the fresh mountain air and elevation. Of course this did not stop Ollie and he went running through the trails of south Denver. Boo him! I spent time in the morning with Vienna becoming her new best friend before we headed up to Red Rocks.
It is a large amphitheater created in between the mountains and would make you long to see your favorite band play in the stunning setting. Quite a few big music acts such as The Beatles, Mumford and Sons, U2 have taken the stage here and enchanted the audience not only by their music but also by the beautiful backdrop.
With our bellies full of yummy Nepalese food from Sherpa House we checked out a couple of areas in Denver. We lined up to go on a tour of the Coors brewery but Ollie felt we wouldn’t be allowed in due to the amount of abuse I give Coors light drinkers (basics & bros) on a weekly basis. Betzy Cruze, our lovely little automobile, desperately needed love after driving some 1,500 miles past the oil change due date. Given that it was our first time in a week at one spot for more than 12 or so hours, we spent an exciting hour in a garage watching the mechanics hit some things with hammers hoping we hadn’t done some major damage to the poor thing. The news wasn’t good but they & we blamed the previous renters and let them hammer away.
We went back to find Andy and Vienna napping cutely on the couch. Poor Papa Bourke was after a tough week! We went for some dinner with the father and daughter as Andrea went to work. The beer was going straight to my head (I blame elevation again) and even Ollie (cat) sleeping at our feet didn’t wake me up. I went for a run the next morning feeling a bit more acclimatized to the elevation and it was going well till I had to run uphill. The elevation was doing nothing for my confidence! After a hearty lunch we said an emotional goodbye to Andy, Andrea and Vienna knowing very well we were going to miss the warmth of their home and hospitality.
Note: For some reason we have zero photos with Mom & Pops Bourke. They were there, we did not steal Vienna & Falco although we did ask if we could.