Garden of the Gods and Manitou Cliff Dwellings
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Acting on a tip by a woman we met on the plane, Wanda, we went to Colorado Springs on our first day in Colorado.

The city of Colorado Springs is another popular tourist magnet in Colorado because it is at the foot of Pikes Peak. Pikes Peak is one of several mountains in Colorado that are over 14,000 feet high.

In 1959, gold was found at Pikes Peak. Goldseekers who missed out on the California Gold Rush just nine years earlier flocked to the region. They didn’t find much gold but they found instead another “goldmine”. Tourists won’t stop coming to gawk at Rocky Mountain. So the goldseekers stayed making a killing on tourism. And soon the Colorado state was born.

Colorado in Spanish means “colored red”. As you will see from the pictures here taken at the Garden of the Gods (a National Natural Landmark) and Manitou Cliff Dwellings (a privately-owned museum), the red soil (called “sandstone”) gave the state its name.

There is much to see and do in Colorado. There are the awe-inducing nature parks and then there are the cities with what I think are their mostly hippie beats. We went to Colorado Springs south of Denver on our first day there. By the end of our second day, after seeing Rocky Mountain National Park northwest of Denver, Colorado Springs seemed like a distant memory from a long time ago in a faraway land.

Click on a picture to enlarge.
According to its website, the Manitou Cliff Dwellings feature
But according to wikipedia, the reconstructed dwellings are a fake. The Anasazi lived nowhere nearby and the dwellings were built in the early 1900s to buttress the region’s tourist business.
Still, as another website says that
Display at Manitou Cliff Dwellings Museum.
Picnic patio at Manitou Cliff Dwellings.
Whether fake or not, Manitou Cliff Dwellings offers a great view. And from what I can make out from google maps, this view of the parking lot from the souvenir store has a direct line of sight to Pikes Peak less than seven miles away.
We drove on Hiway 24 and this backroad...
...just to see what other scenic attractions we might find...
...but US Highway 24 was already scenic by itself.
On our drive back to Colorado Springs for dinner, we saw a sign that said,
The most popular feature at the Garden of the Gods is the
A father and child takes a souvenir photo.
Most tourists just take photos at the Balanced Rock. But I followed Vi (in the distance at center) up the rocks...
...and kept going seeming to have no end...
...taking pictures of this tree perched on a ledge then kept going...
...until I came upon a dirt road that some tourists drove up to...
...and another balancing rock!
Colorado Springs never seems to run out of ledges on which to admire the view. As at Manitou Cliff Dwellings, the view from up the Garden of the Gods is great.
We continued our drive toward the city of Colorado Springs.
Dinner was at P.F. Chang's.
Even though we're staying at a hotel, eating out, and there was absolutely no chance that we'd be eating leftover food, we couldn't shake the habit of bringing home a doggie bag,
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