Colorado Springs Tour

The wheels on the bus go round and round as we joined about 30 of our fellow Newmar RV owners on a full day bus tour to the Colorado Springs area. The Newmar Kountry Klub offers pre-rally tours for its attendees. 9 different tours were offered, but we limited ourselves to only one tour.

After about an hour’s drive, our first stop was the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

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This place was probably very busy a few months ago, but most athletes are now taking a post Olympic rest. There were a couple of inspiring films and then a guide took us to the shooting, wrestling, gymnastics and weight training facilities. It was a beautiful day with Pikes Peak in the background.

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We then traveled to the Garden of the Gods, a public park with impressive red rock formations.

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Definitely a place to which we would like to return to explore on our own. We were able to sneak in a small hike before returning to the bus.

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RViewToday – balance rock garden of the gods

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We then were driven to the Seven Falls attraction, a private area which charges admission to view the formations and the centerpiece falls that is actually only one waterfall with 7 sections, not 7 individual falls.

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Tom took the 224 steps to the top of the staircase beside the falls.

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Now, if that was not enough fun for one day, we then visited the Penrose History Museum across from the famous Broadmoor Hotel.

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The prominent Penrose family put together an impressive collection of vehicles and memorabilia and it is displayed here.

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Definitely a busy day. Can’t wait for the rally events to start.

Canon City Attractions

This area is truly beautiful and offers many options for activities. Unfortunately, we had to pick and choose and didn’t have time to do them all. The Fulltimers’ Rally is keeping us busy most of the time.

The Royal Gorge

Probably the number one attraction here is the Royal Gorge and we definitely enjoyed our day there. Our campsite is about 5 miles from the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. The suspension bridge there (the bridge to nowhere) was built in 1929 and is suspended 956 feet above the Arkansas River.

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Views are breathtaking.

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While we were there, a brave individual was slackline walking across the gorge.

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Although we were not brave enough to take the zip line across the gorge like many of our fellow fulltimers, we did take the gondola 2,200 feet across the gorge.

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There are several restaurants and bars in the park.

 

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RViewToday – The Royal Gorge

Skyline Drive

We also enjoyed driving the Skyline Drive a one-way narrow road that runs along the ridge accessible from US50 close to town. There are pull outs with spectacular views.

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One of the distinctive features is the wall of dinosaur tracks. These were made 107 million years ago when a group of dinosaurs were walking side by side through the mud. The tracks later filled with sand and plant debris which hardened to preserve the casts of the actual tracks. The walls of the basin were raised by the Rocky Mountain uplift and tilted the rocks on edge.

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Here’s a close up of some of the tracks

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At times you are driving directly on the rim of the ridge where the ground falls away on both sides. Other times you are going uphill steeply and can not see the road ahead, only sky.

We took a walking trail up to the pinnacle.

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 Holy Cross Abbey and Winery

Another stop near Canon City was the Holy Cross Abbey a former monastery of the Order of St. Benedict. The monastery was closed in 2006 but a gift shop remains and it is now used as an events center.

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On the grounds of the Abbey is The Winery at The Holy Cross Abbey. They offer wine tasting and have about a dozen wines available for tasting and purchase.

Red Canyon Park

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About 8 miles out of town is County Road 9 that leads to Red Canyon Park. The road is paved to the park, but beyond it turns to dirt. The road in the park is packed red dirt. Along the way, there are pull outs for a couple areas of dinosaur fossil digs.

dsc_1141There was actually a competition in the area as to who would find the most dinosaur bones and where more fossils could be found. The park itself has some beautiful scenery.

dsc_1152We certainly enjoyed our time in Canon City and the Fulltimers Rally. Now it’s on to the Colorado State Fairgrounds and the Newmar International Rally – Should be fun!

Mountain View RV Resort Canon City CO

Mountain View RV Resort – 45606 W Hwy 50 – Canon City, Colorado

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We are attending the Fulltimers chapter of the Newmar Kountry Klub rally in Canon City, Colorado and they selected this campground for the rally. We came in a day early and were given site 21 just for the one night and then moved to site 9. The workcampers here gave us a friendly welcome, showed us to our site and even cleaned the picnic table for us. The 40 sites here are laid out in a kind of random pattern. All sites are packed gravel, level and clean, have nice fire rings and tables. They have standard, deluxe and premium sites. Site 9 is considered premium and has a nice view of the mountains and an open area to the door side. The utility hook ups are convenient and well laid out. With the rally discount the premium site is $45.60/night. The moving and the discounts caused some confusion with the bill.

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The campground has 3 access points for wifi, but at certain times it is slow. Verizon service is good. There a very nice common area with a fire pit and restrooms and laundry are clean and modern. There’s a basketball half court and horseshoe pits. Restrooms are nice and there’s a separate laundry.

Our group was welcome to use the inside and outside tables for our common meals and the fire pit area in the evenings.

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RViewToday – Sunset from Site 9

Cripple Creek, CO

Cripple Creek is an old gold mining town about 45 minutes from where we are camping with the Fulltimers Chapter of the Newmar Kountry Klub. On a whim, we decided to drive out and check it out.

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The views along CO 9 and 11 were beautiful.

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We parked by the museum and saw that were giving tours to Mt. Pisgah Cemetery. This event is put on by the local historical society and only happens once a year. For $10 each we took the trolley and were given a narration about the town. We were sent off by gunfire from a gang of gunslingers.

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The trolley dropped us off at the top of the hill of the cemetery for the first presentation. A reenactor of the undertaker – Digger Odell – gave us an introduction and then we were treated to 10 other presentations of people buried in the cemetery.

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We found all the portrayals fascinating and very well done. The first ‘ghost’ we encountered was that of Dr. Susan Anderson the inspiration for Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman TV series.

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We also met Pearl DeVere a famous madam from one of the many brothels in town during its peak .

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Among the other spirits we met was Johnny Nolan saloon owner and fight promotor who had a run-in with Carrie Nation.

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We found the presentation at the potter’s field especially moving. A very talented local young lady portrayed a poor mother who had died giving birth and is buried in an unmarked grave with her baby. It is estimated that as many as 6,000 people are buried in this section of the cemetery – unnamed, unmarked and forgotten.

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We found it to be an interesting way to learn the history of a town. When we got back to town, we ate at the Johnny Nolan saloon and casino.

This town is famous as a boom town from a gold rush. More gold was found here than the 49ers claims in California and the Klondike put together and they are still mining gold here.

Today, there are numerous casinos, restaurants and shops. You can take a train to the mining areas and even go down into an old gold mine.

We were disappointed we didn’t see the herd of donkeys that roams the town, but we did see evidence of them being there, if you know what I mean. 

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Tom took a liking to Miss Pearl

Today was one of those special surprise days we get once in a while. When we happen upon an unusual and unexpected experience.