The end of our vacation had arrived, we had one last day in Colorado Springs before making the painfully long drive across Nebraska the next day. That didn't stop us from exerting some energy and having a fantastically awesome last day! First stop, Garden of the Gods. If you are ever in or near Colorado Springs, you must stop by. It's free and full of great hiking! Plus, it's pretty awesome just to look at!
After Garden of the Gods, we got roped into this ridiculous tourist trap, Manitou Cliff Dwellings...here I am thinking we are going to see some real cliff dwellings, and after spending $20 just to get in, we quickly gathered that those cliff dwellings weren't original. I will say that it was semi-fun to walk through them, but it was disappointing to learn that they were moved from another location and rebuilt. We didn't feel too bad about the money though, it was free to go to Garden of the Gods and we would have paid $20 or more to experience that!
Whew, all that hiking was making us hungry! We needed a bite to eat and oh my goodness, thank you UrbanSpoon for leading us to a place in Manitou Springs (Urban Dictionary definition is great). This little city was surreal, it was like diving into the early 70's where we suddenly surrounded by hippies, real freaking hippies, not hipsters! I'm talking dirty, drug using, vegetarian, anti-war, dreadlocks sporting, roaming the streets with a guitar, hippies! And they were singing in the streets, congregating in parks, operating businesses (ie. vegan cafe, clothing store, etc.), and just plain wandering around. IT. WAS. AWESOME. I had never been anywhere like that before and it was kind of fun to feel like we had gone back in time.
We ended up eating at Adam's Mountain Cafe, and it was so good! Unfortunately, I have no pictures of this experience thanks to my broken camera, but I'm glad we did it.
We debated between spending 4-5 hours going up and down Pike's Peak on a train, or driving for another 4 hours going to Royale Gorge and back...but we ended up deciding to keep it local, and free! So we went to Cheyenne Mountain National Park. Awesome! We drove around this gorgeous park and then checked out some waterfalls. We hiked up to the top of the main waterfall (I was panting, yuck!). We had some gorgeous GORGEOUS views!
Sadly, after a long day of hiking, we were ready to relax! We stopped at a beer store and stocked up one last time with beers we can't buy at home and headed to the hotel. Our hotel, like most of the other ones, had a full kitchen so instead of going out to eat, we ran to Papa Murphy's and got a take-and-bake pizza! We enjoyed our last night in with a couple of good beers and got to sleep pretty early.
Our last day was spent driving to Omaha, which was long, and boring, but we did get to hang out with Laura and Jason for the night! We had a good time celebrating Laura's birthday at Nebraska Brewing Co and this local dive bar they live next to. We had a really wonderful vacation, despite some of our plans being changed and I would love to go to Colorado again!