A Summer Crush in Colorado: Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak

Our summer vacation in Colorado continued today with more adventures and places to see. First was a bike tour of the Garden of the Gods, then a drive up to Pikes Peak before heading to Ft. Collins to see some friends.

Another cool morning with no humidity meant I was going out for another run. I ran 4.4 miles on Pikes  Peak trail to the nearby Air Force Academy and back. Then we grabbed breakfast in the hotel before checking out and venturing out for the day.
Our first stop was the majestic Garden of the Gods. We missed the turn to the visitor center and ended up doing a scenic lap around the main portion of the park. The beautiful red and white rocks reaching towards the sky was amazing. We found parking at the visitor center and made our way to the activity desk to check in for our bike tour.
After a brief tutorial on how to ride our electric bikes, our group of six and a tour guide started off into the hills. Our tour lasted about two hours and we “rode” about 12 miles with the assistance of some turbo charged motor assistants. If you’re ever in the area, Amp’d Adventures did a great job with out tour. Ironically, our tour guide was from Boone, NC. Small world. A constant theme we kept discovering in Colorado.
Even though we had the electric bikes to help with the hills, it was a little bit of workout. I tried to minimize the use of the assist, but I’ll admit, it was nice to have. MB and I were ready for lunch. We ventured back over to Manitou Springs and had a bite to eat and a flight at Manitou Brewing. Their outdoor seating was packed (and it was only Monday). We sat at the bar and enjoyed our meal, service, and the beers were delightful.
Before heading to Ft Collins, MB and I wanted to check out the view from the top of Pikes Peak. We scaled the mountain in our Jeep Wrangler, holding onto the edge at moments, as we reached the mile 16 parking lot. From there, we took a shuttle to the top, where snow from yesterday’s storm was chilling in the shade.
Pikes Peak offered amazing views, but was super touristy. Too be completely honest, I was very uncomfortable on the drive up. There were too many stretches with steep ledges. While I trusted MB’s driving, my brain was not translating that to a safe place. Even MB mentioned that there was a part where, while driving up, all you could see was sky.
The long, boring part of the day was the drive to Ft Collins. It took us about two hours to get there from Colorado Springs. Traffic in Denver was nightmarish, so we skirting around the east side to make it in a reasonable time.
The weather in Ft Collins was really pleasant. MB and I met our friends Jason and Joanna at Maxline Brewing. The beers were great and the crowd was really into Bingo night. Next, we relocated to Fuzzy’s for some tacos and friendly company. A few of Jason’s buddies were there and we settled right in.
After a great meal at Fuzzy’s, we headed back to our friends home and settled in for the evening. It was a long day for us and a good night’s rest seemed like a good idea.

About Shibby

Jason Hibbets is a senior community architect at Red Hat which means he is a mash-up of a community manager and project manager for Opensource.com--a publication and story-telling platform for open source communities. At night, he wears a cape, and is a captain for the Open Raleigh brigade, as well as a co-chair for NC Open Pass. Jason is the author of a book called The foundation for an open source city--a resource for cities and citizens interested in improving their government through civic hacking. While writing the book, he discovered his unknown super power of building communities of passionate people. Jason graduated from North Carolina State University and resides in Raleigh, NC with his wife, two kids, two border collies, chickens, lots of tomato plants, and a lazy raccoon somewhere in an oak tree. In his copious spare time, he enjoys surfing, running, gardening, traveling, watching football, sampling craft beer, and participating in local government--not necessarily in that order, but close to it. You can follow him on Twitter: @jhibbets
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