Thursday, August 7, 2014

Colorado Lovin'

My first post on my brand new, shiny blog will be a travel post from my visit to Colorado. A friend of mine recently moved their and his parents were nice enough to book me a flight and allow me to stay with them for a week. Parents of the year award goes to them for sure.

Anyway, Colorado was absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Living in the shabby town of Fayetteville, North Carolina, Colorado seemed like a completely different world. I have never seen mountains that big! They looked almost like a wallpaper on a computer. And they were always there too. No matter where we drove, we were surrounded by the mountains. You couldn't escape their beauty, not like I would ever want to.

During my week stay there we went to many place. Day one was the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the only zoo on a mountain I have ever been to. I got to feed a giraffe, which was both scary and exciting.  Giraffes look harmless from afar but their teeth are actually about the size of my fingers, so I'm sure if they bite humans it hurts quite a bit.

Day two was a trip to Pikes Peak, a mountain with an elevation of 14,110 feet. A cog train took us an hour and a half up to the top, providing the most beautiful view I have ever seen. My pictures really don't give it any justice. It was cold and rainy but the only thing my mind focused on was those mountains. And, of course the donut that I got from the highest elevation gift shop in America. You wouldn't think a donut made at that height would be all that amazing but oh it was. (:

Day three: Manitou Springs & Garden of the Gods. Mountain towns are the absolute cutest. It felt like I was going back in time to old western days, with the little antique shops and Mom & Pop restaurants. Of course the town has been a little updated but mostly it gave off an at-home feel and a seclusion from the highly technologically advanced world we live in. Not to mention amazing fudge and pizza. Garden of the Gods was also a very cool place that led me to feel like I was no longer inhabiting Earth, or at least the part of Earth that I knew. The rocks were red as apples and some balanced from a seemingly impossible corner, appearing like they could topple at any moment. But I love climbing rocks and so my inner child broke out as I kept climbing to the highest points I could find.

Day four was the ever-fun incline. (Notice my sarcasm here). The incline was probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Narrow, steep, and almost a mile long. I swear I almost died. But here I am, I have survived it and am happy to say that the climb was actually worth it. The view from the top is beautiful and after climbing all those steps I feel like now anything is possible. It gave me a sense of accomplishment and a rush of exhilaration, perfect for hiking the three mile trail back down to the bottom, which provided insanely beautiful views.

Day five was Cave of the Winds. I have been through a historic cave once in my life but have never done anything like this. Cave of the Winds is not your typical walk-through cave experience with lights on the ceiling, carved pathways, and ropes on either side of you. No, instead this cave lacked all of the above. We were each given an old-fashioned bucket lantern to walk through the cave, which had not been touched by the people who made it into a famous attraction. We had to crouch down under low ceilings and walk around poisonous gases that had dripped from the ceiling. It was also quite scary because the lanterns barely provided any light. At one point the tour guid made everyone turn off their lanterns to be in "complete cave darkness." And of course in the distance we heard a noise. After that I just wanted out of there!

On day 5, the day before I left, we took a quick trip to Denver to go to the amusement park down there. Now I have no pictures of this because 1) My iPhone broke after the first roller coaster we went on (stupid me put it in my friend's pocket thinking it would be safe, but no it flew out and completely cracked the screen off), and 2) It started storming about 2 hours after we got there. Because of the lightning the waterpark was closed, which was a tragedy because I was really looking forward to going on the water slides.

Overall, my trip to Colorado was amazing. I'm so thankful that I had the opportunity to go there and I hope one day I will be able to go again.


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