Today we started the day in Manitou Springs, CO. It’s off to Pikes Peak for a ride on the highest cog railway in the world. When we reached the top, we were so high, the temperature was 50 degrees colder from base to peak. Even more crazy was the steep cliffs with no barriers at the top. What looked so gentle from its base made your legs shake once at the top. You could walk right to the edge of the mountain and stare down at what had to be shear drops of a couple thousand feet. After the ride, we still had some time to burn. Down the street from the railway was a national landmark called Garden of the Gods. Not sure how the park got its name but it was a great way to spend an hour.
If you are ever thinking of going out West, these thoughts below might help. 1. I would never go in the summer. The crowds were large in September, I can only imagine what high season would be like. 2. I would do the trip in a small 4 wheel drive or all wheel drive vehicle. I say this because a lot of roads do not allow vehicles over 25’. Also, some of the most memorable days were days where we spent time on 4 wheel drive only roads. In Yellowstone, I would book a different hotel ever night. The park is so large that many days we had to backtrack over the same roads for hours to get back to our hotel. It would also be nice to spend a night in the original part of Old Faithful Inn. That would require a reservation at least a year in advance.