Cheyenne Mountain State Park – Colorado Springs, CO

Cheyenne Mountain State Park was a spur of the moment campground which we scored from WanderingLabs.com due to a cancellation. Thank you to whoever decided to postpone their vacation which gave us the opportunity to reserve their spot. It was amazing, beautiful and just what we needed. Right along side the mountain, overlooking Colorado Springs. We woke up to beautiful sunrise and the mountain covered the glaring sun at night. The only downside of the spot was the large amounts of wind that swept through and kept us up a couple of nights. Nothing we couldn’t handle, however.

Colorado Springs gave us so much to do while we were there for the week. The day we arrived we got to participate in fun and games at the rec center and StuntmanZ was able to score us some cool prizes. The State Park had a lot of trails to explore with many nice rocks for hopping and jumping and just doing any sort of trick you can imagine. Just be careful of the stinging nettles, those feel like burning pins and needles when you brush past them. Also, watch out for bears. Luckily we didn’t encounter any, but the ranger stopped by to alert us that three had been spotted in the area. We did get to see bunnies, deer, turkeys, lizards, prairie dogs, and a plethora of birds.

One afternoon, we headed over to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. This is privately owned and was actually relocated and rebuilt to withstand public usage. We got to climb through the rooms and see the dwellings, refuse and storage rooms and use the ladders. It was really cool to feel the cold walls on the hot day and think about how three families would live in one small room without fires just using furs and blankets to keep each other warm. On our way home we passed through a town called Manitou Springs, which was so eclectic and adorable. If we had time, we would have stopped, but we had one more quick stop to make before it was dinnertime.

The Garden of the Gods was a quick drive through for us, but they had an enormous off-leash dog area that we got to run around in with the pup and then we drove through the rock formations and walked out just long enough to see some rock climbers of all ages. It was wild watching the kids sit so high in the sky and then repel down the cliffs. The cliffs were a sight to see. They protruded from the land and looked as though they should tumble right down. Luckily, they haven’t.

The kids and I took one day and traveled south to Pueblo, CO to visit the Buell Children’s Museum and Sangre de Cristo Arts Center to experience the da Vinci exhibit. Poor Jason was so jealous, but someone needs to bring home the bacon. The children’s museum allowed us to experience inventions that were created from Neolithic time all the way through the Renaissance. From scales, arches, pulleys, the mechanical paradox, corkscrews, scissor lifts, and more. Then we walked over to the Art Center and viewed 60 of da Vinci’s inventions built. Some of them you could manipulate and some were just for show. The favorite’s of the group were the home gym and the naval cannon.

The best way to end a week of fun was to head out to Canon City, CO and take the boys white water rafting. It was so much fun! One of us even got to join the Arkansas Swimmer’s Club while experiencing an Arkansas Nasal Flush. I can’t say the rest of us were too jealous of the achievement. White water rafting is definitely on our list of things to do again, and again.

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