In Jan 2020, I got the opportunity to travel to Denver and Colorado Springs for business work. But along with business, we decided to roam around and as I had never been to Colorado, so I was quite excited for this new trip. Also, one of my colleague from my company was going to accompany in this trip.
January is one of the peak winter seasons in USA and Colorado lies at the foothills of Rocky mountains. So, I was quite concerned about the cold and the possibility to fall ill due to flu. ( on a sidenote, at that time, Coronavirus was not still known in USA, though it had been in China. )
So, this was going to be a week trip. We were going to travel on Monday morning to Denver and then fly back to Atlanta on Friday morning, and besides our work from 8 to 4 during the day, we planned to visit few places after work. So, I packed my bags and headed to the airport by Uber. Then, I boarded the Delta flight to Denver and after two and half hours journey, I landed in Denver. Denver airport is not big like Atlanta, but its roof is designed like the rocky mountains ( I realized after a while). Then, I met my colleague ( she had taken a different flight), we rented a car and started to roam around Denver. First stop was at the Colorado State Capitol building.
The Capitol is a large government building, and showcased an image of a typical bureaucratic environment. But, we wanted to see the mountains from a height, and so we joined one group which was touring the capitol building. The lady who was the lead of that group was gracious enough to let both of us enter the terrace of the building and so we captured the above pic from the top.
Then, after seeing the state capitol building, we decided to go to Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre which is famous for hoisting many rock concerts and also had seen The Beetles perform in 1964. The place is huge surrounded by red mountains as the name says. It was very surprising to have a amphitheatre built at such a high altitude location. The place indeed was very beautiful. But unfortunately,we had been in winter evening and it was chilling cold. Somehow, the beauty of the location made us bear the cold and we took tons of pics as well as selfies.
Then, we decided to head towards Colorado Springs which is an hour away drive from Denver. Ignoring the traffic due to ongoing road widening, we reached Colorado Springs safely and ended our day. We had booked Double Tree by Hilton near Cheyenne mountain blvd, and we were very happy with the selection of this hotel.
The next day, started with starbucks coffee and breakfast at the restaurant near hotel lobby. We could see many US Air Force officers in the hotel due to the Air Force Academy presence in Colorado Springs. We decided that after work we will go to Garden of the Gods, which is one of the most beautiful places in Colorado. It comprises of about 1300 acres of vast sandstone formations and is designated as National Natural Landmark. Also, it is one of the most visited spots in Colorado. So, with excitement, we started our journey to the Garden of the Gods, and within 20 mins, we reached our destination. The valley is simply beautiful. It’s no surprise why this is called as God’s Garden!
We started walking in the park ( the name is garden, but it is called as park!) We saw many, huge sandstone rock formations and some of them were indeed favorites for rock climbers and boulders. We saw many signs showing to preserve the natural beauty of the park by not stepping outside the walking fence, and were also warned by the possible hiding spot of rattle snake, whoa! Besides fearing to see rattle snake ( which we did not see), we saw other animals like deers, rabbits and squirrels in large numbers, roaming freely in the park. The park has neat pavements for walking and provides directions every now and then.
Soon, we saw a distant tall snow capped peak. We wondered what was that and then after reading the information board, we found that to be Pikes Peak, which is the highest summit of the southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, with an elevation of about 14000 ft.
Finally, it started getting dark and cold, and so we decided to return to our hotel in Colorado Springs.
Later during the week, we roamed around the city in downtown, visiting new restaurants. Some of the good restaurants we visited were Rabbit Hole, Red Gravy, Colorado Craft ( the veg burgers were really good), Denver Biscuit Co and Odyssey Gastropub. I would recommend to try them if you happen to visit Colorado Springs/Denver area.
Finally, we completed our business work and headed back to Denver. Though there were many places to visit such as Air Force Academy, Cave of the Winds mountain park etc, but we ran out of time and the latter was closed due to snow. Hence, we both were happy to have visited Colorado Springs and Denver, we both had a good time and it was indeed a very memorable trip!
Now, looking at the covid-19 impact, I feel that we were fortunate to have traveled to Colorado just before the Coronavirus started mass lockdowns. I wish this virus subsides down soon and everyone gets to travel again to their favorite places. Till then, stay at home and take care!