My folks packed up their suitcases, and I was eager to discover where we were headed. These weren’t the small camping bags; these were the traveling and hoteling kind of bags. What great adventure lied before me? What yummy human food would I get to eat? I patiently waited for my travel leash, but they didn’t put it on me. When our neighbor, Dee, drove up, my hope dwindled. They loaded up her car, and they took off…without me. Mom said they were going on an airplane, and I couldn’t go. I’ve never met an airplane, but I don’t like them very much.
Dreaming of past adventures would have to do this weekend. Since I’m a Colorado boy at heart, I thought back to a visit to my mom’s old stomping grounds. At the time, we were living in Loveland, Colorado – north of Denver. We took I-25 south and were heading to Colorado Springs. Mom spent 20 years there growing up, attending college, and working—all before she met my dad. One of her favorite parks is Garden of the Gods, and that was our first stop. We took the Garden of the God’s Road exit off I-25 and head south or left on N. 30th Street. The park is located off this road; just follow the signs.
Be sure to stop at the visitor’s center before heading into the park. It has a super cool store, and the balcony looks upon Pikes Peak, a 14,115-foot peak in the center of the Rocky Mountains. You can get a lay of the land. Note: Garden of the Gods is free and very popular. On weekends, you may not find a parking spot. Don’t fret because driving through is beautiful. The red rocks against the blue sky are spectacular! We were able to park in the main lot and do the paved loop. The park has horse rentals, hiking trails, and biking access. There’s something for everyone!
I’m used to quiet mountain trails, and this wasn’t one of them. Yikes! Hordes of people and dogs ascended the path to take in the beauty. It was fun at first saying hello to everyone, but then it was exhausting. Be prepared for crowds. Mom and dad sensed I was a bit overwhelmed, so we headed back to the car. Dad said we were going to drive up to the top of Pikes Peak. I settled in for a long haul thinking it would take days and days, but dad assured me it was only 19 miles to the top.
The road was built in 1915 and winds its way up to the top. Your humans will need to pay $16 per car load, and they would be wise to check tires and radiator before proceeding. The drive can be tough on older vehicles. Since dad takes his in the mountains to 4-wheel, we were good to go. We wound our way slowly to the top, and when I jumped out of the car, I felt funny. I vaguely remembered this dizzy feeling when we went to the top of Mt. Evans. Mom said it was the altitude and lack of oxygen. Felt like someone was moving the ground beneath me. Weird!
We took pictures and got something to eat. Can you believe it? There’s a restaurant and store at 14,115 feet! We drank plenty of water, and that is the key to not getting altitude sickness. Come prepared with layers. I loved the cold temps, but humans were putting coats on. The weather can change very quickly up this high. We watched as some hikers arrived. They had hiked up the entire mountain. Whoa. Mom said she’s done it, and she has my respect.
As the winds picked up and the clouds rolled in, we headed back down. I was ready for lower elevation, and we kept going lower. We continued south on I-25 to highway 115 south west and then connected to I-50 toward Cañon City where my mom’s family lived. Apparently, mom’s mom (my grandma) passed away here. We were going to her favorite spot: the river walk.
Cañon City is a small town southwest of Colorado Springs. It is nestled in a valley surrounded by hills. They call it the banana belt of Colorado as they have mild temps. It takes about an hour and a half from Colorado Springs. The drive is peaceful, and I felt asleep. When I awoke, we were by the Arkansas River (off 9th Street). I was pleased to know there was plenty of oxygen as we strolled the paved path.
It was getting late in the day, so we didn’t go far. Mom told stories of grandma walking three miles every day on this path and making the local paper. I sniffed everything but couldn’t find her scent. Mom says she has been gone a long time, and I could tell she missed her. I’m so grateful for my mom and all the adventures she takes me on. The River Walk is a nice, quiet trail that isn’t full of tourists. It was the perfect way to end the day.
What a full day we had! Just thinking about this trip made me tired, so I must go now and take a nap. Until next time…
Hi! I am Kumaito (Kuma for short), a multi-tan Shiba Inu. My breed is one of the oldest and purest from Japan. I personally was born in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, moved to Friendswood, Texas, and now call Phoenix, Arizona home. I enjoy running or hiking almost every day with my mom, chasing rabbits out of my neighborhood, playing with toys, pestering my brother Edmond, eating, napping … well, I love just about everything and everyone!
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith (Founder of the FIT Leader Formula™) is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, business consultant, executive coach, behavioral-wellness expert, and author of eight published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
Enjoy my blog at https://www.lorrainebosse-smith.com/category/kuma/ and be sure to follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kumathedog?ref=hl
Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!