Road Trip 2010 – Part 2: Rocky Mountain High

Colorado Springs

While in Colorado Springs, there were four things we really wanted to do: visit Focus on the Family; tour the Air Force Academy; see the Garden of the Gods; and drive up to the summit of Pike’s Peak. We managed to do all four!

Pagosa Springs

We traded a week at our timeshare in Myrtle Beach, S.C., for a week at the Wyndham Pagosa Springs.  The trip from Colorado Springs to Pagosa Springs was not nearly as arduous as the first two days travel, but here are the stats anyway:

Depart Colorado Springs, CO, Aug 21 at 3:30 p.m.

Arrive Pagosa Springs, CO, Aug 21 at 10:30 p.m.

Actual driving time of 4 hours and 25 minutes

238.0 miles at 53.5 mph average

While in Pagosa Springs, we trekked up to Piedra Falls.  I say trekked because it was a pretty arduous journey: mostly dirt roads with a lot of washboard-like sections, and one small gravel-bed stream to cross (yep, we crossed a stream in the minivan!).  On the way to the falls the stream was bad enough, but it started raining while we were at the falls (about 1.3 miles from the stream), and the area guide book says to not even attempt to get to the falls in bad weather because the road gets treacherous.  Well, we were already there, so we really didn’t have a choice. We were the last ones to leave the parking area, and I told Nancy that I’d seen a Hyundai sedan in the parking area, and if they could make it back over the gravelled stream, we might have a chance, too.  At about that time, we got to the stream to find the Hyundai stuck; the fellow was out pushing it and his wife was driving. Just as we got up to the stream and I was about to get out and help push, they got the car free, so I just rolled on through what I thought would be the best place to cross. Luckily, we didn’t have any problems getting across it.  The rest of the trip back was a bit of a nail-biter as the twisty dirt roads were very slick. We did make it back to the time-share, although the minivan was a bit worse for the trip.

A very dirty minivan after our trip to Piedra Falls.
After a trip on a wet dirt road

The following day we went to Treasure Falls, which, thankfully, has a paved parking area just off the main highway! See my video on YouTube!

After Treasure Falls, we found a coin-op car wash and got most of the mud off the minivan.  Then we ate dinner at a place just east of town called the Branding Iron.  Very good food and reasonable prices.  By the time we finished eating, a storm had come over the mountains and it was raining pretty hard. We made a dash for it and got in the minivan (you gotta love those remote power locks!) without getting too wet.  We drove out from under the storm and got back to the time-share just a few minutes before it got there. Once it did get there, it brought along some pretty impressive hail, along with the heavy rain and customary lightning.

Altogether, we had a really good time in Pagosa Springs – it really is a beautiful place. We also got some much appreciated rest. Then on Thursday, August 26, we headed out bright and early for Roswell, NM.