Social Distancing Road Trip

Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs

The Journey to Colorado Springs –

We had been working from home for two months due to COVID-19 and had to cancel five trips including one to Spain and Portugal. With that, the stress of work, and everything else going on, we decided we need a change of scenery.  If we had to work from home, why not work from somebody else’s home?

Deciding where to go took a little bit. We had to find an area drivable to Texas within a week that was dog friendly and had a lot of outdoor activities since many typical tourist destinations were closed (including many national and state parks). After quite a bit of research, we ended up picking Colorado as our destination as parks had just opened up and it wasn’t too far. Memorial Day weened just happened to be very next weekend so we decided to use the long weekend, meaning we only had five days to plan!

Dogs on the road trip to Colorado Springs

We quickly picked some Airbnb’s and got ready for our trip. It was very easy to pack because I was only going to wear activewear for the full week. With that, my hiking boots, and our dog’s stuff, we hopped into my Jeep on Thursday night after work and took off to Amarillo. We broke up the 11 hour drive to Colorado Springs with a 5-6 hour overnight in Amarillo and then a Friday morning to Colorado Springs. The drive to Amarillo is pretty boring we got some Chick-fil-A for dinner and arrived in one piece around 11 PM. We stayed at the Hilton Home2 Suites hotel on the way back from New Mexico one New Years Eve after driving through a blizzard. We knew the Home2 Suites was brand new, clean, cheap, and dog friendly, so we felt comfortable staying there one night. It was so weird seeing so many people at the hotel after not seeing very many at all for quite a while. We wore masks, dumped our stuff in the room, and passed out.

We tried to let our puppy, Dixie, sleep in the king bed with us since she’s usually in her crate at night. That did not go very well as every time we would move over the bed she would get on and off the bed. She also tried to protect us from some Chihuahuas that we’re making noise in the hallway and woke us up nice and early. We brought bagels  for quick breakfast and took off to Colorado Springs.

The drive was absolutely beautiful and there weren’t very many people on the road so we were able to get to Colorado Springs pretty quickly. The problem though was that we couldn’t check into our B&B until 4 PM and we got there around 2 PM. Little did we know that our Airbnb was right next to the Garden Of The Gods!

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The Garden Of The Gods is a beautiful park in Colorado Springs that has these massive red mountains of rock coming up out of the ground. We parked our car and were glad to stretch our legs after such a long drive. We got the puppies all suited up and took off on a hike around the Garden. It was stunning day and the dogs are loving every minute of it. We found a shady spot under a massive rock overhang and watched some rock climbers scurry up this huge portion of rock and hang out at the top of the rock.

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It was really cool to see and a great way to spend some time before checking into our AirBnb.

We packed up the dogs and drove to Airbnb which was just a few minutes away from the Garden Of The Gods. I was actually just across the street from the parking lot and so we had some perfect spots for a dog walks in the morning. Airbnb was really nice and was two stories. Dixie was running up and down the stairway from the basement to the main floor over and over and over again and it was so funny. We were pretty tired so we grabbed some pizza, paired it with some celebratory wine, and watched Selling Sunset on Netflix before calling it a night.

Colorado Springs – Day 2

Day two in Colorado Springs was hiking day and we were bringing Dixie for her first hike ever! We got her backpack all ready so she could carry her poop bags and her water bowl and drove to the park. We drove into Cheyenne Canyon and it was already getting crowded around 9 AM! Thankfully, we found a parking spot higher up on the mountain side about 1/2 a mile away from the trail head. We tried not to get hit by cars as we walked on the side of the road to the trailhead and then embarked on a beautiful hike.

The views were stunning and the trail was nice and wide. There were so many other dogs and people out walking. Dixie was in absolute heaven! We had a little trouble finding the Seven Bridges Trail because it wasn’t very well marked, but after some back-and-forth and a few conversations with fellow hikers, we finally found it. We followed a river up the mountain and passed many waterfalls along the way. We ended up going over seven different bridges, hence the trail name, to get to the top spot where the biggest waterfall was. It was wonderful and Dixie played in the stream as we went. She pounced on some rapids and hopped over rocks like a little mountain goat. It was adorable. Thankfully, she didn’t pull me down the mountain either!

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The hike took about three hours total and we were starving by the time we go back to our car. We drove back to AirBnb for some leftover pizza. Ryan took a nap and I decided to explore the ranch and park area across from our AirBnb.

The Rock Ledge Ranch historic site had some beautiful grass in front of an old house and I laid down in for a good while on a comfy patch to just enjoy the weather. Dixie was having a blast rolling around in the grass. It was really cute!

After about 30 minutes, we walked around and found horses, geese, sheep, pigs, and other farm animals. It was really cute introducing Dixie to all the animals and ended up being a really nice little walk. When I came back, we rested for a little while and then decided to get some to-go Greek food for dinner! It was absolutely delicious and was a nice cap to a long day. (Even though they forgot my pita bread).

Colorado Springs – Day 3

Today was white water rafting day! It was pretty cold in the morning compared to the other days that we had been in Colorado Springs as the clouds were out in the sun was hiding. It was about an hour drive to get to the rafting place and we waited in our cars for social distancing reasons until the leader came by and grabbed our info for wetsuits. We got suited up and we’re ready to roll. Being only their second day after reopening with the new Covid-19 protocols, it took an extra hour to get ready and onto the bus.

It took about half an hour to get to the rafting launch site. We were put into a group of 4 plus our guide, Ethan. Ethan had a great personality and was a fantastic lead for our level three and four rapids! The views were absolute beautiful and we started off with some pretty intense rapids. We floated for about 2 1/2 hours with a good number of rapids spread out in between themselves. It definitely made for a very minimal amount of downtime and a lot of fun time! Ryan almost fell out of the boat was going down the first set of rapids but, thankfully, he caught himself. You had to have really good core strength to stay in as you’re getting bounced around. It even started to rain and thunder and lightning in the canyon and was absolutely terrifying but really cool to watch the giant droplets of water river in front of us going through the rapids.

The only downside was I was absolutely freezing! There was no sun and the river water was from melted snow so it was literally just above freezing. Being in the front of the boat, I got completely drenched, so it was hard to enjoy the rapids when I was shivering it 100 miles an hour!

Overall it was a very worthwhile start to the day. When we got out of the rapids and back to base, they told us that they didn’t get any photos at all so this is the only one I have. Got to love memories!

We were starving after the rapids and the only thing between us and our our drive back to the Airbnb it was a Dairy Queen. We spent $30 at said Dairy Queen on chicken nuggets and blizzards. It wasn’t as good as I thought it would be but I guess you can’t have expectations for fast food! However, a cookie dough Blast was just what the doctor ordered.

We drove back to the Airbnb and changed and got ready for the rest of the day. We had quite a few plans but I got a phone call from VRBO canceling our reservation for the very next day in Ridgeway! We had a total freak out moment because we had two dogs were thousands of miles from home and may not have had a place to go within 12 hours.  They didn’t even have a back up plan for us and told us that it was a glitch in their system which is why we hadn’t been notified prior. I did call quite a few times prior to the trip just to triple check that all of our reservations were in order, but somehow, this slipped by. What a disaster! Fortunately I had already been texting our posts about a later check out I called them and explain the situation and they said there was a few other guess it’s the same thing that happened to you. They told us to come on down! What a relief!

Spending so much time and effort on the AirBnb situation resulted in a stressful afternoon. All of a sudden it was time for dinner. We wanted to go to a brewery somewhere and hang out on a patio but, unfortunately, everything was still shut down.

On the bright side, we had to make a quick stop to Walgreens to get something for Ryan and I ended up getting 5 free Walgreens hand sanitizer bottles from the checkout guys! It was really nice of them to give those to us. We ended up finding this really cute little restaurant with healthier food, after the Dairy Queen disaster, and picked-up to go salads to eat in a beautiful park. There’s actually quite a nice evening and I really enjoyed spending time with my hubs a the park bench eating dinner. It was a wonderful way to top off our relaxing time in Colorado Springs

8 thoughts on “Social Distancing Road Trip

  1. Fantastic story on your Colorado springs adventure. Love the pics. Congrats… I’m sharing this post on our Ageless MirrorAthlete group page…. Fit Healthy Lifestyle and Recreational Activities. I know the members will love your story and learning about the gardens, spring, etc.

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  2. I live in COSP and we did Seven Bridges Monday 6/8/2020. We cannot believe how crowded it was – but I am glad you had a good time here. Many places to hike in the area if you return – I will give you some places to go.

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    1. Hey Debi – It was very crowded by the time we got back to the car. We always try to get a very early head start on our hikes so that we don’t encounter the crowds. Next time we go to COSP, I would love to have your trail recommendations handy!

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