Road trip of a few National Parks and Monuments in USA - Prelude..

Asha Desh By Asha Desh, 18th Sep 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>North America>United States>Colorado


Seven day road trip across four states in USA. Wake up to different sites each day, and in the process, rekindle the inner self .- Colorado.

Denver, Colorado

16th Street Mall, Denver.
My husband and I flew from Florida to Denver, Colorado. We had planned to go on a bus tour of a few National Parks, and decided to spend a couple of days on our own prior to the tour. The first place we visited was the famous 16th Street Mall. It is a mile long, pedestrian mall, packed with things to do. There are shopping centers, restaurants, and many eye catching activities all along the mall. One can ride in a horse driven chariot or a cycle rickshaw (also called Pedi cab). The focus is on environment cleanliness. Free electric shuttle buses called” MallRide Buses” go up and down the street from one end to the other, with frequent stops, making it easy for people to move about. We had been cautioned about the altitude at the Mile High City of Denver, and possibly did experience a bit of breathlessness as we wandered around. Whether it was due to our excitement of the tour, or the altitude, we could not tell, but it did not bother us too much. We enjoyed the sights, and then had a sumptuous dinner of Nan, Aloo Gobi, Vegetable Pulao and sweet Lassi, at Little India restaurant. After the hearty meal, which boosted both our body and spirits, we returned to our hotel.

Colorado Springs

Air Force Academy.
The itinerary for the day was a trip to Colorado Springs. The hotel shuttle dropped us off at the car rental place, where we rented a Ford Fiesta. We took off confidently, since my husband claimed he had looked up all the routes given to him by AAA. Besides, we were equipped with GPS. That was fine and dandy, except that several streets were closed, due to the Labor Day holiday! GPS does not know when streets are closed temporarily. Somehow we made it to the highway, zig zagging through the one way streets.
Our first stop was at the US Air Force Academy, to see the famous multi faith chapel. The chapel is beautiful, both architecturally and in concept, subscribing to different faiths for worship. But what touched my heart was the activity outside. It was parents’ week, and they were all escorting their young men and women in crisp blue uniforms, back to school. There was a family of four: dad, mom, and two brothers. The older brother was in uniform, while the younger one was proudly carrying his brother’s knapsack, only up to a certain point, where they hugged their good byes. A lone cadet marched up, all by himself. A young girl was surrounded by her family. And so many more! Watching them from an advantage high point, I wondered what their inner most feelings would be. A sense of pride for sure, but along with that many more. They kept their inner emotions to themselves. Things look smooth from a distance, but one has to reach near to see the rough turmoil they surely must be experiencing.
The drive to Colorado Springs was scenic. The mountain range was visible all along. The mountains in the distance looked so smooth, slate blue in color. As we drove closer, the terrain of brown earth and green trees became more visible. It appeared dense at first, and then as spots of green, with some bald spots and the roughness was revealed. I compared the visibility of the mountains to the feelings of people. Especially the ones I saw earlier at the Academy. From a distance one could see the proud smiles and brave faces, but one really had to go close to see their rough turmoil inside.
We stopped by at the Mining Museum which show cased the mining process of yesteryears. They had a few gadgets, which were still in workable condition. Burros or Donkeys were being cared for, partly to show case the live support the mines had in those days.

Garden of the Gods

Originally known as the Red Rock Corrals, the Garden of the Gods is a public park in Colorado Springs. Over the course of time through the ages, erosion and glaciation have created various rock formations, which have been creatively named. There is a Balance Rock, where one large rock hangs precariously over another larger one, seeming to topple over any given moment. Three tall formations have been called the Three Graces. The most popular one is called the “Kissing camels” which look like the faces of two camels kissing each other. All along the trail one can have fabulous views of the famous Pikes Peak of Colorado.

Seven Falls Waterfalls

It is a natural series of seven cascading waterfalls, with appropriate nomenclature for each of the falls, like Bridal veil, Feather, Hill, etc. The falls can be viewed from the top of a steep stair case, which one has to physically climb. The alternative is the mid-point viewing platform, called “Eagle’s Nest” which is accessible by an elevator. A trolley bus transports people to the bottom of the falls from the parking lot. However, for those who choose to hike, they may do so all the way to the top. The entire path, be it by hike or drive is utterly scenic. We returned to Denver late in the evening.

Denver

It was our free day to do whatever we wanted to do. Once again we hopped on to the hotel shuttle, and went to the town center, the 16th Street Mall. We wandered around, looking at various sites, and walked by the Denver Mint. We were really interested in it, but those tours are booked days in advance and there were no more openings on that day. A close substitute was the “Money Museum”. Run by the Federal Reserve Branch Bank, it has similar information to the mint and a few fun things in it. We visited that place, and had a good time. One of the fun activities it offers is the chance to design our own “Currency”, with our picture on the US currency bill of any choice amount. Following that, we took the Light train, and went to the Sports Authority Stadium, home of the Denver Broncos, my favorite NFL team! We spent quite some time at the stadium and returned to the 16th Street Mall. We finished the day by playing mini-golf and table tennis at one of their activity spots. We were ready to begin our Bus tour the next day.

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Travel, Writing

Meet the author

author avatar Asha Desh
Freelance writer. My genre is a mixed bag . My articles include Reflections on life, Humor with meaningful messages, Travel, Light reading and Fiction.

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Comments

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
28th Sep 2015 (#)

Thought provoking Asha, thanks.

Proverbs cut across countries, cultures. Some live within us all the time ready for recall as they are timeless. The impact is more when they connect with the culture they originated from - siva

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author avatar Asha Desh
30th Sep 2015 (#)

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my article. It is very encouraging to me and kind of you.

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
27th Oct 2015 (#)

Excellent travelogue. I had the good fortune of visiting Colarodo, and the USAF Academy as an official guest in 1977. It's one of the most beautiful academies in the world.
Second, I see you have a flair for writing a travelogue. I can suggest some sites which pay as much as $2K for good pieces of 2K words with adequate pics.

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author avatar Asha Desh
28th Oct 2015 (#)

Thank you so much for your comment. With this encouragement, I will certainly look into those opportunities.

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
27th Oct 2015 (#)

THE NATIONAL PARKS MAGAZINE - send these articles and you can make good money if you like.

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