Nov162017

Work-Life balance in Garden of the Gods

Frontier Airlines flew me from San Jose to Denver for $98 round trip on days that worked around the BoardingArea mini-BAcon workshop on Google Analytics and SEO. Another tech day in a long series of lessons I have attended over the past decade about how a blog should be organized to make money. Many more good tips for cataloging my black and white world of words.

Alamo Rental Car placed me in a Hyundai Elantra 4 days for $94. I arrived in Denver Airport on a Thursday, traveling light with only an under seat carry-on backpack. Rode a shuttle to the remote car center on the plains of Colorado in the frozen 20s of afternoon, after leaving San Jose, California 3 hours earlier, where it was low 90s Indian summer hot before noon in the last week of October.

The Hyundai had a USB port. After plugging in my iPhone, the car and phone were smart enough together to automatically turn on The Kooks and play my one album download residing on my phone.

I purchased The Kooks for $10 from iTunes to earn Club Carlson Your Extras promotion for 3,000 bonus points. 60 points posted on October 27 for my iTunes buy. I still don’t have 3,000 bonus points from my October 23 purchase.

Club Carlson: Club Carlson Extras Partners 3,000 bonus points first transaction by Dec 31, 2017.

Many more album downloads in the two weeks since Colorado means I am now someone spending more hours of my day in white earbuds with music my life’s white noise. I tune out.

Short Broadmoor brunch hour for Garden of the Gods outdoors sunshine afternoon hike

On a Sunday at noon with temperatures approaching 70 degrees and a pocket full of gold from The Broadmoor excursion, I headed north along the foothills seeking Garden of the Gods park for a bit of hiking outdoors.

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This was only my second ever trip to Colorado Springs. Both trips were for Boarding Area BAcon events. The first trip in May 2013 was an excuse to visit the Mighty 5 of Utah when I drove my own car from Monterey, California. My personal road trip addition for a Utah mighty six to the list – Utah Scenic Byway 12 remote beauty (May 9, 2013).

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Pikes Peak stood tall in clear daylight,

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Pikes Peak was known as “TA-WA-a-ah-gath” or “Sun Mountain” to the Ute people. The first white person known to climb Pikes Peak is Dr. Edwin James in 1820. A cog railway to the 14,115 ft. summit was built in the late 1800s and a highway opened in 1915. Today about 500,000 people visit Pikes Peak annually.

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Signs warned visitors not to climb on the sandstone rocks or face $500 fines. Seemed to be a widely ignored threat.

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There were some technical climbers scaling some of the 300 ft. higher peaks with ropes. And there were children and parents climbing through some of the smaller crevices in the sandstone spires for fun and photo opportunities.

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In 1859, two surveyors building Colorado City explored the sandstone spires of what was then known as Red Rock Corral.

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M.S. Beach suggested the sandstone spires would be a great place for a beer garden. Rufus Cable stated it was a Garden of the Gods.

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Garden of the Gods is a free public park.

“The Garden of the Gods given to the city of Colorado Springs in 1909 by the children of Charles Elliott Perkins in fulfillment of his wish that it be kept forever free to the public.”

The National Park Service designated Garden of the Gods a National Natural Landmark in 1971.

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Red rock against a blue sky made even my old iPhone photos pop with color.

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Can you make out ‘The Kissing Camels’ in the photo above?

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I circled around Cathedral Valley and criss-crossed all the trails I found for a couple of hours. Felt good to be hiking in shorts in 70 degree weather after walks in the 20s, 30s and 40s for the previous three days.

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Seeing the athleticism of technical rock climbers, cyclists and cross-country runners, moms and dads toting backpack children and children climbing challenging rocks with ease made a beautiful Sunday outing.

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As I walked back to my car I overheard a tour bus guide make a joke about how the elevation of Garden of the Gods got higher after marijuana legalization.

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The sandstone spires are concentrated in one section of the park in Cathedral Valley.

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Balanced Rock was at the far entrance to the park near Manitou Springs, opposite side of the park from where I entered near the Visitor Center.

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Garden of the Gods is my kind of place – a free park and perfect place for a beer garden, a thought on my mind as the afternoon wore on and the beer in the trunk of the car was warming in the heat of day. Time came to head to Hyatt House Colorado Springs for a 5,000 points reward night before flying back to San Jose, California on Monday.

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About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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