Monday, August 12, 2019

Pike's Peak and Garden of the Gods

On our last full day in Colorado, we went to the top of its most famous mountain, Pike's Peak.

The drive up the winding mountain road is thrilling and very picturesque.

The area at the top is under construction as they are building a new visitor center, so we parked a few miles down and rode a shuttle to the top. The shuttle system worked well, as they always had a van ready to go. We didn't have to wait either way.

The view at the top is quite spectacular.

It is hard to pick which direction had the best view.

The donuts sold at the top are famous so we had to have some. They were tasty, and made tastier by the fact we were able to eat while enjoying the view.

The drive down was as challenging as the drive up. Definitely need to use low gear. There were a number of adventurous bicyclists on the road.

After we came down from the mountain, we went to Garden of the Gods, a free public park in Colorado Springs that has towering sandstone formations.

This one is called Balanced Rock.

From parts of the park, you can see Pike's Peak in the distance.

The rock formations were beautiful, but after seeing so many spectacular places in the past two weeks, this place didn't stand out.

It was also very crowded and not enough parking spaces.

Afterward, we skipped lunch and went for ice cream instead. We went to the historic part of town, Old Colorado City, to an ice cream shop that Kai found the night before. This place, The Ice Cream Lab, specializes in rolled ice cream.

The wait was long but that was because they make everything to order. Here's how they make the rolled ice cream.

First, they grind ingredients, strawberry in this case, and then add cream.

Then they spread everything into a thin layer on a cooled platform.

They add in syrups like strawberry and chocolate. Then they roll the thin ice cream.

The end product looks like this.

Kai said it was the best ice cream he's ever had.

And so we had a pretty good last day of vacation, on a vacation that was mostly good. But I think everyone is ready to go home as well.

All that's left now is the two-day drive home.


  1. Ah...I have been to Pike's Peak, but it was almost 40 years ago. Very nice. I love high altitude locations. I especially like that ice cream place. I have never had such a dessert, but, it looked positively delicious. What a great idea. It was the perfect topping off of a great vacation.

    1. It was a nice view from Pike's Peak, less wintry than Imogene Pass had been.

      It was fun watching them prepare that ice cream. Took several minutes for each order but was entertaining watching it. Apparently they have rolled ice cream in Japan but we didn't see any of those places when we were there.


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