Down from Pikes Peak just after noon; too early to head home.  So much more to see in Manitou Springs!

Lunch & souvenir shopping followed by a quick tour of Garden of the Gods.  No matter how many times I visit Manitou Springs, still amazed by the sheer diversity of Pikes vs Garden of the Gods.  Majestic snow-capped mountains distanced only 20 minutes from Grand Canyon-like colour & eroded rock formations – omnipotent, inspired, serene.

Unfortunately our drive-thru was interrupted by a freak rain storm – which turned into a flash flood within minutes.  Torrents of water collected and rolled down roadways.  Spent 30 minutes in the Visitor Center waiting for the storm to pass, stopped briefly for 3 last photo opps within Garden of the Gods, then on to Cave of the Winds.

Our group lantern tour started at 5pm – no rest for the weary.  [Next time I host a large group, probably need to scale down the activity schedule, it was definitely jam packed.  Didn’t plan enough time for meals – takes an hour longer to secure tables & coordinate food likes/dislikes. Live & learn.]

Cave of the Winds: might have forgotten to mention that we’d be ducking under 4 foot rock walls 🙂

That said, nobody backed out as we crouched low and listened to spooky cave tales of George & Nellie from our guide Alec – all while carrying flamed lanterns.  Super fun adventure.

Hour-half drive back, dinner – then games?  Nope, not this night.  Everyone crashed & had no intention in starting tomorrow’s journey before 730am.  HA!

LOVE LOVE sharing my Colorado home with family.  Best day!

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