Day 4









Colorado Springs to Salida

7:30 am light breakfast in room
We luxuriate/laze with room service.

9 am water aerobics Broadmoor Spa indoor pool
The resort has indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, a golf course, bowling alleys. We energize by joining an adult water aerobics session in their large indoor pool, led by an expert instructor from the Spa Fitness Center. Water is warm, workout complete but not exhausting – perfect way to start the day. The full-service spa with indoor pool, fitness center, 43 treatment rooms, relaxation room, hair and nail salon, offers more than 100 services. (The hotel also has 25 retail shops, including clothing boutiques, florist, sundries, jewelry, gifts.)

11:30 am checkout + head over to Pikes Peak Cog Railway
Quite a very nice experience to sit back, relax and check out the amazing views while we ascend Pikes Peak via the cog train! With an average grade of 12%, the Pikes Peak Cog Railway climbs the 14,115 feet to the top of Pikes Peak Mountain on a special track, sometimes hitting a grade of 24%! It’s an incredible ride. The railway is the highest in North America by a considerable margin. It was built and is operated solely for the tourist trade.

2:30 pm visit + tour Garden of the Gods park
This Colorado Springs public park was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1971. Free full-color park maps are available at the Visitor & Nature Center information desk which show locations of picnic areas in the Park. No place at the Visitor Center to bring in your own food, but there are two uncovered picnic areas in the Park: Scotsman Picnic Area with 5 picnic tables and South Spring Canyon Picnic Area with 6 picnic tables. Picnic areas are used on a first come-first serve basis, and reservations are not taken. You may bring a propane grill to use in the picnic areas. (Alcohol is not permitted.) We leave the Gardens around 5pm to drive southwest though mountains and valleys to reach the Salida Palace Hotel before dark.

ColoradoSprings+Salida 66 miles

7 pm arrive Salida check in Salida Palace Hotel
Built in 1909, this Victorian-style all-suite hotel is an unassuming building along the Arkansas River. Individually themed suites have different views (river, mountain, park), free WiFi, flat-screen TVs and iPod docks. A 3-piece Victorian parlor set adorns our sitting room. The kitchenette is completely outfitted! Tomorrow morning a free continental breakfast will be delivered to our room.

In 1880 Salida was a rip-roaring railroad hub with a famous bordello and madam, Laura Evans. Today it is roaring with rapids. Salida, headquarters for the Arkansas River Headwater, is a launching point for whitewater rafting. Rapids range from easy to challenging. The Colorado and Rainbow Trail nearby is great for mountain bikers, birders and hikers. Also close by there’s skiing at Monarch Ski Resort whose basin traps 300 inches annually of fluffy powder. Wish we were staying longer as there is much to see and do here.

8 pm dinner Boathouse Cantina
A 5 minute walk along the river’s edge brings us to the Boathouse. On summer evenings the outdoor dining is prime as it’s a great place to view the kayakers gliding by. We go inside, are warmly greeted and seated. The menu has small plates, salads, entrees with choice enough for everyone in our party. The bar serves mixed drinks and craft beer. Locals surround us at other tables. Prices are average with good value for the quality.

overnight Salida Palace Hotel
It’s late and we have an early start tomorrow so we hit the sheets – which, by the way, are ironed satin smooth and comfy.

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