Thursday Tim and I decided to drive around the Rockies a bit more in the morning, taking some roads we hadnt gotten to the day before, and watching for wildlife. We startled a black bear, and saw lots of elk.
We drove to Colorado Springs for lunch and charging, then drove to Pike's Peak- which I think is one of the highest points you can get to by car in the US, at 14115 feet above sea level. We wanted to ride the shuttle all the way to the top, but were informed the shuttle wasn't running yet for the season. Our only option was a terrifying slow drive up the snaking road, much of it without guard rails. It was worth the views, although it was freezing at the top. We made it!
Later that afternoon we had some time, so we stopped at Garden of the Gods, a local park with cool sandstone formations. We didn't plan to stay long, but ended up accidentally taking a trail that led us back to our parking spot- the long way that climbed up into the hills and gave us great views of the park from above. A happy accident.
We had had several long days, a few without showers, so we decided to take it easy that night and stay in a motel at our next charging stop- Poncha Lodge at Poncha Springs. We took Route 50 to get there, which cut through the Rockies, and which Tim said was his favorite road to drive to date. It was absolutely gorgeous as we passed through a slowly widening valley through the mountains, alongside a small river. Poncha Lodge was charming (and had hot showers!) and we ended up staying for breakfast at the little food trailer next door- another great decision. "Trailer Tots" smothered in gravy, bacon, egg and cheese was a good start to the day for our drive to Great Sand Dunes.