On the morning of July 6, I woke up early, packed up camp and got back on the Independence Pass to head to Leadville, CO. It was only a few hours on the road and when I arrived I grabbed some breakfast at a neat little cafe. Afterwards, I wandered around the town and visited a nice little camping store, where I purchased my JetBoil stove! I only spent about an hour and a half in Leadville and then hopped back on the road. My friend, Leonie, told me about a place called "Garden of the Gods" that was on my way to Colorado Springs, and was a welcome break from the road. The place somewhat reminded me of Arches and it was beautiful. I wandered around the park for a little while and snapped some pictures.
After a few hours at Garden of the Gods, the weather started to look pretty ugly, so I hit the road to find a campground outside of Colorado Springs. First I tried the KOA...full. Then I went to one of the state parks....full. Luckily, the lady at the state park told me to check out Golden Eagle campground and they had plenty of room! As I pulled into the campground, I caught a break in the rain, which gave me just enough time to get my tent set up. After about 30 more minutes of rain, the weather cleared and I had a chance to try out my brand new Jet Boil stove! It was super easy to use and I was so glad not to be eating Goldfish for dinner again!
The next morning I woke up early, packed up camp and headed up one of the local trails. No fancy names for this trail...it was just called Trail #2.
After my hike I drove up to the United States Air Force Academy and toured around it for a while and then I visited the Olympic Training Facility. Both were quite impressive.
The chapel is one of the most amazing buildings I've ever seen!
After several hours of exploring, I headed east to find another campground. I didn't quite make it to the Kansas border, but I was close. I ended up staying at a KOA site (way more expensive than it should be! $28 for this tiny patch of ground and a place to park, haha). It's still cheaper than a hotel and way more fun too!
The next morning I packed up all of my stuff and hit the road to my new home, Kansas City, Missouri! It was a long 9 hours in the car, but tomorrow you can also read about one of the highlights of the trip...it involves prairie dogs!