Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Relocation Road Trip : Amarillo to Colorado Springs : Day Two

Monday, 16 May 2011

Breakfast was included at the hotel. Typical Hampton breakfast: eggs of some sort, meat of some sort, assorted breads, cold or hot cereal, fruit, yogurt, u-make-waffles, juice, milk, coffee. Their hot eggs and meats are consistently terrible so, we usually ate waffles, bagels with peanut-butter, and yogurt. 
Start out after breakfast and loading the car. Since we had the Golf packed to the rim, we could not use the luggage tray and did not feel comfortable leaving stuff in the car in view (especially since this Amarillo Hampton was not in a desirable location). Every day we packed and unpacked the vehicle! Big down-side to the trip but we had no choice since we were also taking along our financial files etc...

Drove out of Amarillo towards Dalhart, Clayton, NM then up I-25 to Colorado Springs. This day was unplanned! It was a free ticket to whatever caught our fancy.  The Amarillo to New Mexico drive was entirely BORING! Straight, flat as far as the eye can see. It's easy to loose sense of your MPH out here.

New Mexico started to show some variation in landscape. We wondered what those hills were. Then we started to see signs for Capulin Monument. That was our "wild card" - let's go there! It was a perfect stop - just in time for a picnic lunch.

If you are in the area, stop at the Capulin National Monument! Stop by the interpretive center for a short film, see the exhibits and chat with a ranger. 

Then, drive up and around the volcano to the crater.    


If you are physically able, get your hiking shoes, water, and sunscreen and walk around the volcano rim! The rim hike is VERY difficult with narrow, steep climbs, and give yourself an hour for the rim hike. It's easier if you start the rim hike at the side where the restroom hut is located.

Flora of the Rim hike trail

   From the rim, you will get breathtaking views of the crater, surrounding land formations and plants.     

Walking the rim of a volcano. Now, how cool is that! After out lunch, potty break and hike, we were ready to head
  to Colorado!

The road through Colorado was rolling scrub brush hills.

 As we got closer to our destination we caught occasional glimpses of the snow-capped Rockies.  

We planned ahead for dinner. I like to use travel sites for restaurant reviews. For this trip I used primarily TripAdvisor (the one with the owl logo) and found a German restaurant with great reviews. Edelweiss was great home-cookin German style food. The best dish we tasted was on the kid's menu - the "mac-n-cheese" with ham. Comfortable decor, great food, excellent service during our visit.


After a filling, comforting German dinner, we asked the waiter for a local park for the kiddo to run around. He suggested a large park near 7 Falls. 
We decided just to go to the falls instead. We caught the 7 Falls close to closing and were able to go through the tunnel and up to the observation deck via elevator. We trekked up the stairs to the almost top of the falls. The look on my face is from the terror of knowing I will have to go down the stairs - very scary!

  After the falls, we were more than ready for the hotel! Stayed at the Hampton Inn Central Air Force Academy, located on the north side of Colorado Springs. Clean, comfortable room.

Day 2:
Mileage about 380 miles.
Expenses were about $267   ($55 dinner, $75 gas, $110 hotel, $5 volcano, $22 seven Falls)

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