Each summer, my wife Deb and I escape the heat and humidity of Kansas and head for the cool mountains of Colorado. This blog will be all about traveling and camping in the Colorado Mountains. I will focus a lot on beautiful scenery, local coffee shops and roasteries, microbrews, local wines, festivals, farmer markets, and of course food, and will try to help you decide where to go when you are in Colorado.
Last summer we explored the Rockies for two months living in a 15 foot camp trailer. With a three inch memory foam pad added on top of the queen size bed, we decided to spend every night in the trailer since this bed was more comfortable than any we were likely to encounter in a hotel. Besides we wouldn’t have to pack and unpack the things you need for a hotel stay.
We’re both retired and we spent a lot of time pouring over specs and floor plans of many camp trailers before deciding to buy a Safari Condo Alto model 1743.
We did not want a gas guzzling RV and have to tow around a little car to get around in at our destination.
We also didn’t want a Class C or Class B because we didn’t want to unhook from water and electric every time we wanted to drive to the store or take a day trip.
We were willing to dispense with the room and comforts of a 5th wheel or travel trailer because we don’t like running around in a big pickup when we get where we’re going and dealing with the gas consumption and hassles of a larger trailer. (I can pull the Alto into a McDonalds drive through or into any gas station large or small).
We decided we wanted a light weight trailer we can tow behind a regular car that we can unhitch and use to run around in at our destination. Deb and I both are interested in being as green as we can be and still have the comforts important to us. The Alto is perfect at a very light (1750 pounds dry). We see this as the future of camping, at least for us.
With the trailer chosen, and trip planned, we headed to Manitou Springs and Garden of the Gods, our usual launch pad for Colorado trips. We set up at Pikes Peak RV park in Manitou. We met up with my uncle, brother and their wives for an evening. It was nice to sit around our site along the stream and visit while enjoying a bottle of Spaten Octoberfest, my new favorite beer. We ate at Jake and Telly’s Greek restaurant in Old Colorado City. The food is good and the waiters are friendly and always ready to give you a free shot of uzo and have one themselves.
Manitou Springs reminds me a lot of Eureka Springs in Arkansas. It is not fancy but has a nice feel to it. We always stop at the Mate Factor coffee shop at the west end roundabout. Good coffee, nice atmosphere. We discovered another small coffee shop near there around 171 Ruxton Ave that has a pleasant seating area along a stream with good coffee at good prices. They have local art on the walls. We like finding these small, independent places that just seem to welcome you and make you feel relaxed.
We usually hit Garden of the Gods in the morning and again before dark. What an incredible place. Colorado Springs owns and manages it, quite well in my opinion. It is free and wonderful.
My greatest natural enemy is gift shops. I never met a gift shop I didn’t hate, except for the one at Garden of the Gods. It has really great stuff, art work, sculptures and beautiful Indian pottery. It has a coffee shop and café. The best part is the outdoor seating under large shade trees and along a stream. Nice place to eat a buffalo burger and drink a beer.
We also like to eat at the Crystal Park Cantina just outside of town in the foothills on Crystal Park Rd. Nice little outside eating area. Another nice place with good food and a shady outdoor seating area is at Manitou Brewing Company on the main drag. Later we packed a picnic for supper and caught a free concert on the public library lawn.
Colorado Trailer Camping Trip Summer 2015
Article by Dan Gamache
Check back in a week for the next installment of Dan and Deb’s Colorado Trailer Camping Trip!