Garden of the Gods

Taking advantage of the cool weather we did some sightseeing.

Yesterday, after running some errands in town, we drove around the old section of Colorado Springs.  Many of the old properties have been restored and we very much enjoyed slowly cruising the tree-lined streets.  There were a few fixer-uppers for sale, but we owned a money pit once and don’t need to go through it again.  It is cheaper looking at someone else’s expenditures.  We hung around the coach for the rest of the day.

Today we got an early start and headed for the Garden of the Gods park on the east edge of Colorado Springs.  The attraction here is a series of unusual red rock formations that jut out of the foothills.  With Pikes Peak and the Rockies in the background, the view is dramatic.  The weather was perfect and we walked around for hours making frequent stops to take in the view and snap some pictures.  When Jeanne lived in this area 30 years ago, this was one of her favorite locations to visit.  I can see why.

In the early afternoon we left the park and cruised through the old downtown section of Colorado City, stopping briefly at a Dairy Queen for lunch.  The downtown section was nicely restored and seemed to be a popular place with the locals.  Afterwards, we headed to the east side of Colorado Springs.  This newer part of town seems to be where all the chain-store shopping is located.  All the national stores were here and there was even a medium-sized shopping mall.

Sometime earlier in the trip (Arkansas perhaps?) we found a crushed earring in a parking lot with the diamond-looking stone still intact.  We have been carrying it around for weeks intending to have it tested in a jewelry store to see if it was real.  Well, today would be the big day.  Would the stone be a real diamond or a cheap CZ?  Maybe it was worth thousands, or tens of thousands!  We could be rich!  We walked into a Zales with high hopes.

We explained the situation to the store manager (who was really not all that busy).  He was amused and seemed just as eager to unravel the mystery as we were.  With much ceremony he retrieved the electronic tester-thingy (tester-thingy is a technical term).  This was the moment of truth.  He applied the probe to the stone, pressed the button and . . . nothing happened.  A second test confirmed the results.  With a touch of sadness in his voice, he announced that we were the proud owners of a high-quality CZ worth about $5.00, at most.  O.K., we can deal with this.  No prime rib dinner tonight.  We slowly drove back to the coach thinking about what could have been.