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"Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on,  
deep and permanent, in the ideas of living."
~ Miriam Beard

This is the fifth time that Jim and I have visited Colorado Springs since May of 2010. Each time we've embraced the opportunity to camp at Peregrine Pines FamCamp on the beautiful campus of the U.S. Air Force Academy:

Our spacious campsite, nestled among the pines

Peregrine Pines is one of our all-time favorite campgrounds and the Colorado Springs area is one of our favorite places to spend time in the warmer months. At 6,700 feet in elevation, the campground stays pretty chilly from October to April.

We arrived in Colorado Springs on May 15, about a week before the cadets graduated. We didn't go to the ceremony this time -- once was enough! We did enjoy the Thunderbirds air show practices the two days prior to graduation again, however:

I could see all six of the Thunderbird F-16s practicing when I was hiking on the Falcon Trail.

We'll be leaving tomorrow morning, Memorial Day, and heading north on the next leg of our journey to Alaska.


As you know, it's difficult for me to stay current with this journal because I'm too verbose, include lots of photos, and stay pretty busy when we travel. An additional challenge on this trip will be sporadic internet access in remote areas of Canada and Alaska.

I'm going to experiment with shorter synopses and fewer pictures in the journal this summer. This entry is my first attempt at a synopsis. Later I hope to go back and fill in the gaps with more narrative and photos.

Entrance to the Academy of Graduates Heritage Trail at the USAFA

Sometimes I'll skip topics I intend to write about later. In those cases I'll direct you back to the topics page instead of the next page. When that happens, just scroll down for the next topic with a date in the right-hand column. Those have a link and are ready to read.


Jim and I didn't do a lot of new things during this visit to Colorado Springs. We've seen most of the tourist attractions we want to see and have found enough trails to keep us busy for many future visits.

Above and below:  scenes from the Falcon Loop on the USAF Academy grounds

This time we relaxed a lot, visited with good friends from the Denver area, made some final preparations for our Alaska Trip (like changing the oil in the truck and getting a big ole can of bear spray at REI), and spent time on our computers using the campground's free WiFi to do further research on the trip.

We got out every day to either hike (Cody and me) or ride our bikes (Jim and me). The only new venue was the hike I did yesterday up Stanley Canyon to the reservoir. That was a doozy!

Part of the rugged climb through Stanley Canyon

Cody enjoyed swimming in Stanley Reservoir.

I'll include a few photos in this entry from our rides and hikes on the Falcon Loop Trail, the New Santa Fe Trail, Red Rocks Canyon Park, the Barr Trail up Pike's Peak, and Stanley Canyon.

View of the summit of Pike's Peak from the Barr Trail

While we were in the Springs we ordered a new Garmin 205 wrist GPS unit (best price was at Amazon.com) so now I can record accurate distances and elevations on my hikes and bike rides. Jim's old Garmin 305 with HR monitor died several months ago and we didn't want to shell out big bucks for a new battery. When he cycles he uses the old handheld Garmin GPS that we originally bought in 2006 for me to use on the Colorado Trail. He has a mount for it on his handlebars. It still works great.

Here are a couple more photos:

Jim enjoys a ride on the New Santa Fe Trail

View from the Contemplation Trail at Red Rocks Canyon

As always, we had a fine time in Colorado Springs. Now we're on our way to Great Falls for a couple days, our last "stage" before crossing the border into Canada.

Happy trails,

"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, and Cody the ultra Lab

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2012 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil