|Departure day came
and we had some excellent weather. For some of the
trip we had headwinds, and some we had tailwinds.
After taking off, we did spend a bit of time VFR on top,
above a solid and broken undercast, so that was great
too. Knowing that the ceilings were fine below, and
that we had plenty of fuel to fully overfly the undercast
was nice...no worries about getting caught not ready to
jump on an IFR plan.
We had the fuel to make the trip to the destination non-stop, but opted to swing through Sterling, CO for a quick lunch and fuel, as we knew the fuel price was a little lower, and from a prior trip we knew that they had a courtesy car and plenty of restaurants.
Funny to compare the picture by the FBO below, with this one from 2006, the first year we flew our RV-10. Not only that, but this picture was taken at nearly the same time of the year, so that puts these pictures almost exactly 7 years apart!
|The flight in went
great, with no turbulence by the mountains. I was amazed
at how light the winds were, considering it was
fall. We took the West route around Denver, so we
could fly by some mountains and see the valleys up close
as we flew in.
|That night we drove
down to Colorado Springs to get a hotel. One of our
trip goals was to drive up Pike's Peak (always wanted to
do that) and that would be our first thing of the
day. Driving up was very awesome. The lower areas
are just winding and twisty, but not extremely steep, but
you would easily burn out your brakes if you didn't use
low gear coming down. Driving up further, it gets a
bit more spooky, with sharp cliffs by the road, and much
more steep and winding roads. As you can see below, we
stopped for a quick snowball fight on the way up.
summit, the view is incredible at 14115' tall. It's
within 300' or so of the tallest peaks in the
Rockies. I was totally blown away by how far you
could see, and of course we were winded from the high
altitude. Taking slow deliberate steps and breathing
consistently helped a lot, as did the occasional stop to
|Below is a cool
panoramic picture I took from the iphone. I was also
suprised at how flat-topped the mountain is. After a
bit of time at the summit, it was time for the drive
down. This fall I bought a 2014 Chevy Volt, and I
was wishing the whole time that I could be driving that
here.....you can literally almost fully charge a Volt on
regenerative braking along, on the descent from Pike's
Peak, as I've been told by other Volt owners who've done
that. It would have been even more fun going
down the hill in that car.
|As we were heading
back down to the flatlands, we stopped and drove through
the Garden of the Gods. This is a place we'll have to come
back and spend more time at. It was a completely beautiful
area with lots of great looking rocks cliffs, spurs,
balanced boulders, deer, and trees. Lots of people
were in this area and I can see it would be a great
recreation area to have in your back yard. I may
have to consider moving out that way some day if job
situations change for me.
activity planned for the trip was Indoor Skydiving in
Denver. We'd done this in Vegas, but it didn't
compare to the great wall-to-wall air setup that Denver
has! We booked our time and everyone had a
blast! This has got to be one of the most absolute
fun activities our family has ever done. We do plan
to skydive for real some day, but I think as I get on
other trips, I'll try to book 1/2 hour blocks in some
other skydive areas so that we can do more of this.
Here are some pictures of the indoor skydiving. I
highly recommend everyone do this!
The rest of the trip was uneventful....we hung out at a local park, saw some prairie dogs, and had a great flight home...making it in about 4 hours with a combined headwind/tailwind situation again.