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A Summer of Waterfalls

“There’s no better place to find yourself than sitting by a waterfall and listening to its music” ―Roland R Kemler

We spent a lot of time this summer exploring waterfalls. Ithaca and the surrounding Finger Lake region were carved out by glaciers that formed gorges millions of years ago…leaving over 150 waterfalls within 10 miles of Ithaca. The waterfalls are  limitless in the Finger Lakes. After it rains they appear everywhere…you can spot them driving down the road or cruising on the lake. Not counting the ones that pop up after it rains, we explored 25 different waterfalls. Many had multiple falls so we actually saw more than 25.

Ithaca Falls is one of six falls on Fall Creek and is 150′ tall.


Manitou Springs Wrap Up

“If you don’t get out of the box you’ve been raised in, you won’t understand how much bigger the world is.” – Angelina Jolie

We had a wonderful time exploring the Pikes Peak region of Colorado. The appointment we had in Manitou Springs was perfectly located to all the things we wanted to do. It’s a very touristy town and we knew it would be, but I wouldn’t have stayed anywhere else. Everything we needed and wanted to do was only a few miles away. I have a feeling I might think differently during the summer, but fall is a great time to visit.


Nov. 3 – Red Rock Canyon Open Space

“Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost.” – Erol Ozan
Since it was our last day in Manitou Springs and the weather was so wonderful we decided to do a little more exploring and hiking after lunch. We spent the afternoon at Red Rock Canyon Open Space


Nov. 3 – Iron Mountain Trail

“The best views come after the hardest climbs.” – Author Unknown
We woke to a beautiful day and decided to hike a trail that would give us views of the area. We chose the Iron Mountain Trail that began on Crystal Park Road, just a few miles from our house. 


Nov. 1 – Hiking in Cheyenne Cañon

“Climb the mountain so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.” ~David McCullough

There are hundreds of hiking trails in this area of Colorado, so picking just one to do was a little difficult. I did research on many hikes in North Cheyenne Cañon south of Manitou Springs. There were several we wanted to do, but the closure of the North Cheyenne Cañon Road left us only the Seven Bridges Trail we could get to. I guess being here in the off season means putting up with some inconveniences.


Manitou’s Mineral Springs

“Doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness.” ~Anonymous
The mineral springs in Manitou Springs are a vital part of what makes this area special. There are eight distinct naturally-carbonated mineral springs in town and each has a slightly different taste. While we wandered through town we looked for each one and had a little taste…I thought they all tasted about the same.

The source of these famous mineral waters lies deep underground in a system of cavernous aquifers. As the ancient water erodes the surrounding limestone, carbonic acid is created, which gives the Manitou springs their effervescence. This natural carbonation forces the water back to the surface through cracks in the rocks, where it absorbs high concentrations of sodium bicarbonate (soda) and other minerals, including Lithium!


Oct. 30 – Pikes Peak

“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.” –Barry Finlay

Pikes Peak is one of the most beautiful landmarks in Colorado and the most visited mountain summit in North America. The views from the summit inspired the words to America the Beautiful. In 1803, Pikes Peak mountain became part of the United States as part of the vast Louisiana Purchase. Three years later in 1806, Lt. Zebulon Pike was sent to explore the borders of the new territory. On November 24, 1806, he set out from his stop near modern-day Pueblo, Colorado, to climb the mountain. He was forced back by a blizzard and declared that no man would ever reach the summit that now bears his name. Visitors now reach the summit by taking the cog train, hiking, biking or driving to the top.


Oct. 29 – Garden of the Gods

“Because when you stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing.” ~Anonymous
After our long drive from the east coast we decided to spend the day outside enjoying an amazing fall day. We spent the morning hiking at the Garden of the Gods. We hiked three short trails in the park that gave us a chance to get close to the largest rock formations and also provided us with wonderful views of the surrounding area. We hiked a total of 4.5 miles today. 


Off to Manitou Springs, CO

“The journey is my home.” -Anonymous
We decided to take a little detour on our way back to Texas this fall. We’re going to spend the next week exploring and relaxing around Manitou Springs, Colorado. It’s been the quintessential tourist town since the 1870s, when visitors discovered the healing waters the Ute Indians had been drinking for years. The Native Americans who once lived here considered this area sacred and believed the water had healing and spiritual benefits (Manitou). The waters come from the underground streams from the Colorado Rocky Mountains which collect minerals along its journey. The town became a hub for those looking to recover from tuberculosis and other ailments. But Manitou Springs has a lot more to offer than healthy water. They have tons of diverse shops and art galleries, natural attractions like the Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak, endless amounts of hiking trails and great restaurants.  


Sept. 29-Oct. 3 Cold Spring, NY

“Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back, and reasons to stay.” –Dalai Lama

This weekend was our final salute to summer. We spent five wonderful days with our family in a little town on the Hudson River, just 50 miles north of Manhattan. Cold Spring is an unspoiled, charming village directly across from West Point, surrounded by the beautiful Hudson Highlands. The central area of the village is on the National Register of Historic Places due to its many well-preserved 19th-century buildings, constructed to accommodate workers at the nearby West Point Foundry and is full of eclectic boutiques, antique shops and farm-fresh eateries.