The car was packed up nicely, by my standards not his royal highness’ though as when I went to get something from the boot he had moved it all around!! That’s the last time I get his clothes out, sort the car out and help take down the tent 😂!!
We began to drive the few miles back into the Great Sand Dunes National Park and thankfully there were only a couple of cars in front of us. We used our pass to get in again so saved us another $15! Such a great investment! The dunes were on our right as we entered and we then began a fight for a parking space.
For once we decided to be sensible and put our walking boots on. This seemed to be THE stupidest idea ever! I’ll explain why. The sand dunes, the biggest in North America, are located behind the Medano Creek. That means there is a steady stream of relatively fast flowing, shallow, yet still quite deep, water that runs all along the car park that you have to cross in order to get the the dunes.
We eventually reached dry land and began the wretched trek through the sand to the dunes. There was a long stretch of flat sand before you hit the dunes. Nathan was sulking because we didn’t have a sand board to board down the dunes on. He claimed to see a sign selling them to rent but failed to describe where. It was only upon exiting the park that we realised it was the shop at the campsite where we stayed last night 😂! I’m surprised he didn’t go and push a little kid off theirs and steal it!
We began driving towards Colorado Springs, back along the same roads we drove yesterday. We stopped in Fort Garland, a cute little town about 40 miles from the park, where we had Subway. A nice healthy sandwich to lunch. It was a boiling hot, Saturday lunchtime. There were only two servers in there doing an incredibly good job keeping up withnot only those in store, but also the drive through. These guys could seriously multi task! They’d put a lot of women to shame!!
We continued our journey but instead of going to Colorado Springs, we went to Pikes Peak. This was such a cool place! It’s off the main freeway and you begin driving up Pike Peaks Highway. As you get two miles in you get stopped at a toll booth to pay $15 per person. We don’t mind paying for parks or tolls over here as everywhere we have been, has been so unbelievably clean, that you can definitely tell the money we pay gets used within the parks etc. It’s quite incredible really how clean everywhere is!
After paying and receiving our map, we begun. Pikes Peak stands 14,115 feet above sea level and is the 31st highest 14,000 foot mountain in Colorado. The best bit? You could drive…the…whole…way!!! 19 miles up, 156 bends to reach the summit!
Freezing!!!!! The temperature had dropped forty degrees to a measly 52 degrees!!! This is not what we were used to. We exited the car and I sensibly donned a hoody. Macho man braved the cold in just his t-shirt…guess who ended up complaining about how cold they were 🤔😂!!
The view was beautiful but there was a haze descending which clouded some of the view but the pictures don’t do it justice. It truly was a breathtaking (literally) view!
I learnt lots about cars on this trip up and down a mountain. You shouldn’t use air con unless at high speeds as the engine could overheat. This terrified me so we shut the air con off and opened the windows. I then start sneezing…can’t win 😂! Next up why do you have to drive down the hill in low gears? I have just asked Nathan to refresh my memory and turns out he fine know either 😂! Something to do with it stopping you getting up to high speeds and engine braking blah blah blah…I’m not a mechanic!! The engine sounded like it was screaming! All of a sudden it screached very high pitched which resulted in me then screeching at Nathan wondering what he’d done 😂! Wasn’t him it was the car that can pretty much drive itself!
We haven’t had much luck with our cars over here. Our first car, the Hyundai, needed an oil change, second car, the Chevy, needed an oil change as well as the brake fluid topping up and something to do with traction control. Now our third car, Tony the Toyota, needs an inspection. The bloody dash screams at us when we start the ignition saying “maintenance needed contact your dealer…”
Really frustrating when enterprise can clearly see on our account how many miles we doing and we don’t want to waste time pulling into airport rental car places to swap over. Again. Still, needs must so Denver airport it is tomorrow. 😔
Our accommodation this evening was the Econoldge in Fort Collins, an hour north of Denver. Motels in Colorado seemed expensive so I had to book somewhere a little out the way. We arrived and I went to check us in but then stepped out again gocheck we were in the right place. It had a pool and everything which wasn’t what we were used to. I mean the last Econolodge we had stated in, had police outside for a few hours.
As we checked in we were met with the most obnoxious twit behind the desk that we had encountered so far. I mean he made me so angry. When I handed over. My drivers license and credit card, he rolled his eyes and tutted because we we from the UK. I mean seriously! He then just kept on, “how do you feel about Brexit?” “You know we’re not allies at the moment right?” “Have you been to the dakotas yet?” Yes, yes we have you idiot! We’ve been lots of places and not encountered such hostility from a check in desk assistant! All we want is our room then we will be on our way. Even he asked our final destination I told him LA, he went “ooooh ya’ll encounter something different there. It’s so unclean.” By this time I was giving one word answers. He even had the audacity to say he didn’t get our accents do was jus nodding g and gearing the odd word! I’d have complained if his manager didn’t appear to be the same as him! And I never complain…
The best part? As he handed be my card back I look at the map to see where room 163 is. I ask him when I can’t see it…his response? “It don’t matter. Ya’ll be taking over territories soon anyway….”
I was literally livid. Fuming. Seething at the inept shoddy non existent customer service we had just received! Note I shall be leaving a poor review on hotels.com!! 😡😡 So we literally wandered round the hotel trying to figure out where our room was and eventually we found it.
All that was needed was a glass of wine, a shower with my new men’s shower gel 😂 and a good film such as suicide squad….
Until tomorrow folks….