After breakfast and a relaxing morning in Denver, I dropped Jamie off at the airport and immediately missed him. It was such a short visit! But it also marked the last phase of the trip. From here, it would be only another week until I got home. Rocky Mountain National Park was pretty much my last major stop on the trip, so from this point, everything day would bring me another few hundred miles closer to home. And as you can see, this was day #63 of the trip. I’d been gone from home for two full months, way longer than I’ve ever been gone before. I’m actually a little surprised the homesickness didn’t hit me earlier.
I drove south toward Colorado Springs, where I spent the late afternoon driving through and then walking around Garden of the Gods, which is a beautiful, dramatic place of red rock spires. There were plenty of families on afternoon walks and groups practicing their rock-climbing skills. Unfortunately, the clouds moved in and the sky turned dark about an hour before sunset, so my photographic opportunities were limited, but I enjoyed the scenery nonetheless. I found a campsite at Pikes Peak RV Park and then wandered around the town of Manitou Springs in the evening, checking out some little shops and galleries. I sampled a little of the spring water at one of the many springs in the town, but I don’t think I’d want to drink any more than a sip, even if it has magical healing powers. Not the pleasantest water I’ve ever tasted. I walked around looking for a place to eat dinner and a few places looked nice, but I was feeling kind of restless and I guess a little homesick, so I wasn’t in much of a mood for dinner. However, the idea of ice cream and coffee appealed to me, so I decided to just skip the whole idea of dinner and have desert instead.