Photo Inspiration: Our First Vacation After the Honeymoon

I don't remember the year.  It was before we had kids but certainly not the same year we got married and went on our honeymoon to Las Vegas.  I was pregnant most of 1997, which really only leaves 1995 and 1996 as viable options.

I don't know why we decided to drive out west for our first vacation. We didn't know anyone in the area and we weren't meeting anyone coming from the opposite direction.  I think it might have had something to do with Ken's dad having served in the Air Force in Colorado Springs.  Ken had heard all about his parents' time there and I think he kind of wanted a visual to go with the stories his mom and dad had passed down to him.

Me?  I just love to travel.  When he proposed Colorado, I had no better idea and no reservations.  In fact, I was eager to visit the Rocky Mountains for the first time.  Books and photos can only do so much.  You sometimes just have to experience the world to truly appreciate it.

Being newlyweds, we didn't have a lot of money.  We were both working jobs that barely made more than minimum wage, so splurging on a hotel wasn't an option.  Luckily, we both enjoy camping and we owned a tent.

Yes, a tent.

In the Rocky Mountains.

Our campsite overlooked a valley where the critters would cross.
Ken preparing food.

Me eating the food Ken made and reading a book.  Life is good.
We stayed in a state campground just outside of Colorado Springs but not too distant from Pike's Peak. On our first night the wind blew so hard that the top of the tent was flattened to where it almost touched our noses where we lay on our air mattress.  Having nylon inches from your face when it should be several feet above you is disconcerting. The wind persisted and we eventually came to the realization neither one of us was going to be able to sleep comfortably in the tent. Our solution was to transfer our luggage to the tent and put our air mattress in the bed of the truck, which had a topper on it, thank goodness!

Where we slept for the rest of our vacation.
I don't remember much of the park beyond our valley view and a brief walk through the woods where I was convinced we were going to be attacked by bears or a mountain lion.  As you might imagine, my anxiety levels were high while Ken seemed perfectly at ease.

On the trail. 

Determined to be bear bait. He wanted to keep going and I didn't!

We didn't spend all our time at the campground, though.  We went horseback riding in the mountains, visited the Royal Gorge, went down into a cave, walked through a ghost town, and wandered a museum or two.  

The only thing I think that we wanted to do but didn't was visit Garden of the Gods.  I remember being at the park entrance but for some reason we didn't go in.  I imagine we were on our way somewhere else and thought we'd make it back there before leaving Colorado.  Sadly, we did not.  I guess that just means that we'll have to go back someday. 

Us.  Circa 1995 or 1996.