Thursday, February 8, 2018

Aloha to the RWA in Denver ... and sightseeing opportunities in Colorado Springs

RWA2018 Logo

Registration is now underway for the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Annual Conference, July 18-21, in Denver, Colorado (link).  I look forward to hobnobbing with those creative personalities who bring humor and warmth into my life through the pages of their books.

My family is heading out on Saturday, July 14, for pre-conference sightseeing in Colorado Springs.  Colorado Springs is an hour's drive south of Denver, brimming over with Mother Nature's own majestic beauty:

Garden of the Gods - From its website (link),

Explore Colorado Springs' paradise in one magical stop. Garden of the Gods Park is a registered National Natural Landmark. Imagine dramatic views, 300' towering sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snow-capped Pikes Peak and brilliant blue skies. 

Admission is free and the beauty is unlimited. 

Image result for garden of the gods

Manitou Springs - From its website (link),

“Manitou,” a Native American word for “ great spirit,” describes this beautiful mountain community. Eight naturally carbonated mineral spring fountains, located throughout this historic town, run free for all who wish to enjoy their healing benefits.

Manitou Springs is a vibrant artisan community, home to world class art, music, theater, and sidewalk sculpture displays. Manitou springs is also home to internationally famous historic restaurants as well as many favorite neighborhood dining establishments. 

Manitou Springs is the home of Miramont Castle (link).

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Pike's Peak - From its website (link),

The most visited mountain in North America and the second most visited mountain in the world behind Japan's Mount Fuji, Pikes Peak forms a stunning backdrop for Colorado Springs and the Garden of the Gods. At an altitude of 14,115 feet above sea level, Pikes Peak is the 31st highest peak out of 54 Colorado peaks. It is the farthest east of the big peaks in the Rocky Mountain chain, which contributed to its early fame among explorers, pioneers and immigrants and made it the symbol of the 1859 Gold Rush to Colorado with the slogan, "Pikes Peak or Bust".

The easiest way to reach Pike's Peak is the Cog Railway (link),

This 3 hour and 10 minute trip spans over 8.9 miles of track. The first third of the trip is along Ruxton Creek in Englemann Canyon. Right near the Minnehaha switch, where the down bound trains pass the up bound trains on many trips, is Minnehaha Falls.

Once we climb above timberline, the views become more expansive. Here passengers frequently see yellow-bellied marmots and Bighorn sheep.  The last 3 miles of the trip are all above timberline. 

Upon arrival at the "peak" station, travelers will marvel at the beauty in all directions.  The Summitt House offers coffee, hot chocolate, and "high altitude" donuts plus restrooms and souvenirs.

Aspen Peak

United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) - From its website (link),

The Barry Goldwater Air Force Academy Visitor Center serves as the gateway to the United States Air Force Academy for hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. The center provides information on Academy history, cadet life and campus attractions.

From the visitors' center, tourists can take a self guided tour along the Nature Trail to the iconic Chapel. From the chapel, you will see the cadets' "quad" and other static displays honoring pioneers in aviation.

USAFA is free and open to the public.

If you are attending RWA and interested in joining me for pre-conference sightseeing in Colorado Springs, please contact me by email at

I am giving away swag to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about Colorado - have you visited the Centennial State?  If not, what do you now about the 38th State?

2.  Comments are open through Wednesday, February 28, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Thursday, March 1.


Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City
Image result for pikes peak


  1. With the way you're ramping up my excitement over this trip,Kim, by July I'll be as squirmy as a five-year-old! *grin*

  2. I am adding Colorado Springs to my bucket list. What a nice write up. Thanks.

  3. Only been to Vail for a skiing trip.

  4. I don't know much, but I know I'd like to visit.

  5. I'd love to visit Colorado. Especially after your post Kim. Very interesting to hear that Pike's Peak is the second most visited mountain in the world. I would love to visit Manitou Springs.
    Carol Luciano
    Lucky4750 at aol dot com

  6. We lived in Colorado when my father was stationed there. It was wonderful

  7. I've never been but we almost moved there many, many years ago when my husband had a job opportunity. I've only heard good things except maybe the cold weather which I get in PA too lol.

  8. That area I wouldn't mind visiting but overall not really

  9. I went to Colorado for a work trip once but don't even remember where, anymore. LOL. All I remember is we went white water rafting! Beautiful country, too.

  10. I've never been there, but it looks beautiful. I know one must adjust recipes when baking to adjust for the altitude.


  11. Registration is already open? That came up fast. Denver is a great location for a con, but I’m with you in that Colorado Springs is much prettier and has great attractions. Have fun!

    (No need to enter me in the swag drawing, I just wanted to comment 😊)

  12. I've been to Colorado years and years ago and fell in love with Estes Park!

  13. Ann Parker's Silver Rush Series will give you an insight into historic Colorado.

  14. I've never been to Colorado but I remember a friend went there and had trouble dealing with the altitude.

  15. On our road trip last year we stayed in Estes Park and visited Rocky Mountain National Park. It was beautiful. We also toured The Stanley Hotel....where Stephen King got his inspiration to write The Shining.