This was the second stop on our weekend ride a couple weeks ago. I thought I was going to Veteran’s Park that may have a monument or two in it. I looked on Google maps and it seemed like a pretty large park. What I didn’t realize from looking online was just how large and how many monuments! I’ll include a few photos here, but these are certainly not all of the monuments.
I was pretty stunned when we arrived and parked the bikes. I could see this was a large memorial park and I was not expecting that at all. We found the monument we were searching for and then decided we wanted to spend some time here taking in all the others. I can’t even describe them all and I only hope the photos do a decent job. This is one amazing park! I have photos of all the monuments and had a tough time choosing just a few to share here.
After leaving here, we went to a nearby cemetery to pay our respects to a friend of my riding partner’s who had passed a few years ago. He had wanted to try and visit and since we were already in Colorado Springs, I insisted we go. I never want these rides to be just about my Tour; to me it’s important that we both enjoy the trip and I could tell this was important to my friend.
We also rode back into the downtown area and found a nice bbq restaurant for a late lunch. BBQ seems to be our food of choice most riding days and I don’t know why, but I’m not complaining! It did feel good to be off the bikes for an hour and finally address the hunger pangs.
Originally our plan had been to return to Denver before sunset. We had a good laugh about that as we were still in Colorado Springs at 7 PM and knew it was at least a couple hours back unless we took the interstate. We discussed it briefly and decided no, we still didn’t want to ride the interstate just to return faster. One of our rides last fall had been on the back roads from Colorado Springs so we knew we were likely to encounter deer, some cooler temperatures and little traffic.
I lost count of how many deer we saw on the way back home. Thankfully all of them were well off the side of the road and easily seen. There was also a coyote, a handful of wild turkeys, many, many farm animals and some alpacas! Oh and one of the most incredible sunsets I have had the joy of experiencing. Maybe it was the joy of the day that made it seem to incredible, but I had a tough time keeping my eyes on the road as the sun was setting.
This was just over a 200 mile day for me and I felt every one of them by the time I left my riding partner’s house and headed for mine. But it was one of the most amazing riding days I’ve had in Colorado and that made it so worth it! Also, this was Tour of Honor site #5 for me – so only 2 more to reach finisher status this year. The next 2 will likely come in Alaska later this summer – stay tuned for details on that adventure to follow in a later post!