On our way to the farmer’s market to get a sausage roll, I noticed that there seemed to be something going on over by Pulpit Rock. So after a stroll through downtown and the market (it was two for the price of one on sausage rolls, Miss P was ecstatic), I decided to check out the event. Turns out it was a major mountain bike race, again with competitors coming from across the US as well as international.
It was a nice day for riding uphill, it was 85 F (I have no idea what this is in metric, or whatever Europeans use).
Purveyors of fine mountain biking equipment were there to celebrate the brands.
Including a local company, Rox Shox.
The professional bike racing teams had their own support trailers.
Coming down to the finish here are two young women. The course was 3.5 miles, and included a bit up onto Pulpit Rock and had two laps on this day. This was a two day event and perhaps they will come back again next year because it was so much fun.
Every year, sometime close to the Fourth of July, there is an car and motorcycle race to the top of the mountain. This is for the seriously crazy racing enthusiast. Like many events, this started off with a bunch of guys getting together to indulge their shared passion. Now of course it is a corporate event, so people from all over the world come to participate. Some money is involved, but a lot of the prize is in the bragging rights. We were on our way to the farmer’s market this morning, and stopped to chat with some members of the Honda racing team. They had come from LA, Ohio and Japan just to give it a go. (We love tourists who come here, spend lots of money, then leave). They had come by three weeks earlier to practice, but there was too much snow and the road to the top was not yet open, so they were going to practice today.
We wished them good luck, then it was on to the market and the first peas of the season. And lunch and a mimosa.
From the name of my city, one might assume that it was loaded with natural springs. But that is not the case, it was just a real estate come on. Manitou Springs is a town just to the west and in the distant past it was a popular health resort famed for it’s mineral springs. (This was apparently based on the idea that if water tasted bad it was good for you.) The mineral water was even bottled and sold once upon a time. It is mainly a tourist destination now, with people wandering aimlessly about it’s many shops. But the springs are still there, and if one is so inclined, the mineral water is free for the taking.
This spring was recently redone and is very attractive.
This spring is on the back wall of a very popular candy store. This is probably a mistake as candy tastes much better than mineral water. It faces the arcade, which has loads of vintage and modern pinball machines and games.
This is another spring that is set into a wall and it is in it’s original state. Some homeless guys washed off in it, but I noticed that they did not drink it.
In this picture you can see the spring house, and the rather plain spring outlet in front of it. Because there is a spring house it may be that the springs are actually being pumped out and don’t just flow.
This is the spring of Colorado Springs, located in a park by a creek. It was capped off some years ago. A group was looking into restoring it, but it will cost a lot of money to fix, so for now at least we are spring-less.
I confess that when I am driving around I am always happy to see hawks, Canada geese, or Great Blue Herons (Oh curse you blue herons, I have often tried and never been able to get a good picture of one of you) flying around. But there are also lots of static images of birds around town.
This guardian spirit looks as though it has been protecting this building since the 1920’s.
There is a hole conveniently left in this building for a bird to swoop through.
This perch on the front of this store is a great place to take off from and soar to the skies.
Some birds are just there to be gorgeous.
Like this one too.
This one is a school mascot, ready to inspire the students (not much chance of that happening).
This totem pole carved from a dead tree obviously protects this house and perhaps the entire block.
There is currently an exhibit of bird painting inspired by Audubon and surrealism that is absolutely wonderful. So these posters hang downtown from the light posts.
The newest members of the flock are parrots. These birds hang across an alleyway downtown and are part of the downtown art project.
This area has had humans living in it for centuries, but my neighborhood has not. My house was built 35 years ago, before this only cows and wildlife lived in the area. But we can see traces of things that once were here and now are gone.
The train once ran on this side of the creek. It was moved to the other side of the stream when they put in the freeway (motorway). They made these railroad culverts to last, and they have.
Barbed wire kept cattle off the tracks.
US Highway 85 ran along beside the tracks. This bridge was built for the highway. This bridge over a nearby creek was built as a WPA project during the depression of the 1930’s. (My grandfather worked for the WPA in another state and said that he made a dollar a day and was glad to get it.) I presume this project had a similar pay scale, but the workers did a great job and it was in use until very recently.
US Highway 85 was an important north/south route. It ran for over 1400 miles, from the Mexican border to the Canadian. Before it was replaced by the freeway it went through every little town along the way, it was the main road along the length of the Rocky Mountains.
I recently traveled to Augusta, GA. Inside the small but pleasant airport there are icons of the city’s claims to fame.
Although he was actually born in South Carolina, James Brown lived in Augusta at his aunt’s brothel. This statue of him is just down the street from the Confederate War memorial. It is so popular that the city has installed an interactive camera. You text some numbers and the camera will take your photo and send it back to your phone. I had not realized how short he was until I stood next to him.
The airport has this small shrine to JB at the entrance to the airport. And the city named the local arena after him too.
The other claim to fame is golf, an inexplicable Scottish sport. There is a televised tournament here at a private golf course and apparently thousands of people with nothing better to do (they could be watching paint dry, it’s much more exciting) show up to watch the fun in action. The golf course is located behind this thing (perhaps it’s a water tower, perhaps a flying saucer?).
There is a statue of some famous golfer that is one of the first things that one sees after deplaning. This is in case you don’t know that this place is now famous for golf, instead of it’s former claim of being a mercantile capital of the sugar and cotton business.
The tourist board also flogs the area’s ties to lesser celebrities. Early movie comedian Oliver Hardy is from a nearby area, so there is his museum. American President Woodrow Wilson lived near the James Brown Arena (which was not yet built of course, except perhaps in an alternate universe) when he was growing up.
Finally, I include this griffon just because I like it, and it is across the street from JB’s statue. The reflection is me and my favorite brother.
I took a trip to the land of magnolias, in the deep South.
They were in bloom everywhere and looking gorgeous.
This statue is of James Oglethorpe, founder of Georgia. He sounds like he was a rather nice sort of person, he was an MP, was an English prison reformer, friend of the Indians, opponent of slavery, and a founding member of the British Museum among other accomplishments.
The town sits along the Savannah River, and there are ancient locks that bypass the rocky shoals so that they could ship out the cotton and sugar.
You know that you are in the south when you see Spanish moss hanging from the trees.
Because the town was not burned in the American Civil War (unlike Atlanta), there are lots of beautiful buildings still standing, like this one which was the Cotton Exchange (place where cotton was bought and sold).
The gorgeous old sugar mill is a fine example of a Victorian factory. (Quite possibly Satanic to work in, but rather lovely on the outside.)
And because it’s the South there is the mandatory monument to the Confederate War dead. It has the generals where they are easy to see, the enlisted man is high up at the top.
Of course this area was once home to and part of the range of various Native American tribes. Cuerno Verde started his war against the settlers right where the power plant stands today. There are still traces of the indigenous people.
These don’t exactly honor the memory of the ancestors.
This place is a 1930’s roadhouse (a place with booze and dancing). The interior has a circular log ceiling like a Navajo hogan (a hogan is a house). It used to be on the edge of town and sat vacant for years. Now it’s a bar again.
It has this carving in case you missed the idea that the place is about Indians.
This is a Ute tree. It’s a trail marker and was actually shaped by Ute Indians. It’s over by the creek, not far from my house.
I hadn’t really realized how many statues of men there were until I started taking photos. So here’s more of this lot.
This was a local farmer. He liked to grow pumpkins to give away to school children.
This guy and his hat are immortalized near the courthouse.
This member of the Dumpty family is somewhat estranged from the rest of his clan and we don’t know why. (He’s not saying!)
It’s hard to tell gender, but I believe he is a snowman.
The same is true of this stick man.
Pan is only half man, but his goat bits are pretty well hidden by the snow. He lives at a local university, to inspire students to hedonism (as if they needed the push ;-)).
Strolling about town, one notices that there are a number of representations of men.
This fellow with his back turned to the mountain, was the European person who gave the mountain it’s present name. He used to be facing the mountain, but when the city moved him, they turned him around.
The city founder was an abolitionist who became a general during the American Civil War. His horse (also a male) (possibly Diablo) was not awarded any rank for his participation.
He made pots of money by staking gold miners, and as he had no heirs, he left lots of his money to the city.
Another mining millionaire who left his money to the city.
This cowboy reading a newspaper reminds one that people are (or were) literate and news is worthwhile (or not).
The bloodsucking count immortalizes the intentions of the real estate interests of our fair city.