Adventure · Travel

Rodeo revamp 2018

 

With S’mores, horseback rides, barrel racing, mutton bustin’, hot air balloon rides, firepits and live music, the COS Rodeo bring lively images of what the magic of the world looked like as a child…

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As a young adult….

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And as those who will always remain young at heart. Treasuring the simple, beautiful things about life and the magic it holds….

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A big thank you to everyone who came out and participated in our 2017 rodeo. COS Rodeo 2018 renews the spirit June 20th with the same exciting layout. Western Wednesday’s wouldn’t be the same without the amazing people who participate and attend!

-The Adventures Out West team

Adventure · Uncategorized

THERE’S GOLD ‘N DEM DER HILLS

It all started with Bob Womack, panning in the mountain creeks 18 miles (as the crow flies) west of Colorado Springs. In 1890, he hit pay dirt and the race for gold was on. In no time, the unnamed cattle field of fifteen was a town of 50,000 people.
It was not known as Cripple Creek in the beginning. It was just a cattle camp for the Welty family who had moved up from Colorado Springs because it was getting to populated due to General William Palmer and his railroad. One day while building a shack over the spring that fed the creek, a rifle accidentally discharged, scaring a calf. The critter wanting out of there right now, tried to jump the creek but banged up his leg real bad doing it. Papa Welty said, “well boys, this is some sort of cripple creek” and a town name was born.
Soon the railroads came and the town was filled with a variety of people. Men in city clothes might be mine owners, brokers or politicians. Mule skinner, miners, gamblers in fancy shoes and others rubbed shoulders on busy Bennett Avenue. Ladies in Paris gowns might be of the “Upper Tens” (the rich folk) or the “sporting women”. They lived on Myers Avenue, 433 yards of dance halls, parlor houses and pawnshops.
Womack’s mine, the El Paso Lode and the Independence mine, owned by Winfield Scott Stratton yielded millions of dollars. Stratton sold his holdings for more than ten million and went on to buy massive amounts of land in the Colorado Springs area, much of which carries his name. Womack sold his mine as well but died broke. His name lives on in present day. Cripple Creek which for years was a Summer tourist destination. In 1994, the State legislature allowed low stakes gambling to be legal and the small shops that catered to tourist needs and wants became large houses of “try your luck at the one armed bandits and card tables”. Now everything is electronic. You do not need to pull the handle anymore. Just put your money in the slot and hit the button. Bob Womack’s Casino is there along with the Midnight Rose, the Brass Ass (which used to be a store selling brass articles), Bronco Billy’s, the Double Eagle and many more.
Oh yes, they still dig for gold but not like 100 years ago. At today’s price per ounce, more than eleven billion dollars came out of the Colorado Rocky Mountains around Cripple Creek during the mining period.

Adventure · Travel · Uncategorized

PIKE SUMMITS HIS NAMESAKE PEAK FOR 2006 BICENTENNIAL

Colorado Springs: After 200 years of trying Zebulon Montgomery Pike has finally succeeded in climbing Pikes Peak, with a little help from his friends at Adventures Out West. Pike took part in this year’s bicentennial celebration by taking a Jeep Tour up the once un-scalable mountain. Pike commented on how professional his cowboy driver was, and is quoted as saying “This view is amazing, could their be another like it?” to which the unnamed cowboy said “Yep, you should see it from one of our hot-air balloons.” Well Pike still being the adventurer agreed that he would have to try flying now that he conquered Pikes Peak.
The morning of Pike’s flight he was understandably nervous considering that he had never flown in anything before. The pilot and crew eased Pike’s fears with their humor and knowledge of the balloon system and the weather. The last time he was upon these plains he was lost and hungry on a yearlong expedition of the west. Once airborne Pike marveled at the views of his “little” mountain and was moved to tears by a dream now realized, and that dream was to see the top of Pikes Peak. Now he had not only stood on the top, but he could also now see the top from his bird’s eye view from the basket. Although Pike was fascinated by the views of the peak he also could not help but marvel in the scenery and wildlife that was directly below him.
When asked if he had a good time on his trip Pike responded “This trip to Colorado Springs in my opinion is every bit as memorable as my first trip 200 years ago, but this trip has been made special by the pilot, crew, and tour drivers of Adventures Out West!”

Adventure · Travel

How to be a thrifty traveler

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Chihuly Glass Gardens, Seattle WA. Emmalee Mason, 2017.

 

I’ve met a lot of people who think if you travel a lot you must be swimming in cash and extra time, but this certainly isn’t the case in my experience.

I recently spoke to an old friend who traveled to Dublin Ireland from Colorado Springs for $200 round trip. I was shocked to hear this because just a few months ago I paid almost $300 just to go from Denver to Las Vegas (a terrible deal. If you go at the right time you can get round trip for $80).

So how did my friend get tickets to fly oversees for dirt cheap? Kayak.com during black Friday is the secret reveal for that swipe.

Traveling on a budget does require some research and flexibility – and sometimes you have to be willing to drop certain things.

For example, when I went to Seattle I spent an unholy amount of money on seeing the space needle and going to Chihuly glass gardens, but this was something in my mind that I absolutely needed to do, so I made time for it. I’ll almost always save expenses for visiting big attractions or going on a tour that covers a wide area. I make up for this by mainly eating snacks throughout the day and not a lot of huge meals.

In my mind seeing the local attractions and hidden spots are much more important than local food – I know a lot of people who are the opposite.

Financially restricted travels always flows smoother if you plan your time ahead. That way you aren’t stuck in an unfamiliar city with no idea what to do because you’ve run out of money. I get being spontaneous and finding local spots when you talk to people, but leaving your entire trip unplanned is a great way to spontaneously spend a lot of cash.

Whenever I speak to anyone visiting Colorado Springs who is unsure of what to do, I always recommend taking a jeep tour on their first day. That was they get a good overview of the historic locations, history of the town, and get to see Garden of the Gods all in a few hours. Then from here they can take things they learned about in their tour (from their local guide) and fill the rest of the day walking around town, going to museums, shops, or getting great local food.

If you are lucky enough to have a non-financially restricted vacation then hey, ever been on a balloon flight?

~Firefly

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Uncategorized

Life behind the scenes at an adventure company

*Ring ring* “this is Eric with Adventures Out West, how can I help you?”

*Thud* *slam* “WELL HELLO GIRLS! What a blessing you are!”

*ring ring*

“Where are my passengers?? They’re 10 minutes late; will you call them?”

Thus goes the sounds of the Adventures Out West office in the mid season. There’s never a dull moment and we feel most comfortable when there’s fifteen things for us to do at once. When people ask what I do at my job, it can sometimes be a little difficult to put in to words. Should I say that I put out fires? I help retired drivers figure out their time cards and how to work their smartphones? Perhaps I could say that on the rare occasion when I’m not staring at a computer screen I’m using it to explain to my driver that he’s going to pickup at three different locations and drop at a totally unconventional location in town because his folks would like to do some shopping.

The wonderful thing about this line of work is that no two days are the same. There’s always new people to meet- coming from all over the world and all walks of life to experience the Garden of the Gods or try their first zipline tour.

Like any good job, the people here become family, and a lot family interactions involve getting your crazy uncle towed out of a large “puddle” in the High Country that he “was sure wasn’t that deep last week.” (That happens in normal families, right?)

Gradually the tours slow to a small trickle; Memorial day becomes labor day and labor day becomes October when the drivers are lucky to get one tour a week in comparison to two tours a day six days a week.

In the office we still stay preoccupied with prep for the next season, eagerly awaiting the craziness that we ourselves are crazy to love.

-Firefly