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 · Uncategorized

AOW TO HOST CELEBRITY TOURS

Celebrity rockers, political icons and TV producers all showed up to support the annual summer vacation. Rockers included Aerosmith and Cher touring the area.

Steven Tyler was spotted in the back of a pick-up truck towing a llama. When asked about the incident he said “IT’S NOT VERY OFTEN I GET TO RIDE IN A TRUCK LIKE NORMAL FOLK.” We told him normal folk don’t ride in the back of the pick-up, just hillbillies. He never did stop talking.

Cher was a bit more secretive requiring a private tour with pick-up out by the dumpsters. “We were not informed as to who our secret guest would be so it was quite a surprise to see her.” Said Twister. “She was standing next to the grease pit with her poodle in hand and hot pink leather pants, real subtle.” During her concert that night at the World Arena Cher thanked Twister for letting her twirl his gun.

The political power house known as NATO also took the time to visit the area and support our summer. The group was headlined by Mrs. Donald Rumsfeld and other world leaders. During training with the secret service our drivers were told never to stop for anything, even if the endangered Mexican Spotted Owl was in the road. Twister said, These ladies were some of the most fun guests we’ve ever had.” The guest asked the famous Jeep drivers to pose with them for photos to take back to Washington.

TV coverage included appearances on The Outdoor Channel. The Outdoor Channel came along to support the summer long event and to get away from it all. The producers were quoted as saying. “It’s nice to get out and support the summer like this. We work all year long in hot and sweaty exotic locations. The cool dry climate here in Colorado Springs is second to none. “The show was amazing, and broadcasted scenic vistas of Colorado Springs world-wide. The celebrity tours have been such a success that many inquiries have been made for future tours. AOW has agreed to host next year’s summer tours.

Adventure · Driver Stories · Travel · Uncategorized

The Last Stretch of Gold Camp Road Isn’t Boring

Coming north along Lower Gold Camp Road from Helen Hunt Falls, there are lots of thrilling vistas to see. Eventually, however, you get back to paved road and then cross over Bear Creek Road at the northern end of High Drive. From there it’s only a short way over to 26th Street. The views may not be so great along this brief segment of Gold Camp, but the geology – if you’re into that sort of thing – is fascinating.

First, just a few yards past Bear Creek, is the overflow parking lot for Seven Bridges hiking trail. Here, nuggets of Pikes Peak granite are piled up just across the road. Given its pink microcline feldspar, its large crystals, and its various mineral inclusions, this rock is unique to the region – and therefore, because you can also get it so cheaply, it would make the perfect souvenir of your visit for yourself or a relative.

Next, just past the trail head for Seven Bridges, you’ll see a ravine on the left where, if you look carefully, you can see that rocks of granite mingle with rocks of sandstone. At this point you’re passing over the tail end of the Ute Pass Fault, one of the major factors in our local terrain. This dramatic change in geology becomes apparent a few yards farther on, where you pass through an impressive hogback of Dakota Sandstone from the Late Cretaceous, so within a hundred yards you’ve jumped from 1.1 billion-year-old granite to 100 million-year-old sandstone.

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Finally, almost to 26th street, at Pullout # 1 of Lower Gold Camp you can see an impressive wall of sand and limestone a few feet to the west. If the light is right (best in the morning), you can see the ripples of an ancient seafloor at the southern edge of this wall, plus another small patch of ripples about ten feet to the north. This is the beginning of the Western Interior Waterway which covered the area in the Late Cretaceous. It was the shallow ocean of this period that created those ripples in the sand. Near the ripples are also raised tracks that look like those made by sea-worms. A few more feet to the north of the ripples you can see (but only if you get out and walk up close to the wall) the embedded fossil of an ammonite. It’s pretty much worn away now, but you can still make out the spiraling chambers of the shell, which are like those of its modern relative, the nautilus. Finally, to the right of the ammonite fossil are layers of whiter limestone which were deposited here during times of deeper water at the end of the dinosaur age.

-Whipper

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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Adventure · Driver Stories

Driver Bio- Dusty Lane

The drivers of AOW are quite the characters, the tour business is set up in a way that attracts people who are wanderers, explorers, story tellers and lovers of history. Each member of AOW has their own unique story to tell- and it’s sure to keep you spell-bound!

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One of these characters is Billy Joe, whom we affectionately call Dusty. If you’re looking for a genuine western fellow he’s about as western as a sunset. He reigns from Arizona and California, and has worked for AOW for about 20 years – since jeep tours first began.

Billy isn’t satisfied with just being a jeep guide, he’s an actor as well. You can see Billy in movies such as Tombstone and Billy the Kid, and his most recent film called The Greatest Story Ever Told. If you get lucky you might even spot him in a Capitol One commercial!

Dusty has a Harley named King David, and enjoys taking rides through the Rockies on his breaks from entertaining.

Dusty is a man of God whose always got a story and a bible verse up his sleeve.

 

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