|Stained glass in The Old Stone Church|
|Stained glass - Mary|
|Interior of restaurant|
|History of church, then restaurant|
|Restaurant interior showing choir loft|
|Choir loft stained glass|
|Baked brie, garlic, chutney and pita|
For lunch, Susan M. ordered a cheeseburger and fries, Darren ordered a homemade veggie burger and fries, and I had mountain trout topped with crab served with jasmine rice and a side salad. We each loved our food and, like magicians, we made it all disappear!
|Darren's homemade veggie burger|
This particular motel had locks on every door: the outside door, inside hallway doors, the pool, etc. It seems they must have a problem with security which became apparent later in the evening. A bicycle/foot path stretched along the edge of their parking lot on the inside of a freeway sound barrier. Homeless people traversed the edge of the parking lot on their way to a local park where they spent the night. Around 10:30 p.m., I had to go to the van to look for an item I forgot to take to the room. There were strange people hanging around and I hurried to get back to the hotel.
But I digress. After we checked in, we headed to Broadmoor Seven Falls, a private waterfall/adventure area owned by The Broadmoor Hotel. Parking (including the tram ride to the entry gate was free) at The Broadmoor Hotel lot specifically for Seven Falls.
Seven Falls (181') at the head of a box canyon is touted as "Colorado's Grandest Mile." Along the edge of the waterfall, clinging to the cliff face, are 224 steps that will take you to the top where hiking trails await. Midnight Falls is one of the trails and we hiked to that waterfall as well.
Seven Falls is a bucket list item for me. Susan and Darren came along for the ride. With our discounts (senior for me, military for Susan and Darren), it cost $12.50 per person to get in just to see the waterfalls and hike the trails. With the senior admission, you also get a wristband to ride the tram 1/2 mile each way to the base of the falls. I didn't use the wristband because I'm used to walking.
You could add a Soaring Adventures zip-line tour, following rope bridges and end in a rappel down the cliff.
History of Seven Falls: (information from http://www.visitcos.com)
In 1872, Nathaniel Colby inhabited 160 acres that included the present-day Seven Falls and South Cheyenne Canyon. He sold the land to Colorado Springs Land Company for $1,000.00. In 1882 James Hull purchased the land for $1,300.00 from the land company.
Mr. Hull was an environmentalist and a businessman. He thought the scenic splendor of the canyon was being ruined by people cutting down all the timber.
Hull understood the value of the property as a scenic destination. He improved the site by constructing a road through the canyon to the base of the falls and put in a stairway alongside the edge of the waterfall. He also put in a toll gate at the foot of the canyon and proceeded to do business.
Back then, a local entrepreneur paid Hull $500 for the privilege of taking passengers by carriages, burros or horses to the falls for 25 cents each. Business flourished and Seven Falls became a prominent tourist attraction.
From 1905 to 1946, Seven Falls was owned and operated by Melvin Weimer and his wife, Frances.
Seven Falls was purchased by Texas oilman Al Hill in 1946 and was in the Hill family for almost 70 years. In 2011, Philip Anschutz, whose corporation bought the Broadmoor hotel, fell in love with Seven Falls. Anschutz's interest in Seven Falls coincided with that of Hill family members who wanted to find a long-term owner for the property.
The whole canyon and the falls were shut down from mid-September 2013 to August of 2015 due to a big flood that scoured the canyon and damaged the road. The sale of Seven Falls to the Broadmoor hotel took place in April 2014. The Broadmoor planned to spend more than $1 million on rebuilding portions of the attraction before it reopened. [Information from the last two paragraphs is paraphrased from an article in The Denver Post, by THE GAZETTE, updated April 27, 2016.]
The time was 6:00 p.m. when the shuttle bus dropped us off at Seven Falls entry station, and they closed the park at 8:00 p.m. The canyon was already in deep shadow when we arrived.
|Hiking the park road to Seven Falls - |
Pillars of Hercules ahead
|The Three Amigos formation|
|South Cheyenne Creek|
|Darren taking the "low road" along the creek|
|South Cheyenne Creek|
|Rope bridge on the zip-line tour|
|Landscaping courtesy of the Broadmoor|
|The canyon as we approach the falls|
|Wrestling Bears formation|
|I couldn't resist|
We have made it to the main attraction - the falls and the stairs to the top! You may have seen these stairs before. Extreme Weight Loss TV show uses this set of stairs as a final test of their contestant's endurance. Now we're going to give it a go...224 steps. I must confess I held onto that railing for dear life!
|Yep, that's where we went! All the way up.|
|Bottom part of falls|
|Darren and Susan heading up|
|Looking down from the first platform|
|Darren and Susan resting -|
|Another part of the falls|
|Darren and Susan by the uppermost|
|Proof I made it up the stairs|
|View from the top|
|Looking down over the canyon|
|Things to remember. LOL.|
|450-year-old Ponderosa pine tree|
|Info about the tree|
|It was about 1/3 mile to Midnight Falls|
After Midnight Falls we had the option to do a more difficult hike to Inspiration Point and a grave site. Susan and Darren went for it. I decided to head down.
|Another shot of the falls|
|ALL those stairs|
|Stairs to Eagles Nest (way up|
near to right in the photo)
In Cheyenne Creek, a water dipper bird lives on small creatures it finds at the bottom of the stream. Water dippers have little membranes that close off their beaks when they're swimming.
I took the tram back to where the van was parked. Susan and Darren arived two trams after me. We headed back to the motel for the night.