For days after the Waldo Canyon fire, my Jeep smelled like smoke. I couldn’t get the stink out.
The entire Pikes Peak Region is experiencing the same phenomenon. It can’t shake the stink of the fire.
Images on the national news of forests and homes burning led to widespread cancellations at area tourist-related businesses.
Now we’re all being urged to take “staycations.”
Experts say if we all explore our own backyard, we can help our economy.
And we’ll have fun.
I asked Terry Sullivan, longtime tourism guru, if staycations can really help.
“Absolutely,” Terry said. “And there’s a lot we can do by inviting our friends and relatives to visit, too.”
Terry offered this staycation tip:
“One of my favorite things is to get up early in the morning and take a family up the Pikes Peak Highway,” he said.
But he only pays to go to three reservoirs — Crystal Creek and North and South Catamount — where he stops and fixes breakfast.
“I bring premade pancakes and either bring a grill or use the barbecue pits, with caution of course,” he said.
“There’s nothing like having breakfast and looking up on Pikes Peak.”
He’s even been lucky enough to have friends catching fish while he’s cooking breakfast.
My favorite staycation also involves the mountain.
We also had a great staycation exploring Victor and Cripple Creek. We spent the night in a haunted room at the Victor Hotel, rode the Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad and we lost an hour wandering the Victor Cemetery. (We’re strange like that.)
Our staycation list also includes rafting the Arkansas River, a day trip to Green Mountain Falls and hiking at the Crags.
My friend, Susan Edmondson, had tons of staycation ideas involving the arts.
“If you can’t find something fun, brilliant, mind-blowing and great for the whole family in our local arts scene, then you’re just not looking,” Susan exclaimed. (She exclaims a lot.)
Her list includes taking the kids to Millibo Art Theatre’s “Double Bubble” Ice Cream Theatre.
Susan also highly recommends catching James Turrell’s “Trace Elements: Light Into Space” opening Saturday at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Susan called it ”a mind-blowing installation light sculpture.” And she exclaimed: “This is a must-see for everyone, and I really mean everyone.”
And she recommends Theatreworks‘ “Love’s Labor’s Lost,” at Rock Ledge Ranch, Aug. 2-26, which she described as “Shakespeare in a spectacular setting.”
Susan also touted all the free concerts in the great outdoors pretty much every night of the week – about 125 concerts total throughout the region in the summer. For a great downloadable concert guide go to COPPeR.
Finally, friend Warren Epstein, who seems like he’s on permanent vacation, urged folks to consider an overnight in the Cliff House in Manitou Springs (he loves the signature suites), a visit to the Penny Arcade and maybe a nightcap at the Keg.
Here’s some other staycation ideas and coupons from area attractions and other businesses:
To get more information from the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, follow this link.
Click here for Manitou Springs area information.
You can find more deals at the Pikes Peak Country Attractions group.