Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs

I’ve been in Colorado for a few weeks but I hadn’t been down to “The Springs” yet.
So Pop and I decided to head down to Colorado Springs and see some of the sights.
Colorado Springs is where I grew up – from the 2nd grade all the way until I moved to LA on my quest to become America’s favorite TV game-show host.
We drove thru the heart of Evergreen and made our way thru Conifer.

After Conifer we made a left on Pine Valley Road and into Pine Junction.
Pine Valley Road turns into Decker’s Road and took us into Deckers.
We continued on into Woodland Park.
Unless I’ve got somewhere to be, I always prefer taking the road less travelled.
It may take a little longer, but when you’re off the beaten path you get to see the cool stuff that’s not on the highway.
From Woodland Park we took Highway 24 past the entrance to Pike’s Peak and down into Manitou Springs.
After driving thru downtown Manitou and not finding a parking spot, we continued down Manitou Avenue.
That’s when I spotted the Green Willow Motel.
On the other side of the street…

The Green Willow Motel is a cool little place and a it’s been family run since 1953.
Continuing down Manitou Avenue we saw the Silver Saddle Motel.

The hotel was built in 1950, the sign may be from then, but it looks to have been restored recently.
I bet it looks pretty sweet with the neon all lit up.
A few blocks away is the La Fon Motel.

It opened in 1936 as the Landis Terrace Court and in 1955 it became the La Fon Motel.
At some point they changed the “O” to a “U” and now it’s the La Fun Motel.
It’s a shame they removed all the neon and replaced it with backlit plastic letters, but the epic sign still remains.
Across the street is the Ute Chief Trading Post sign.
I remember it from when I was a kid.

Built in 1934 the Ute Chief Trading Post was used by the Ute Chief Mineral Water Company.
Apparently Manitou Springs has the “World’s Best Water.”
The business has been gone for decades, but I’m happy to report the sign still stands proudly.
Right next door is the Park Row Lodge.
I love it when I can get a two-for-one shot.

Check out that cool “Park Row” font.
There were no cars in the Park Row Lodge parking lot, so I parked The 55 front and center.
I got this shot before a lady poked her head out the front door and told me if I’m not here to rent a room, I had to move my car…
Continuing down Manitou Avenue we made our way to the Mel Haven Lodge.

It opened in 1929 as the Kentucky Lodge and became the Mel Haven Lodge in 1951.
The sign is beautiful and looks to have been restored recently.
The motel – not so much.
But at least we didn’t have to make a U-turn this time.
If you’ve been to Colorado, you know you’ve got to stay hydrated.
It’s because of the altitude.
Denver is the “Mile-High City” at 5280 feet above sea level, but Colorado Springs is almost 1000 feet higher – 6035 feet.
That’s one of the reasons the United States Olympic Training Center is in The Springs.
The more red blood cells you’ve got, the more oxygen your blood can carry.
It’s like legal blood-doping.
Pop and I spotted Bob’s Wine & Spirit’s and stopped in to see for ourselves if they really do have the “Coldest Beer in the West.”

I’ve noticed that almost every liquor store in Colorado makes the claim to have the “Coldest Beer in Colorado” or “The Coldest Beer in the West.”
Its now become a never ending quest for me to find out who, in fact, has the “coldest beer” wherever I’m at currently.
If you know of a place that has the “coldest beer” somewhere – do me a favor and let me know.
I love cold beer.
We left Manitou Springs and entered into Colorado Springs where we came across this cool old bowling alley sign.

It used to be the Bear Creek Lanes.
Now there’s only an empty parking lot and the sign.
I guess it’s a sign of the times.
Sorry – I couldn’t resist.
Pop & I were getting hungry and we came across Cy’s Drive In.

This place is super legit!
It opened in 1953 as a Frosty Delight, and became Cy’s in 1954.
They’ve been serving up tasty burgers & fries ever since.
And they’ve still got the car-hop service!
If you turn on your headlights, that signals the car-hop to come out to take your order while you stay in your car.
Just like the good old days.
We both got cheeseburgers & fries.
Here’s a little tip – If you do go to Cy’s – beware.
One order of their fries can feed a small army.
Pop and I had leftover fries for a week.
Around the corner and down the street we found the Hayes Motor Company sign.

The Hayes Motor Company was founded in 1938.
Now all thats left is the sign.
I’d love to see it all lit up.
We finally made it over to Nevada Avenue – Colorado Springs Strip – where we found the Circle S Motel.

It’s a pretty cool sign that must have been much cooler when it still had its neon.
From the Circle S, Pop and I cruised up Nevada Avenue just like the cool-kids used to do back when I was in high school.
I never got to cruise Nevada back then…
I wasn’t a part of the cool-kids crowd.
But Pop and I made up for it this time around.
When we got close to the north end of Nevada we saw a familiar sign – the Navajo Hogan Roadhouse.

I remember it from when I was a kid.
It was built in 1935 as a nightclub.
At that time the only place in The Springs to have live entertainment was The Broadmoor Hotel.
The Navajo Hogan has been a dance club, night club, strip club, high class restaurant and a live music venue.
It’s been there for more than 67 years and is a Colorado Springs landmark.
From there we went over to visit our long-time friends of the family – the Weavers.
After catching-up with the Weavers, Pop and I headed back to Evergreen.
It was a treat to revisit Colorado Springs with my Pop in The 55.
We got to visit the town I grew up in and see some sights I’d never seen before.
We missed Fargo’s Pizza.
Next time we go to The Springs we’ll stop in at Fargo’s and get a mainliner for sure.
I hope to see you there.

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