Lee and a curious calico crisscross the country in a RV, living simply and sustainably.

There’s a wish list stored on my phone with all the “best places” my friends (and strangers) have suggested I visit. Everywhere I go I ask “Where is the best place you’ve ever visited?” and record their answers. There are so many that I’ve broken down the list by state. I wish I could remember who first suggested Garden of the Gods, but when the RVers next to me mentioned it, it rang a bell.

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t was a 90 minute drive from my campsite to the Quest Diagnostics lab in Colorado Springs where I was scheduled to take a pre-employment drug test required to start work as a Christmas Elf in a ginormous warehouse next month. Christmas Elf is not the official job title, but I like to think of it that way. This seasonal job will allow me to purchase a generator, establish an emergency fund, and reduce expenses (the employer pays for your campsite and utilities in addition to wages). The job will end before Christmas, when I’ll head to warmer climes.

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Garden of the Gods is so unique. I was completely unaware of the visual treat in store. Admission to the visitor’s center and park is free, and there is a small fee for an indoor video. Rain was imminent, so I raced through the center, picked up a map, and drove into the park.

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At the first parking area, I walked around the main section and snapped 99 photos before the rain began in earnest. The dark clouds seem apropos to the dramatic red rocks thrusting up from the earth. Climbers with permits and official gear were permitted in certain sections.

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My rock climbing days (okay, I tried it once) are over, but I really enjoyed people watching amid the red rocks and recommend this place to other travelers.


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