Thursday, September 29, 2022

Cave of the Winds and some Bonafide BBQ

Hey pals!  Thought I’d post some Colorado lifestyle blog and keep it on a little lighter note today.  So let’s get right to it!

 Cave of the Winds is a tourist attraction in Colorado Springs, Colorado that had been patiently sitting in my bucket list for some time.  However, when I finally had the opportunity to go, it was pouring rain…ALL DAY (kinda an anomaly in the desert)!  But really, what better activity to engage in on a soggy day than cave exploration and…some really tasty BBQ!

First, almost everything in Colorado now requires call ahead reservations, and therefore, yes, I recommend you call ahead for reservations.   Although we’ve had several businesses leave due to stringent, almost mafioso treatment from our environmental folk, we continue to have an influx of people moving here, as evidenced by the auto traffic and exorbitant real estate and rental prices.  Recently, I wanted to do a tour of the Coors Brewery in Golden.  And, not too long ago you could just walk right in and get a full tour and tasting.  Now you have to book a tour at least a month out!  

So, with that said, when we arrived, there was no immediate tour available of Cave of the Winds.  Which was fine because we were all hungry and COTW has no concessions…until you complete the tour and then walk out to the gift shops and food vendors.  They don’t want people bringing food and drinks into the fragile ecosystem of the cave.  So, I happened to know that we were in close proximity to a very famous Texas BBQ joint called Rudy’s.  It kinda looks like a gas station (and it is) from the road, but I’m telling you it’s legit GREAT BBQ - and having lived in Memphis, I consider myself an expert.  So I’ll start with a few tantalizing pictures of Rudy’s food.  They’re known for their brisket but their pork tenderloin is divine.  And they have killer sausage links!  Really, you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.  Except for the green chili bisque.  To me, the flavors were too hot for me to enjoy and my nose was like a faucet.  But you may like that experience, especially if you have Covid.  Go ahead and run that shit out.  It’s better than anything Johnson & Johnson makes.  

Rudy’s is an extremely laid back atmosphere with football on the televisions and checkered table cloths on picnic tables and big galvanized tubs of iced down beer.   They designed the restaurants with garage door walls which can open when it’s really nice outside.  You walk in and stand in a line to place your order and it’s weighed out and put into a crate on top of paper for you to carry to a table.  No plates - real simple business model.  Quick Trivia - why is it they give you white bread at BBQ joints?  Answer: it absorbs the acid of the BBQ and aids in indigestion.

And now to the main feature of this post - Cave of the Winds…

The cave is located in William’s Canyon in Colorado Springs, and was discovered in 1881 as one of the highest caves in North America!  The name, Cave of the Winds, is from the Ute and Apache tribe who believed the cave was home to a Great Spitit of the Wind.  Local Colorado Springs brothers John and George Picket discovered the cave while hiking through the canyon and within a year it become a very popular tourist attraction.  The cave now boasts as the oldest natural attraction in the state of Colorado.  

Why you should go?  Because caves are fascinating!  You’ll see an impressive variety of stalactites, stalagmites, speleothems, flowstones, draperies, and helictites, if you’re into that sort of thing.  

Additionally you should know that it’s officially the season for their “Lantern Tours!”  Be sure to book ahead for these as they were completely sold out the Saturday we went.   The Lantern Tour includes a pitch black cave tour with lanterns while the tour guide tells some pretty creepy stories!  So fun!!!

Here are some snaps of the visit…

This was my first time using my emergency road side kit - my paper blanket kept Izzy warm while we waited on our tour. 

This sweatshirt was so soft.  I’m have non-buyers remorse.  Also, one of my favorite quotes.  

Massive sinkholes right outside the cave exit.

Random trivia:  The cave is a settling for a 2006 episode of the animated “South Park”:


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