I believe it’s a law that when you visit Colorado Springs, you have to go to Garden of the Gods. I know this for sure — when I went, everybody else was there too.
It was sunny and hot and dusty. I wandered for about an hour and saw the same birds I saw the last time I was there in 2002, including a Prairie Falcon (although it had moved one rock south in the intervening 10 years).
After the busload of junior-high girls in soccer uniforms unloaded and spread out over the area like spilled water on a restaurant table, I gave up on the main trails and found one that headed off into the surrounding scrub away from the scenic attractions. But even here I encountered a steady stream of people and very few birds. I gave up and left in search of supper.
After attempting without GPS and then with GPS to find a recommended restaurant that no longer exists, I settled on Bird Dog BBQ across the street from my hotel. The pimply, uninterested young man behind the counter couldn’t tell me what “fixin’s” were available for my baked potato with brisket, but a more intelligent young woman came to his rescue and listed sour cream, butter and cheese. I had them all, with a mild sauce, and enjoyed my meal thoroughly.