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101 summer things 

Whiling away the summer days in the Pikes Peak Region

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Lady Day once sang, "Summertime and the living is easy." Yessir, summer living may indeed be easy and carefree, but it can also get dang boring. In an effort to alleviate your potential summertime blues, we here at The Independent combined our powers of creativity, and, with the help of delicious pizza, cooked up all kinds of crazy things to do in and around Colorado Springs and the state. Some require effort and others are absolutely brainless, but that's what summer's all about: getting out and mixing it up a little.

-- Kara Luger, Assistant Editor and Special Issues Coordinator

Contributors: Cara DeGette (CD), Michael deYoanna (MDY), Kathryn Eastburn (KE), Sara Gallagher (SG), Kara Luger (KL), Vanessa Martinez (VM), Aaron Menza (AM), J.N. Nail (JNN), Aaron Retka (AR), Matthew Schniper (MS), Rebekah Shardy (RS), Carrie Simison-Bitz (CSB), Bettina Swigger (BLS), Dan Wilcock (DW) and Wayne Young (WY).

1. Sun safely. Some folks know it, some don't, and some choose to ignore it. The fact is, we're living in a higher-than-a-mile city and that means Mr. Sun looms even closer. This summer, slather on lotsa sunscreen -- we wouldn't want you getting any nasty melanomas, would we? Even if you're only going out for an hour, use an SPF sunscreen of at least 15 (though the higher the better), and reapply often. Yeah, you may not smell so great, but at least you won't look like a leather bag later on. KL

2. Make your own gator-skin boots. The San Luis Valley is an odd place for a large colony of alligators. The Colorado Gator Farm (9162 County Road 9 N.) in Mosca is home to tons of gators and for a small fee, visitors can walk around the gated population of prehistoric lizards. Other attractions include a wonderful compound of greenhouses filled with exotic fish, fauna, snakes and lizards. You can also wander an expansive plain where ostriches and goats roam. Don't miss the alligator rodeos. Yeehaa! Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 'em at 719/378-2612. AM

3. Get lucky. Tee-hee-hee. The Indy promoting something risqu! At the Old Homestead House Museum (353 Myers Ave., Cripple Creek), tour an original 1890s brothel and learn about the "soiled doves" that kept the coal mining industry alive. If you get lucky (no pun intended), you may catch a glimpse of one of the ghosts that's rumored to haunt the famous red-light parlor. Call 689-3090 for hours and more. MS

4. Celebrate open space. Saunter leisurely through Red Rock Canyon, one of our city's newest public lands (exit onto Ridge Road near 31st St. off Highway 24). Old quarries and exposed rock mines make for pleasant scenery along gentle trails. Four-legged friends or pacifiered pack weight needn't restrict your outdoor cravings within urban boundaries. Rejoice that you stand not on another concrete strip mall or yuppie subdivision. Hug someone passing by and proclaim, "Tax dollars well spent, eh guv'ner?" MS

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5. Thunderbirds are go! The U.S. Air Force's F-16 Fighting Falcons will screech across the skies of Colorado Springs. The red, white and blue jet demonstration squad, known as the Thunderbirds, will be the highlight of an air show June 4 at Peterson Air Force Base. Performances begin at 10 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m.; gates will be open between 7 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Call 556-4696 for more info. MDY

6. Got culture? Celebrate at the fourth annual Sacred Gathering Pow-Wow and Family Camp July 8, 9 and 10 at Tall Bull Memorial Grounds in Daniels Park (Castle Pines Exit 188 off I-25). Numerous Native American nations participate in traditional drumming, dance, art and crafts, and offer free food for all. Unlike more commercial powwows, Sacred Gatherings is outdoors, dancing is noncompetitive and it doesn't cost a thing to attend. Camping, without hookups, is also free for tents, RVs and campers. For more information, call 719/310-1208. RS

7. Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out. The Cave Dwellings aren't the only local reminders of the native peoples who inhabited the Pikes Peak region before all us transplants arrived. El Paso County Parks is premiering the Paint Mines Interpretive Park on June 4, a site that Native Americans used to scour for pigments to make their own paints. Call 520-6387 for info and directions. There will be public hikes on Saturday, June 25, and Saturday, Aug. 13, 9-11 a.m. The free park will be open daily from dawn until dusk. SG

8. Beat a trail to bluegrass. The River Park in downtown Salida is a cool oasis in the summer heat. Kick off a season's worth of events there on May 30 with Bluegrass on the Arkansas, an all-day event featuring headliners Dry Branch Fire Squad. The Squad's a traditional bluegrass band that's played with the likes of Ralph Stanley's Clinch Mountain Boys. Hailing from central Ohio, the instrumentalists are stellar, and vocalist Ron Thomason is among the most heralded in the industry. And it's a beautiful winding drive along U.S. Highway 50 West to Salida. Call 877/772-5432 for more. KCE

9. Save our dirt. The reservoirs are rising but that doesn't mean we don't still live in the high desert. Face it, people: Those bluegrass lawns are soon to be extinct. Be prepared with the tools for xeriscape, low-water gardening with native and climate-suited plants. And visit one of the best xeriscape gardens in the region, the Colorado Springs Utilities Xeriscape Demonstration Garden at the Mesa Water Plant on 2855 Mesa Road. A walking tour is available to familiarize visitors with the principles of xeriscape; classes are numerous, including a Home Xeriscape Design series. Reservations are required for classes; call 668-4555 or visit www.csu.org/xeri for more. KCE

10. Get a jump on holiday gifts in the form of original art from a mountain Matisse. Peruse the Four-Mile Art Fair, June 18-19, at Four Mile Hall at 2067 Teller County Road (689-2485 for hours) or wander the Woodland Park Fine Arts and Crafts Fair held next to the farmers' market each Friday from June 17 to Sept. 16, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Memorial Park. Dial 687-3731 for more. RS

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11. Say "hi" to Ted Kaczynski. The area around Cañon City is home to over a dozen correctional institutions, some of them housing the nastiest criminals in the land. And it all started with one unassuming 30-cell lockup, now The Museum of Colorado Prisons (201 N. First St.). Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the museum lies in the shadow of guard towers overlooking a minimum-security prison next door and features original 3-by-5-foot cells, actual hanging nooses, inmate letters and the retired gas chamber. Don't miss the gift shop, selling furry teddy bears dressed in black-and-white striped prison garb. Call 719/269-3015 for info. AM

12. Make your heart race. The starter light goes green; the smell of burning tires hits your nose as you surge to the front of the pack. The raging engine reassuringly throbs beneath your heels, when suddenly your 10-year-old races by. No matter how much you tap into your NASCAR-fueled fantasies, they are no match for fearless youth high on adrenalin. Go-karts are the great equalizer and SUVs ain't got anything on them. Let your inner NASCAR spirit come to life at Joyrides Family Fun Center, 5150 Edison Ave., 573-5500. WY

13. Find Casper. Call forth your courage and head out for an evening walking tour of Cripple Creek's haunted streets. Learn the town lore of each eerie building and its supposed transparent guests. Form your own opinion on tall tales of the Wild West and legends of grave import (pun intended). What's summer without a healthy dose of scary stories? The Cripple Creek Ghost Walk Tours meet at 315 E. Carr Ave., Fridays and Saturdays, 8 p.m. Call 689-9113 for more. MS

14. Add some spice to your life. Summer is the perfect time for spicy foods, and the green chili capital of the world is just down the Interstate in Hatch, N.M. Take advantage the proximity with this simple and delicious recipe for authentic New Mexican chili.

1 pound lean pork, cubed

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

click to enlarge CHRISTIAN A. MANZO
  • Christian A. Manzo

6 Hatch green chilies, roasted, peeled, 'n' chopped

1 large potato, diced

3 tomatoes, chopped

3 to 4 cups water

1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

Brown pork, onion and garlic. Add water and remaining ingredients. Simmer 1-2 hours, until meat falls apart. Serve with tortillas. BLS

15. If life gives you lemons ... When it comes to the dog days of summer, Manitou Springs has the perfect remedy: mineral water lemonade. Every summer, tourists and residents alike quaff gallons of this iced, effervescent perfection. Take two cans of frozen lemonade concentrate and add three quarts of mineral water from one of Manitou's natural mineral water fountains (the most popular being Ute Chief and Twin springs for their bubbly quality; for locations contact the visitor's bureau at 685-5089). The water can also be used for summer sangria by mixing in dry white wine, orange juice, brandy and sliced fruit. DW

16. Watch an erection. Located southwest of Pueblo, Bishop Castle is either one man's genius or his obsessive insanity. Either way, it's rad as hell. A fellow named Jim Bishop began piecing together this castle all by his lonesome in 1969 and has continued building it for 36 years. Now, it stands over 160 feet tall and features a grand ballroom, stained glass windows and a fire-breathing dragon. And he keeps going. For directions, check out www.bishopcastle.org, or give 'em a call at 719/485-3040. KL

click to enlarge COLLAN FITZPATRICK
  • Collan Fitzpatrick

17. Hear it through the grapevine. Tour a Colorado vineyard and educate your palate and wine sense this summer. Visit The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey in Cañon City to learn about our climate's effect on grape cultivation while tying on a comfortable buzz. Unnerve wine connoisseurs by gurgling your sample or proclaiming that you detect "horse saddle up front, backed by rusty manure and a hint of fox urine." For additional entertainment, ask locals for directions to Napa. Call 719/204-0218 for info. MS

18. Spend a hot night with Dale Chihuly. The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center has heard the public's cries for internationally known art, and has done their damnedest to make it as accessible as possible. In celebration of their massive exhibit featuring Dale Chihuly's blown glass, they're hosting "Hot Summer Nights" every Friday and Saturday night through August 13, 5-10 p.m. Call 634-5581 for more info. KL

19. Get a clue. The Royal Gorge Route Railroad Murder Mystery Train departs from the Cañon City Santa Fe Depot on summer evenings, serving salmon with skullduggery (prime rib is also offered) and toasting mayhem with champagne. While dining on a four-course gourmet meal in an elegant dining car -- slicing 24 miles through the shadowy Arkansas River canyon -- you'll participate in solving a dastardly whodunit performed by Red Herring Productions. Cost is $95 per person for the two-hour trip, dinner and entertainment. For more information or reservations, call 888-RAILS4U or visit www.royalgorgeroute.com. RS

20. Avoid the bad mushrooms. When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe. This philosophy, borrowed from prophetic environmentalist John Muir, is what drives the folks at Mountain Park Environmental Center in Beulah, due west of Pueblo. Now celebrating its fifth birthday, MPEC offers regular guided hikes, summer camps, workshops and lectures, including a two-day plant school on June 18 and 19. Join them to learn the characteristics of native forest plants, which are edible, how to identify families of plants and much more. Call 719/485-4444 or visit www.hikeandlearn.org for more. KCE

21. Go south, young friends. Make a pilgrimage to the graffiti mecca of southern Colorado. Pueblo is home to renowned graf artists and crews, notably members of Creatures and Cabin Fever, some of whose tags are recognized nationally. In order to get the most from your journey, remember to hone your adventure skills to video-game levels. That is, explore the narrow alleys and quick drops in your peripheral vision. Your best bets lie in Bessemer, Mesa Junction and on the east and west sides, closest to downtown. If you're brave enough, an urban scavenging hunt through the city's vacant buildings will prove fruitful. Just keep your eyes peeled for po-po. VM

22. Catch a falling star ... and we don't mean Anna Nicole Smith. If staring up into the heavens leaves you awestruck, check out the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society's Web site, www.csastro.org, for their latest calendar of events. There are Star Parties galore and even something called the Rocky Mountain Star Stare scheduled for July. Sounds a little cuckoo, but you know it's going to be awesome. KL

23. Rival your neighborhood lemonade stand. Enough's enough. Those wanna-be cute, backward "e" capitalists are goin' down. While Sally-round-the-block doles out tooth-rotting sugar water, serve your sophisticated neighborhood clientele a lip-puckering shot of regularity: prune juice, nectar of the gods! You'll easily corner the market through your tart monopoly, while the lemonade hawkers watch the cars whiz by. Today's fashionable suburbanites can smell a good deal a mile away. Give 'em what they really want, and make a buck while you're at it. MS

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24. Freeze your butt off. Go to the grocery store and buy a big block of ice. Say it's for carving or fishmongering. Ignore the clerk's funny looks. Then head for the hills -- or settle for one, at least. Golf courses and parks are just a few possible destinations. (The Indy does not condone trespassing -- don't blame us if you get caught!) Cover the ice block with a towel, climb aboard, and down the hill you go! Who needs winter? You've got ice blocking! BLS

25. Start your engine. Cruising Pueblo's streets is never as fun as it is when the street rods come to town. For over 20 years, the National Street Rod Association has held their Rocky Mountain Street Rod Nationals in this city, and they're not about to stop this year. Cruise down from June 24 to 26 to see the souped-up, pre-1949 manufactured vehicles at the Colorado State Fairgrounds. Or simply drive around -- you're sure to see plenty. For more info, visit www.nsra-usa.com or call 901/452-4030. VM

26. Call "no touch-backs." The hit movie Dodgeball illustrated a sorely-missed feature in the lives of those ages 19 and up: the need for rousing, idiotic outdoor games. Henceforth, we here at the Indy propose adult field day, wherein participants shall meet in parks across the city. Games include tag, capture the flag and kickball. And it won't matter who's picked last anymore, because, as grown-ups, we're beyond all that pettiness (heh). KL

27. Pull up a slab. Barbecues typically involve preformed burgers and slightly charred hotdogs. Not so at Manitou Springs' annual Buffalo BBQ, where you can get a burger made of buffalo meat or a slab of barbecued buffalo. For the less carnivorous, they also provide vegetarian options. There are booths with regional artists and crafters, Western-themed entertainment, live music performances and lots of Manitouesque fun. It's at the Soda Springs Park (west end of Manitou Avenue) and kicks off on Saturday, July 2, at 10 a.m. Things wind down Monday, July 4 with fireworks around 9 p.m. Call 685-9655 for more. SG

28. Make City Council work for you. Unless you're a council member, the media or a local activist, it's unlikely you've considered attending a City Council meeting. Snore, right? Well, make it your goal to wake them up this summer. March your fancy pants down to Council Chambers to raise your concerns, bring a burning question or check out which tie Mayor Rivera is wearing. We all have things we'd like to change but may not have the know-how to begin. Or maybe something has gone surprisingly right and you just want to say "thanks." Council meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 1 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 107 N. Nevada, and are open to the public -- except for the secret stuff, when legal, land acquisition and personnel issues are discussed. Call 385-CITY for more. CSB

29. Get the spa treatment at Sky Sox Stadium. Who doesn't love baseball? OK, a few of you. Still, even sportsphobes love hot tubs. And now you can please both the sports nut and the hot tub fanatic in the family by renting the hot tub box at Sky Sox Stadium. Want more pampering? Look no further than the complimentary champagne that's part of the package. Call 597-1449 ext. 323 for reservations. BLS

30. Call in well. It's sunny outside and you're aching to go play, but pesky adult responsibilities are a-calling. Forget faking a cough -- just call in well to work! It's exactly like calling in sick, except you're being man/woman enough to admit you would rather swim or hike than go to work. The ruse will likely just confuse your boss, who'll mumble, "Oh ... OK." KL

31. Give gravity the finger. Rock climbing provides the single acceptable, G-rated usage in the English language of the word combo "crack-jam." To master this acquired technique, look no further than the bouldering opportunities found in Garden of the Gods. Live out your Spider Man fantasies on a bright day in the park, as your fingers explore delicate contours. Bring a vigilant spotter, and scamper safely -- the rocks look best in one hue of red. Pick up a local guidebook of routes at the Visitor Center (805 N. 30th St.), or with a little experience, pioneer your own. MS

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32. Soak it up, soak it in. With Colorado boasting numerous hot springs, the novice soaker may have a hard time discerning which to pick. Look no further than the San Luis Valley, where the best two are conveniently located, for us at least, on the region's northern edge. Joyful Journeys offers a view of the Sangres from its 98-108 degree tiled pools. Open every day but Wednesday, call 719/256-HEAT for more. For breathtaking scenery from a spring, head east down the dirt road from the junction of 285 and 17 to Valley View. The clothing-optional grounds and pools make for the most relaxed hot springs environment around. For more, call 719/256-4315 before you journey down -- space fills quickly, especially on weekends. VM

33. Be Cajun for a day. A bucket, a line of string and a little bait is all you need to spend a day catching crawfish at two ponds at the southern end of Monument Valley Park (running parallel to Cache La Poudre St.). Scavengers are not picky eaters. Given a choice between greasy raw bacon and the rotting fish carcasses they're accustomed to, these buggers will surely go for the supermarket delicatessen. Boloney and hotdogs make great bait, too. Dangle your line between the rocks along the pond's bank and you're sure to get some grabbers. AM

34. Go garage sale-ing around The Broadmoor. It's 7 a.m. on a Saturday. Whaddya gonna do? Sleep the morning away? Drag yourself out of bed and see how the other half does garage sales. For an unprecedented view of the posh circle's underbelly, go trawl the 'hood that surrounds The Broadmoor. You may not live there, but a visit to the land of no-house-less-than-a-million to check out some wealthy person's junk can be educational. Who knows? You may find that elusive $20 mink coat. WY

35. Regress to crawling. Think your mountain lungs and rock-shock calves are the cougar's meow? Do you intimidate silverback gorillas at the zoo? Prove it, hotshot. Take the stairway to heaven that humbles the mightiest warriors into slinking submission. Conquer a couple thousand feet in elevation gain, sans switchbacks, directly up the Pikes Peak Incline (trail access from gravel parking above PP Cog Railway Station). Perfect for an early morning workout or late afternoon stress purge, the ascent assures a thorough sweat, rewarded with a scenic overlook. Reserve ample time, pack a snack, and lug some water. MS

36. Be a hippie Tiger Woods. Nothing grabs a good summer day by the scruff better than a couple rounds of Frisbee golf. For an organized local game, hit Cottonwood Creek (3920 Dublin Blvd.) or Widefield Park. Colorado boasts more than 50 courses for disc-huckers who don't mind driving, or create your own holes and par just about anywhere. MS

37. Get Bent. In 1833, William and Charles Bent joined Ceran St. Vrain in constructing a fort. Their aim wasn't military, but monetary. Today, Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site is a glimpse into the bustling economy of southern Colorado's not-too-distant past: a time when the United States and Mexico vied for control of swathes of land lying south of the Arkansas River. The reconstructed fort features people dressed in costume. Located near La Junta, admission is $3 for adults and $2 for children ages 6-12. Kiddies under 6 enter free. Call 719/383-5010 for info and directions. MDY

click to enlarge BRUCE ELLIOTT
  • Bruce Elliott

38. Get carried away. Once a year, gently ascending hot-air balloons fill the southeastern sky. During the Balloon Classic, September 3-5 in Colorado Springs' Memorial Park, hot-air balloons float effortlessly skyward to the staccato blasts of air-heating burners in the mornings. Saturday and Sunday evenings showcase the accompanying festival and the wondrous Balloon Glo, when the morning's pilots (usually between 40 and 50 hot-air drivers) inflate their grounded crafts. Gas flares illuminate the night, and the colors of the glowing balloons take on a surreal quality. It sure is purty. Call 471-4833 for more info. WY

39. Break out the Wranglers. Don't break my legs, my achy-breaky legs ... because it's two-steppin' time! Stop feeling awkward every time you're invited to a summer wedding and the dance comes around. Two-steppin' isn't hard -- it's two steps for crying out loud! Most any night, boot-scoot your booty to Cowboy's at 3910 Palmer Park Blvd., to see how it's done or for free lessons on Sunday from 4 to 8:30 pm. If two steppin' doesn't suit your fancy, local instructors can also teach you polka, waltzes, salsa, square-dancing, even disco! Don't be shy. Learn to shake that groove thing. Call 596-1212 for more. CSB

40. Take a trip back through time. Yeah, sure, it's hard to get locals out to the tourist attractions, but the guided Lantern Tour at the Cave of the Winds is well worth the ticket price. See, the idea is that the guide is actually a time traveler from the past. So you, the spelunker, can pretend it's the olden days -- before electricity -- carrying a lantern instead of a flashlight. Sound hokey? Perhaps, but it's also truly fun, and besides, the temperature's guaranteed to be at least 10 degrees cooler underground. Call 685-5444 for info. BLS

41. Dodge sharp objects. You've got to respect people who throw weapons and downright revere those who make it a competitive sport. Spend some time gasping in fear at the Rocky Mountain Knife and Tomahawk Championship, going on June 25-26 in Creede, southwest of Pueblo. Burly mountain men will be chuckin' sharp things at targets (hopefully not you), contending for the title of Most Likely to Field Dress a Wolverine. Plan your trip starting at the Rocky Mountain Knife and Tomahawk Alliance's Web site, www.rmkta.com. AR

42. Yuk it up. The best thing about seeing a comedian live is that everything is funnier when a room full of people are laughing along with you. It somehow validates your sense of humor: Yes, I was right. That was funny. Check out local chuckle-club Loonees (1305 N. Academy Blvd., 591-0707), or head up to Denver's Comedy Works (303/595-3637 for info) for the big-time headliners. KL

43. Go clubbin'. Blue skies and big golf can be found at Antler Creek (9650 Antler Creek Drive, Falcon, 494-1900). "We are the longest course in Colorado, the second longest in America and the third longest in the world," said General Manager Joe Linnemeyer, referring to the 8,165-yard course complete with prairie dunes. Although it's possible to walk the course, "we highly recommend that people take a cart." Summer advantages to the course include a cooler temperature than Colorado Springs (the course is at 7,000-foot elevation) and bargain twilight rates beginning at 1 p.m. DW

click to enlarge CHRISTIAN A. MANZO
  • Christian A. Manzo

44. Suck it up. Pick up a Bubble Tea at the Coffee & Tea Zone (25 N. Tejon St.). Called "Boba" in California, this Taiwanese treat is a sweet milky blend of tea, crushed ice and custom-mixed flavor, with big dark balls of tapioca on the bottom. The concoction is served in tall plastic cups, with thick straws to suck up the tapioca balls. It sounds bizarre but tastes delicious. Bubble Tea is more global than a milkshake, and much more fun than Lipton. Call the Zone at 632-3887. JNN

45. Hog out on Pikes Peak. The challenge: 14,110-foot Pikes Peak. The reward: a doughnut. There are several ways to the top of the easternmost fourteener of the United States. You can make the grueling hike, take the Cog Railway or enjoy the great outdoors as you drive up, safely ensconced in your car. At the top is a souvenir shop, home of the highest doughnut in the world. O! How a crystal goblet of a delicate bubbly -- a wonderful Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut -- would fizz in perfect tandem alongside the crumble of the pastry. Alas, you are at 14,110 feet. Milk is fine, too. Call 685-5401 for more. CD

46. Get all culture-ma-cated. Opera is pretty cool, but it's cooler to be such an aficionado that you can hiss and boo when a singer slips on a high note, or obnoxiously yell "bravo" when the whole thing is over. Patrons at La Scala in Milan even booed Pavarotti when they felt his singing was off. Forgo Central City and Denver for the Opera Theater of the Rockies, presenting Rossini's Cinderella (La Cenerentola) June 4, 7 and 10 at 7 p.m., and June 12 at 2:30 p.m. at Colorado College's Armstrong Theater (14 E. Cache La Poudre). Call 520-SHOW for tickets. AM

47. Model your lingerie. Every Saturday night, the Lon Chaney Theater hosts a midnight viewing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, complete with live-action pantomime, callbacks, popcorn tossing, squirt guns, obscenities galore, occasional nudity and the whole dirty shebang. Spend a summer night in vampy lipstick, rouge, fishnets and a bustier, glutting yourself on depraved, joyous sexuality, doing "The Time Warp" in the aisles and wondering what these freaks and weirdos surrounding you wear to their day jobs. AR

48. Inhale at your own risk. Take a deep breath and smell that glorious exhaust at the Pikes Peak International Raceway, where the NASCAR Busch Series is taking place July 22-23. What better time than summer to embrace your latent lust for fast cars, screeching tires and country music packed with patriotic jingoism? Chug some brew, cheer on your favorite driver, but above all, start growing that mullet now. Call 888/306-7223 for tickets. AR

click to enlarge COLLAN FITZPATRICK
  • Collan Fitzpatrick

49. You're invited to the best party of the year! Rejoice! Hoopla is back! The Indy's annual bash is a day filled with great local bands, booths manned by local civic groups and businesses, and tons of fun games for the kids. And don't forget the beer garden! The best part? You (yes, you) get to hang out with the stunningly attractive, well-read, sophisticated, dazzling conversationalists who staff the Indy. This year's bash takes place on Saturday, Aug. 20 at Pioneers Park. Keep your nose inside these pages for more info! BLS

50. Become slippery when wet. Fun has officially arrived. Summer's a-coming, so slip into your suit and shimmy your way to the new Cottonwood Creek Recreation Center at 3920 Dublin Blvd. (in Cottonwood Park). Adults will become kids again, frolicking in the indoor wave pool, scooting down a water slide or floating in the current channel and vortex. A cheap and fun way to chill out, cool down and have a fantastic time ($5.50 for adults, $4.00 for those 17 and under, free for children under 2). For public swim hours call 385-6508 or visit www.springsgov.com. CSB

51. Hey, hot stuff -- strut your sizzling duff through the 6th annual Hot Time and Mile High Chili Cook-Off, May 28-30, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the Cripple Creek City Park (corner of First Avenue and Bennett Avenue). Sample up to 60 beanless red and green chilies and salsa, or chill in the beer garden to live music. Cooks must be members of the International Chili Society at this sanctioned event, which qualifies competitors for the Las Vegas Chili World Championship in November. It's free, except for $1 samplings that benefit the Cripple Creek Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call 689-2169. RS

52. Be a pen pal to your favorite inmate. One of every 138 people in the United States will spend some time this year in the pokey. That's more than any other country in the world -- including Communist China. Think about this god-awful fact a bit. Then call the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition at 888-298-8059 to learn more about alternatives to incarceration, especially for nonviolent offenders (online at www.ccjrc.org). Finally, if you know someone in jail, or know someone who knows someone, send him or her a letter. Or 10. Sponsor a subscription to a magazine or the Independent. Jail is a lonely place. It doesn't have to be hell, especially if we want people to ultimately emerge reformed -- and sane. CD

53. Let the woodchips fly. Reconnect with the Old West and head to Craig (near Steamboat Springs) for the Whiddle da Wood Wandezvous, June 15-18. A few years ago, many of the trees in the town's City Park died, inspiring a group of whittlers to carve the trunks. So was born an annual tradition now in its sixth year. This small Western Slope town turns into a celebration of wood whittling, as carvers armed with chainsaws, hammers and chisels transform gnarled hunks of wood into astonishing works of art. Go wonder at their whittling ways; it'll be worth the drive. Call 970/826-2004 for more. WY

54. Get a Royal Rush. Take a 1,200-foot plunge into the Royal Gorge. It's not suicidal; it's exhilarating. Royal Gorge Bridge and Park calls it the Royal Rush Skycoaster. "You swing out enough that you can see a little stripe of river down there," says park spokeswoman Peggy Gair. Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is open year-round, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., until June 10 and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., from June 11 to Aug. 14. For more information, call 719/275-7507 or 888/333-5597. MDY

55. Get extra-buttered. Come for the movies, stay for the air conditioning at the Picture Show theater (901 N. Academy, 380-7469). Inside, find a veritable paradise of un-ironic disco dcor! Enjoy all of the current movie hits, just a wee bit past their release dates, for, like, one-seventh of the price. You pay the usual amount for popcorn and other goodies, but when you've only shelled out $.50-$1.50 for a ticket, who the hell cares? KL

56. Play with your organ. From June 26 to 29, the American Guild of Organists brings its regional convention to Colorado Springs with concerts by local and nationally known artists at various venues around the city, many of them open to the public. There's a hymn festival on opening night at the First United Methodist Church (420 N. Nevada Ave.), a recital of organ concertos performed with the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs the following evening at First Christian Church (16 E. Platte Ave.) and much more. Tickets to most concerts are available at the door in limited quantities. Call 632-8836 or visit www.csago2005.org for more. KCE

click to enlarge COLLAN FITZPATRICK
  • Collan Fitzpatrick

57. Let your junk mail work for you. Stuck indoors on a rainy summer day? Feeling devious? Take time to sock it to big-business junk mailers. Rifle through the recycling bin, and use those handy, prepaid postage envelopes to give 'em a dose of their own poison. Simply stuff unwanted solicitations, or who knows what, into the return envelopes that come with credit card offers. Let them pay the meter to open your junk mail. After all, this subversive stunt supports our hardworking U.S. Postal Service. Think of it as a patriotic act -- take the power back. MS

58. Collect skin samples from Olympic athletes. Track racing for Olympic cyclists is done at the velodrome on the eastern edge of Memorial Park (1605 E. Pikes Peak Ave.). The open-air, concrete arena is open to the public for cyclist-watching, as Olympic cyclists train for and compete in the match sprint, individual and team pursuit and kilometer time-trial. Several world records have been tallied at the track, which is considered one of the top three in the world. The velodrome's steep incline combined with the cyclists' breakneck speeds guarantee some serious road burns if anyone bites the dust. AM

59. Go on an art crawl. Salida, a mountain gem southwest of Colorado Springs and perfect day-trip destination any time of year, puts on its glad rags from June 24 to 26 for the Salida Art Walk. Starting Friday evening, luxuriate in Salida's unique bohemian-come-mountain town ambience as the town festoons itself as Colorado's art mecca, bedecked with all things arty and funky. The once-ramshackle railway hub is now brimful of eclectic art galleries, packed to the gills with secondhand shops, gorgeous food and some damn good wine. For information and details, call 877/772-5432. WY

60. Ride the sand. Chin up, snow riders. Fellow boarders have taken a long-awaited cue from our South American neighbors to introduce us northerners to the art of sandboarding. The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, just outside Alamosa, is a haven of sand hills right in our own backyard and provides some gaspingly steep drops, so don't take this lightly. On that note, hotshot, only the very cautious (who?) and the fools ride in shorts and tees. Protect yourself from sand burns, unless you enjoy severe pain. Visit www.nps.gov/grsa or call the Alamosa Chamber at 800/BLU-SKYS for more. VM

61. Keep the doctor away. Beginning early in August, pick your own apples, peaches and pears for 99 cents/lb. at the Happy Apple Farm. It's a dream come true: Admission, tractor rides, baskets and boxes for picking are all free. Cider is $3.50/half-gallon, and blackberries and raspberries are $4.00/12oz. basket, u-pick-em. Their fall festival this year is on Sept. 17 and 18, and they're also hosting a Halloween Haunted Farm (pick a pumpkin!). Their Web site, www.happyapplefarm.com, is worth a visit. Call 719/372-6300 for more. JNN

62. Get jingling, baby. Pink Floyd's "Money," with its jingling and clanging intro, should be enough to inspire a trip to the American Numismatic Museum (818 N. Cascade Ave.), the museum of the American Numismatic Association. Admission is free (feel that change in your pockets), and the exhibits provide rare opportunities to see old and unique cash. Dust off that eight-track and use Floyd's persuasiveness to get the kids to come, too. Give 'em a jingle at 632-2646. SG

63. Catch a free flick. Many of the branches of the Pikes Peak Library District offer a summer film series. Two big reasons to go: The films are free for the public and so is the air conditioning. Teens can watch National Treasure on Tuesday, June 28, and Hitch on Tuesday, July 26, both at noon at the Ruth Holley branch. The Monument branch offers 11:30 a.m. movies for seniors on Fridays (June 3, the Bourne Supremacy; July 1, On Gold Pond; Aug. 5, Phantom of the Opera). More films will be shown at other branches. For more, call the library district at 531-6333 or visit www.ppld.org. DW

64. Wash out the damned spot. Macbeth, the Scottish play second only to Brigadoon, is coming to the Springs, all hot and heavy for TheatreWorks' Shakespeare Summer Festival. What else conjures up images of late summer like ambition, murder and bubbling cauldrons? Catch performances at the Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater on the UCCS campus from Aug. 19 to Sept. 4. Call 262-3232 for more. KL

click to enlarge BRUCE ELLIOTT
  • Bruce Elliott

65. Remember the miners. On April 20, 1914, a year of mining strikes against the Colorado Fuel and Iron Co. culminated in a shower of bullets fired by state troops. Twenty men, women and children died. A memorial now stands in Ludlow, dedicated to the miners and their families, who were massacred for exercising their right to unionize. On June 5 at 10 a.m., the memorial, first erected in 1918, will be rededicated in grand fashion. Anyone interested in Colorado or labor history is invited to Ludlow for the event. Take Interstate 25 to Exit 27 and follow the signs. Call 719/846-8234 for more info. MDY

66. Snag a karaoke groupie. Devote a week this summer to stroking the ego of that rock star within you. Each of seven nights finds you at a different karaoke joint, from Laura Belle's to Jack Quinn's to This Is It; from Tam O' Shanter's to Dublin House. There are enough bars with KJs to make the options endless, and finding a different crowd every night for your soul-wrenching rendition of "Wind Beneath My Wings" is truly something to croon about. AR

67. Score some trail rash. Liberate your mountain bike from its garage enslavement, and make amends in Cheyenne Canyon's technical trail series just west of town. Bike in or park in the lots and backtrack. Purchase an area map, and hit Captain Jacks to transform your legs into jelly. Reward your efforts with a freakishly fast bomb run down the Chutes. Plan a cool recount to co-workers on Monday about how you "like, totally rocketed over the handlebars and did a double-flip before face planting into a hot gravel bank." Remember, pain is your co-pilot. MS

68. Watch a professional Salchow. Adjacent to the World Arena (3205 Venetucci Blvd.) is the Ice Hall, open and free to the public, where Olympic speedskaters and world-class competitive figure skaters train from 5:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. There are two ice sheets -- one NHL-sized, one Olympic -- and more than 250 skaters from all over the world train here during the Summer Skate Program from June to August. The Ice Hall, celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year, is a direct descendent of the Broadmoor Ice Club (which trained such luminaries as Todd Eldridge and Peggy Fleming). More information is available on their Web site, www.worldarena.com, or by calling 477-2100. JNN

69. Dangle a carrot. Who on earth woulda thunk Cripple Creek's Annual Donkey Derby Days would last 74 freakin' years? Join in on the braying, mildly smelly fun as the weekend-long event kicks off on Friday, June 24, with a street dance in City Park. The next day promises parades and the main event: amateur pack burro races! If you're going to get all hoity-toity, a professional burro race happens later on. Call 689-3461 for more info. KL

70. Stay afloat. This summer marks the first time urban kayaking will be available in southern Colorado, as Pueblo's half-mile kayak run opens in May. Stoked with water from Colorado Springs, whitewater enthusiasts should take advantage of this free amusement. Park at the Pearl Street parking lot near the Arkansas River in downtown Pueblo. With eight pool drops, catering to all levels of kayaking skill, the course is designed so beginners can exit the river if it gets too difficult. Special high flows of water are planned for Memorial Day, Labor Day and Fourth of July weekends. Call 719/583-2021 for more. DW

click to enlarge BRUCE ELLIOTT
  • Bruce Elliott

71. Drink like the Queen. Glen Eyrie Castle (Gen. Palmer's former residence) offers tours and teas every day. A ministry of the Christian Navigators, the Castle and Conference Center is just north of Garden of the Gods on 30th Street. You'll find a variety of tea programs and tours, including High Tea Monday through Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and Sunday at 11:30 a.m. Call 634-0808 for more. JNN

72. Chill out with God. Have the bells and whistles of commercialized religion got you down? If so, head to Crestone for genuine reflection on the Divine. This small town in the San Luis Valley is a spiritual haven for native tribes, a Carmelite monastery, lots of Buddhists and other faithfuls of the world. It's even a good place for antagonistic atheists to think about Godless philosophies in peace. Leave your biases at home and contemplate the wonder of creation in the tranquility of this beautiful place. AM

73. Mess with the metalheads. There's no better season than summer to engage in a civic duty, such as supporting a fellow denizen in his or her craft. Treasure hunters are one particular Springs genus that could benefit from some neighborly lovin'. So let's get those metal-sweeping doohickeys beepin' and some heart rates climbin'. Simply take a mixed handful of old jewelry, loose coinage, bottlecaps, or anything that "dings" when dropped, and bury it in your local park. Hey, it's all inevitably headed to the landfill anyway, right? It may as well elicit one more smile and curse-word along the way. MS

74. Ride the rapids. Charter a raft trip on the Arkansas River when you fancy to float the day away. Hit one of the many outfitters along the river, or charm your way into the graces of a skilled rafting chum. Try the Parkdale route (put in at Pinnacle Rock, take out at Parkdale Recreational Area) or the Brown's Canyon run (put in at Fisherman's Bridge, take out at Stone Bridge). To look up tourist skirts above Royal Gorge, put in at Parkdale Recreational Area and take out at Centennial Park. Remember: feet downstream, head upstream. MS

75. Get down all over town. Colorado Springs' Parks and Recreation department has an impressive lineup of FREE music for the summer. Find the City Auditorium's Sack Lunch Serenade every Thursday at noon, featuring organ music, silent films and vintage autos. Beginning in June, Acacia Park downtown will host visiting Army bands and local musicians at noon on Tuesdays for the Brown Bag Lunch Concert Series. Tons of options are available: jazz, rock, brass. Check out the calendars at www.springsgov.com starting the last week in May, and click on "Summer Concerts." JNN

76. Give of yourself. Springites who know that fun includes giving back to the community will find ample scope. Volunteer opportunities abound, and the need is as great as the rewards. To help the hungry, call Care and Share Food Bank: 528-1247 or the Marian House Soup Kitchen: 475-7314 ext. 11. To help hurt families, call TESSA's fund-raising line: 785-6809. To help seniors, call Silver Key: 632-1521 ext.138. To help animals, call 9 Lives Rescue: 591-4640 or Wild Forever: 475-9453. To help the environment, call the Catamount Institute: 471-0910 ext. 103. JNN

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77. Be repellent. Learn to make handcrafted lotion from all-natural ingredients at "Lotions and Potions for All Seasons," a Wellness and Health Class offered at the West Center for Intergenerational Learning (25 N. 20th St.) on Wednesday, July 20, 6:30-8:45 p.m., for only $8. The class, which also covers products that alleviate sunburn and dryness, is limited to 15 participants; registration deadline is July 12. For more information, call the School District 11 Community Education Office at 520-2384. RS

78. Make an Amenity Trail. If you can't make yourself get out to hike a trail, sign up to help restore or build one. Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado offers an extensive calendar of work dates, including an opportunity on June 4 and 5 to help build a 1-mile-long trail, the Cheyenne Mountain Amenity Trail at Colorado's newest state park, just south of Colorado Springs. The new trail will link a picnic area, event center and campgrounds to existing trails built in 2003 and 2004. Or travel up Ute Pass to Catamount Institute June 24-26 to learn how to become a volunteer crew leader. Visit www.voc.org or call 303/715-1010 to sign up for a project and see a complete list of trails projects across the state; they're ranked by physical difficulty for your convenience. KCE

79. Get medieval on their buttocks. Load up the family into ye olde station wagon and head to the 29th annual Renaissance Festival in Larkspur any Saturday or Sunday (rain or shine) between June 11 and July 31. The gates open at 10 a.m. and slam down like a guillotine at 6:30 p.m. Meet the rogues in tights, maidens-so-fair and wenches, plentiful wenches. Wash down a gigantic turkey leg with a big goblet of ale, and enjoy the songs, dance and comedy. Detour your coach to any King Soopers before you head out, and hook yeself up with some discount tickets. Bark "whoa" when Highway 172 is in view. Call 303/688-6010 for more. CSB

80. Rebel -- just like everyone else. What better way to celebrate the crazy days of summer than to dress in your black finery and throw yourself into a mosh pit full of angry youth? Heck, it's time for the Vans Warped Tour! Go for the Dropkick Murphys, but stay for Gogol Bordello -- rumor has it they put on a helluva show. The shindig is July 17 at Invesco Field in Denver. Visit any Ticketmaster outlet, or call 520-9090. KL

81. Forgo the ticket stub. Combine your love for movies with your need to spend a warm evening outdoors. Toss a blanket on the lawn and staple a few big white sheets to the side of your house to enjoy reels like Grease, Like Water for Chocolate or everybody's all-time fave, Throw Momma From the Train. Using a projector borrowed from a school or found at a yard sale, your summer movie night blends Anne Ramsey's dulcet voice ("Oooowennnn!") with the crickets' chirping. You sit back, watch and think, Man, ain't this the good life? AR

82. Mend a mountain. Wanna really get away from it all? Join the Rocky Mountain Field Institute's wilderness environmental service programs this summer at Crestone Needle and South Colony Lakes Basin in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness to repair and restore trails. Not for the faint of heart, these work camps are situated in the high country, well above 10,000 feet. Training in the ecology and natural history of the area along with food and outdoor equipment are provided. It costs you nothing and the rewards are, pardon the pun, high. Call 719/471-7736 or visit www.rmfi.org for more information. KCE

83. Get pickled tink In an ideal world, pickling would be a Nobel-worthy endeavor, with laureate wanna-bes vying for the crispest, sourest, most spine-meltingly wonderful pickle. Spend a few weeks learning the trade and honing your dill skills (find a few great recipes at

www.fabulousfoods.com <>), and take your entries to our world's version of pickle Nobel, the Colorado State Fair, taking place from Aug. 26 to Sept. 5 at the fairgrounds in Pueblo. AR

84. Stage a pitch invasion like they do in Europe. Whoever said soccer is for wimps and toothless hooligans should reverse course. Or at least think about it. Colorado Springs is home to a fourth division professional soccer team. The Blizzard play their first home game May 27, at 6:30 p.m., on Washburn Field at Colorado College (14 E. Cache La Poudre). Tickets are only $6, a season pass is $40 and admission is free for kids 10 and under. To round out the feel of being in Europe, take public transportation to the game and the free shuttle downtown to drink pints of lager afterward. Call 573-4876 for more. AM

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85. Get political, your community needs you. In the sad case that you haven't already, put away those election-fatigue blues and get ready for November 2005. Whether or not you think the School District 11 board meetings have become a joke; that D-11 should be able to raise and spend funds to renovate schools; or that the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights is strangling the state's economy, now is the time to get involved, get active and reinvigorate your community for the November 2005 elections. You can play your major-party part by signing on with the Republicans (www.gopelpaso.com) or the Democrats (www.peakdems.org), or go nonpartisan with Voters Network (www.votersnetwork.org). And for the TABORites out there, check out http://actcolorado.org or the Colorado Progressive Coalition's Tax Fairness Project (www.progressivecoalition.org). WY

86. Sashay through Springspree. Looking for a Springs' event that's not overtly political, welcomes everyone and, for all its cheesiness, is a lot of fun? The 'Spree is the annual, unofficial celebration of Colorado Springs, not to mention a chance to get in some primo people-watching as you flaunt open-container laws. On Saturday, June 18, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., head downtown and meander along Tejon Street. Sip on a beverage, check out various musical stages, jaw with your neighbors and marvel at the broad variety of tents and wares. Call 533-1216 for more info. WY

87. Become an easy rider. No offense, but scooters are the piglets of the cycling world: They're just not hogs. In the interest of avoiding a mod-style ass-whoopin', the sixth annual Movin' On Up scooter rally in Colorado Springs is something to behold. If you happen to be a fellow piglet-rider, er, scooterist, take time between June 10 and 12 to join in the festivities, hosted by the Peak Scooter Club. Their Web site,

www.peakscooterclub.com <>, will tell you more. KL

88. Skeeball addicts unite! Those with a penchant for competition without contact should race down to Manitou's Penny Arcade (900 block Manitou Avenue) for some good old-time fun. It has tons of games you can actually play for a penny or a nickel, as well as pinball, arcade games, a photo booth and the gaming god's best creation, skeeball. Save your tickets over the summer and get a mammoth prize that will impress your friends and neighbors. Call 685-9815 for more. SG

89. Practice the old wrist flick. One hour's escape from Colorado Springs lies a winding stretch of river that runs through many a fisherman's daydreams before it snakes out a narrow canyon. Rainbow trout abound in these waters and lucky anglers occasionally hook a glimpse of a native cutthroat. Cut your teeth in 11 Mile Canyon's (Take Highway 24 west and look for signs before Lake George) beginner-friendly water before trying your hand with the master casters over in Deckers. Nothing beats summer heat better than an excuse to stand in a cool mountain river. MS

90. Work that kilt. Great Scot! Spend a couple late summer days all kilted up at the Rocky Mountain Highland Games, taking place August 13-14 in Highlands Ranch. At this, the second year of an age-old tradition done Colorado-style, you and your tartan-clad loved ones will hear tons of Celtic music, catch rugby exhibitions, watch Highlands dancing, check out a parade of clans, and bagpipe your way into Scottish nirvana. Find more Gaelic goodness at

www.scottishgames.org or call 303/238-6524. AR

91. Fire it up. Break out the sparklers and head out early to land the best spot possible for watching Fourth of July fireworks -- unless, of course, you're lucky enough to live near one of the shows, in which case you should climb up on the roof, roll out the sleeping bag and pop open some micros. Memorial Park (1605 E. Pikes Peak Ave.) once again hosts the Springs' Fabulous Fourth (930-7851). Manitou lights up with Fireworks on Red Mountain (685-1544). Get a few hands of blackjack in before heading outside in Cripple Creek for its 2 Mile High 4th of July and Fireworks Show, complete with barbecue, music and cowboy poetry (689-3461). VM

92. Don't stop believin'. The '80s are still in. This summer's spread of concerts is proof that you can safely nurture your love for neon, off-the-shoulder sweatshirts, bangle bracelets and fanny packs for at least a few more months. OK, ditch the fanny packs. All of the concerts below can be reached through Ticketmaster at 520-9090.

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The Go-Go's, Paramount Theatre, Denver, May 27.

Judas Priest, Queensryche, Coors Amphitheatre, Englewood, June 29.

Whitesnake, Universal Lending Pavilion, Denver, July 3.

Pat Benatar, Universal Lending Pavilion, July 11.

Journey, Universal Lending Pavilion, Denver, Aug. 2.

Motley Crue, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, Aug. 6. SG

93. Snog in the back seat. Making out for hours is so ridiculously fun. And doing it in a car is even better -- almost clandestine, in a Cold War sort of way. Better your chances for some action by heading to one of our state's handful of cinema dinosaurs: drive-in theaters. Sites like

www.driveinmovie/CO.htm <> can show you the way to hot spots like the venerable Mesa Drive-in (2620 Santa Fe Drive, 719/542-3345) in Pueblo. Founded in 1950, it now has three screens for your double feature (or kissing) pleasure. KL

94. Dust off your fringe. Back in the early '80s, around the height of the Urban Cowboy trend, a group of gay guys with a love for two-steppin', tight jeans and bull riding congregated first at Denver's The Broadway, then at Charlie's, setting the stage and the standard for the Colorado Gay Rodeo Association. July 8, 9 and 10 mark their 23rd annual Rocky Mountain Regional Rodeo at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Golden, starting at 6 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. over the weekend. Expect high energy ridin' and ropin' and some Urban Cowboy-style struttin' in the after-hours. Call 303/333-4486 or visit www.cgra.net for more. KCE

95. Go thrifty racing. OK, here's the deal: It's a Saturday afternoon. It's sunny, 80 degrees, and you and your pals are careening past dog walkers and strollers on the first-ever Roller Tour de Shook's (an event of our own, and soon to be your, imagination). You've got your thrift-store roller skates, and you're making crazy time from the Old North End along the path in that narrow, pretty little park that runs just east of downtown. Safe? Nah. But your thirst for glory leaves no time for safety, and only the best can emerge victorious in this race. To the roller-winner go the roller-spoils. AR

96. Watch others bust a move. Some people's idea of dancing is something along the lines of a Hammer Time-era running man or perhaps a polite two-step. Step aside, Fellow Uncomfortably Doing the Cabbage Patch: Colorado College is hosting their Extraordinary Dance Festival Gala. The hullabaloo features alums performing ballet, American-Asian tribal fusion, acrobalance and other forms. It takes place on Saturday, July 9 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, July 10 at 1 p.m. in CC's Armstrong Theater. Tickets are $15. Call 389-6011 for more info. KL

97. Indulge your Inner Tennessee Williams. Learn to make a mean mint julep. Boil 2 cups sugar in 2 cups water for 5 minutes; pour into a covered container with 6-8 bruised mint sprigs, and refrigerate. Makes mint syrup for 44 juleps. Next day, add 1 tablespoon of syrup to a glass of crushed ice with 2 ounces of good Kentucky bourbon. Stir rapidly. Add a fresh mint sprig, and sip lazily from the nearest porch swing. RS

98. Focus on real families. It's comforting to know that on Sunday, July 17, the truly focused and familial folks of Colorado Springs will celebrate the city's 15th annual Pridefest. "Rainbow in the Rockies -- Out, Proud, Equal" is much like the previous Pride events, with a parade, beer garden, live entertainment, kids' activities and much more, including pre-Fest to-dos. To find out more about them and the traditional Acacia Park activities, call the Pikes Peak Gay and Lesbian Community Center at 471-4GAY. VM

99. Support local farmers and artisans. Purchase delicious produce and unique crafts at the Farm and Art Market. Shake hands and chat with the hardworking men and women who hold the front lines in the battle with mega-corporate food producers. Reattach yourself to our land by eating from our backyard. Personalize your food consumption and get to know a name and face rather than a neon bulb and bar code. Find the markets on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Confluence Park (126 Cimino Dr.); and Wednesdays from 4 to 7 p.m. at Manitou's Soda Springs Park (404 Manitou Ave. ). MS

100. Make love, not war. Helen Hunt Falls (Visitor's Center at 4075 N. Cheyenne Canyon Road) is a wonderful hike with a great scenic view at the top of the trail. It is also the perfect place to sneak in a little afternoon nookie. The stone wall at the top of the trail is just the right incline to rest your elbows on while you gaze at the boulder falls and majestic scenery. It's also a great vantage point of the trail that leads to the love nest, so you can scan for gawkers. Dress accordingly. AM

101. Pass on gas. If you haven't taken a ride on the downtown shuttle since its debut last summer, now is the perfect time. With gas prices, parking tickets and the sheer emotional cost of trying to find a parking spot, you can't argue with the price of a ride on the shuttle: It's free! Now you can go from the Pioneers Museum to Uncle Wilber fountain to the Fine Arts Center from the inside of a cool, clean (and green!) shuttle bus. Relax and watch the world go by. The shuttle runs hourly. For a map, visit www.springsgov.com and click on "Springs Transit." BLS

  • Whiling away the summer days in the Pikes Peak Region

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