Dealing With Covid-19 Through Santa Fe and Colorado Springs

Recently, in June 2020, my wife and I ventured on our first real trip in months. Our June trip to Paris had been cancelled, so we decided to take a road trip from The Woodlands, Texas to visit our son in Colorado Springs.

Historic Royal Gorge Bridge over the Arkansas River in Colorado, USAThe historic Royal Gorge Bridge over the Arkansas River in Colorado, USA 
Shutterstock Royalty-free photo ID: 1552145723

The short list of changes we made in our behavior were:

  • Facemasks anytime we were in a public space
  • Social distancing, always doing our best to maintain at least six feet of social distancing
  • Frequent washing of hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Constantly checking with destinations for closures, different operating hours, and specific restrictions
  • Making reservations, even at places that had not normally required reservations in the pre-covid world
  • Dealing with frustrations when we were not able to see some popular places that were closed or fully booked with their limited capacities

Santa Fe

La Fonda Hotel entrance on the Plaza in Santa Fe La Fonda Hotel on the Plaza in Santa Fe © Scott Kendall

After our first full day of driving, we stayed two nights at the wonderful La Fonda Hotel on the Plaza, the only hotel in Santa Fe located on the main plaza. At the time we checked in, La Fonda was limited to 50% capacity. In the restaurant, they had moved tables and chairs to increase the distance between diners, and reservations were recommended, but not required. All staff and guests were required to wear masks (except when eating, of course). Public spaces and guest rooms were disinfected throughout the day, and housekeeping was only provided on an as requested basis.

This beautiful historic hotel in Santa Fe, that dates back to the 1920, is on the same site as several other hotels in this location since the original one was built in 1609. Often referred to as the grand dame of Santa Fe, La Fonda is the only hotel located on the Plaza.

La Plazuela the La Fonda restaurantLa Plazuela the La Fonda restaurant © Scott Kendall

La Plazuela, the in-house restaurant, was open, but with limited capacity. Tables were spread out further than normal and reservations were recommended, but not requirement. To enter the restaurant, customers were required to wear masks. The wait staff provided baggies to put masks in while guests were eating.

La Fonda Hotel outdoor terrace with view of St Francis of AssisiLa Fonda Hotel outdoor terrace is open with view of St. Francis of Assisi @ Scott Kendall

One of the things La Fonda did to maximize social distancing was to open the previously private third floor terrace to diners and those wanting to have a drink outside. Patrons were greeted with a gorgeous view of St. Francis of Assisi Basilica and the surrounding area.

Colorado Springs

5 happy climbers sitting on red bolder in Colorado Garden of the GodsGarden of the Gods with Pikes Peak in the background 
on our Segway Tours © Scott Kendall

Colorado Springs is one of our favorite Colorado cities. There are so many great outdoor activities to enjoy, making it a great choice during this period of social distancing. We started with a Segway Tour of Garden of the Gods. We had a small group of five, and “Mountain Man,” our guide, was great with leading our group while maintaining social distancing. The Welcome Center and the Trading Post at Garden of the Gods were also very good at setting up to safely accommodate visitors.

Welcome sign at Gorden of the Gods, ColoradoWelcome sign at Garden of the Gods © Scott Kendall

Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs

It was exciting to see the new Olympic and Paralympic Museum near downtown, scheduled to open this summer. The modern, high tech facility will provide visitors with a fascinating insight into more than 12,000 athletes who have proudly represented our nation. The downtown area was fun to walk through, with interesting architecture and lots of shops and restaurants. Most were open for business with limited capacity. Unfortunately, the Pioneer Museum downtown was one of the facilities closed during our visit.

Olympic and Paralympic Museum to open the summer of 2020Olympic and Paralympic Museum to open the summer of 2020 © Scott Kendall

White Water Rafting the Royal Gorge with Colorado Jeep Tours

Just an hour southwest of Colorado Springs, Colorado Jeep Tours in Canon City offers a wide variety of fun outdoor activities, including Jeep Tours, Whitewater Rafting, Wine Tours, Ziplining, and other fantastic outdoor activities in the beautiful Royal Gorge area.

Whitewater rafting the Royal Gorge with Colorado Jeep ToursWhitewater rafting the Royal Gorge with Colorado Jeep Tours © Scott Kendall

We covered about ten miles on our two hour float down the Arkansas River through the scenic Royal Gorge. With the water at mid-levels, we hit 23 rapids, mostly class 3 and class 4. Waves were fast moving and big, and the scenery fantastic, providing endless thrills. Our guide Abel, a veteran of 10 years on the water, was awesome – knowledgeable, funny, and helpful.

Royal Gorge River rafting guide with two people in boat on the riverAbel, our guide, has ten years of rafting experience in the Royal Gorge © Scott Kendall

Yes, travel has changed during the pandemic. However, if you do your research, you can still find plenty of exciting adventures wherever you travel.

About Scott Kendall, Scott Kendall Travels

Scott Kendall is a writer, photographer, and videographer based in The Woodlands, Texas. Scott has written numerous articles covering Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, England, and France in Europe and many articles covering the Texas Hill Country, Colorado, Washington State, Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York, New Orleans, Lake of the Ozarks, and other areas in the US. He has been published in EuropeUpClose, International Living, Links & Libations, MilesGeek, Touring Bird, Airguides, Travel Writer's Cafe, and other publications. His website with links to his articles can be found at; contact Scott at via email at [email protected].

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