If you take a drive down the magically windy roads through Garden of the Gods; beautiful red rock spires, which are backdropped by the majestic Pikes Peak (14,410 ft.) and you will find yourself in the small town of Manitou Springs, Colorado. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been enchanted by this little hippie town. I used to beg my great uncle Steve to tell me stories of Manitou in the 60s; love, happiness, of sleeping in the caverns of the Gardens and living the carefree artisan life. Still today, taking a walk down the main streets of Manitou is like stepping back in time… there never fails to be a hippie to great you with a peace sign and a big loving smile.
Since the 1870s, Native Americans, and later, hippies were drawn to Manitou seeking the healing properties of the natural mineral springs in the area. There are currently 10 of the 11 original mineral water fountains located around town. This fizzy, cool water is laced with such trace metals as iron, magnesium, and lithium, and runs free to the public. Each of these fountains possess a unique mineral combination, believed to treat different kinds of ailments. My favorite fountain, Ute Chief Spring, a bronze statue of an intriguing looking Ute Indian Chief, unfortunately not longer runs. Next door, The Ute Chief bottling company opened in 1893, to bottle and send this “miracle,” mineral water around the world. When my grandmother was just a little girl, she drank soda, which was naturally carbonated from the bottling plant. Michael and I had so much fun exploring the town to sip from each of these historic fountains.
Ute Chief Spring Shoshone Spring, 1890s
Navajo Spring Cheyenne Spring House
7 Minute Spring, 1909 Stratton Spring, 1936
Wheeler Spring Iron Spring Geyser, 1910
Twin Spring, 1920s Soda Spring
Folk music, mineral water and the smell of my favorite popcorn from Patsy’s all bring back memories of my childhood.
I NEVER make a trip to Colorado with out visiting my favorite pizza dive, Maryiln Monroe’s pizza. These happy hippies sure know how to make good pie. Simple fresh ingredients and my favorite pink lemonade, made with Manitou sparkling, spring water
Lively eccentric personalities, an old fashioned penny arcade, fresh caramel corn and funnel cakes, make this quaint little town what many call, “The Hippie Mayberry.”
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 10 lemons)
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen)
3 cup water sparkling mineral water (San Pellegrino will work!)
Combine 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar in a small saucepan, bring to a boil. Once sugar is dissolved, you have a simple syrup! Allow syrup to cool. In a blender combine lemon juice and blackberries, puree. Strain berry mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove any small seeds. In a pitcher combine berry puree and simple syrup, chill. When ready to serve, fill a 2 quart pitcher with ice, berry lemonade mixture and top with your favorite mineral water. Or store berry lemonade mixture in a mason jar and prepare by the cup.