On Being Stationed At Fort Carson, Colorado

On Being Stationed At Fort Carson
Happy to have this guest post by Janna on Ft. Carson, Colorado. Please visit my Duty station guest post page for posts on other locations or more information about how you can write a guest post about where you have been stationed. 

Hello everyone! I’m Janna from Perception Is Everything where you will find my attempt at finding some normalcy while living the military life. Mostly I talk about everyday things, my soldier, our newborn, and a little bit about my interest in health and nutrition every now and then, so basically…it’s your typical ‘lifestyle’ blog. I’m actually from a military town {Pensacola, FL}, moved to South Florida because I swore that I would never marry a military guy,  and yet now I wouldn’t trade it for anything. If you have any questions about NAS, Whiting Field, Eglin AFB, Fort Gordon, or Fort Rucker, I can help with those as well, and if you have any information on Fort Bragg, please pass it my way (jannabogert@yahoo.com),because that is where we are headed this Fall!

For today, I’m happy to share my experience from Fort Carson, Colorado with you. We knew how lucky we were when we received orders for Fort Carson as our first duty station, but it was still more incredible than we could have ever imagined. We were there for a little over three years and I cherish every moment! I could go on and on for days, but considering this is a guest post, I’ll try to hit the important topics.

First things first, Where To Live:

This can be daunting since not only is Fort Carson huge, the town of Colorado Springs is EVEN bigger. The housing on post varies from old townhomes (nice on the inside, but leaves something to be desired on the outside) up to very nice new homes. I believe the old townhomes are reserved for those without dependents other than S/O, though, and from what I understand the schools are pretty great. However, as with living off post, you have to consider where your spouse is working. My husband worked at the Wilderness Complex on the South end of Colorado. We lived in Fountain, CO, so it only took him fifteen minutes to get to work through the back gate, whereas his buddy lived on the North end of post and it took him up to thirty minutes to get to work driving through post, and even worse, a friend that lived off Powers North had almost an hour commute each way. So basically, you can live anywhere you want in Colorado Springs as long as you avoid Academy Blvd and parts of downtown, but make sure you know where the soldier will be working to estimate the commute before committing. Also, it’s a little known fact that you can live on Peterson AFB, so keep that in mind as well! Oh, and one more important note…some of the older houses around town do not have air conditioning. We chose a house based on ridiculously low rent and SURPRISE…no AC. However, it was a blessing in disguise, because we had ridiculously low utilities and a small window unit was enough to get us through the Colorado summers.

About The Area:
There are FIVE Military Installations in Colorado Springs, so it is a very transient town.  The good news is that this also lends to a lot of support from the community.  There are always “Welcome Home Soldiers” signs everywhere, the news is flooded with support of our soldiers, and we also get some pretty good discounts 😉 Summer is FULL of festivals and Farmer’s Markets. We attended Territory Days, Wild West Festival, and every Farmer’s Market I could find.  There are also many music festivals, a Renaissance Festival, and there’s a little town at the foot of Pike’s Peak called Manitou Springs that has shenanigans going on all the time. You could hike every weekend and still not cover the trails, and in winter you can sled, tube, snowshoe, ski and snowboard to continue the outdoor life. Fort Carson MWR even makes all of the activities affordable by offering discounts, trips, and adventures year around.
Favorite Activities:

Pike’s Peak Drive or ride the Cog Railway up to the top for amazing views and specialty donuts that can only be made at 14,000 feet!

Visit the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, which happens to be the only zoo located on a Mountain in the world! The views are incredible and the experience is awesome!
Breckenridge, Colorado was our favorite ski town. It was fun, laid back, family friendly but always a party, and budget friendly compared to others.
It’s hard to find water sources around the Springs, but head down to the Pueblo Reservoir to cool off. You can hang out on the beach, rent boats, ski/wakeboard, camp, and take in a desert paradise. It’s totally worth the 45 minute drive.

Favorite Restaurants:

 Obviously, I could talk about this state for DAYS, but I can’t hijack Julie’s blog. I just hope that this can help anyone with the fortune of getting stationed here, and I hope it eases anyone’s mind that might be apprehensive of the cold or being landlocked. Other than having to get used to the altitude (Colorado Springs is at 6,000 feet), possibly living without AC, driving in snow, and inevitably having to drive through the mountains (still scares me), it is a mountain paradise. Enjoy all the seasons, and even on the days when a blizzard comes, remember that it will probably melt in a day or two because Colorado has over 300 days of sun a year. Thanks for reading!
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  4. I am being assigned to Fort Carson in a few weeks and I am wondering how the life would be for me, an active soldier. This would be my first duty station and I want to prepare myself for everything that could come my way.

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