MANITOU SPRINGS — In our exclusive new series Adventures with Alan, we'll travel across Southern Colorado week-by-week to show you thrills and chills, hidden gems and well-known spots.
In search of the mineral water that helped put Manitou Springs on the map, our adventure this week begins at Seven Minute Spring Park.
It's here we meet up with self-proclaimed water enthusiast Don Goede, who's also a board member with the Mineral Springs Foundation.
Before we get started, Goede shares with us a few items that he picked up from the Chamber of Commerce.
He says that it's a good idea to check in with them first before you start your tour.
"And you can get a little cup. They give you this wonderful little cup and you can go around and try them first because everyone is so distinct and so different," said Goede.
The water comes out of a font. In town, you'll find eight decorated fonts corresponding to the eight different types of mineral water.
With cup in hand, we try our first taste of water from the Seven Minute Spring.
"This one doesn't have as much carbonation as most of the others. That's why a lot of people actually do like it," said Goede.
The Seven Minute Spring is also one of the most popular.
With Goede as our guide, we travel around Manitou to sample the different types of water.
Some are smooth, some naturally carbonated, but all are believed to provide certain healing properties.
According to Goede, the Shoshone Spring has the highest alkalinity of all of the waters and is considered to be one of the healthiest too.
I give it a proper taste and find it to be refreshing and nice.
From one of my favorites to one that Goede jokes tastes like blood, we try the Iron Spring Geyser next.
The Iron Geyser is aptly named because its iron content is through the roof, and it tastes way different than the others.
Another spring, the Cheyenne Mountain Spring is centrally located in town and is probably one of the most popular. It goes down much more smoothly than the Iron Geyser water.
The water in town comes from a porous underground aquifer and each has a distinct taste.
Some I think are better than others, but as for the most popular, we ask Goede for his take.
"I've lived here about 17 years. I've noticed that different types of people go to different fonts," said Goede.
Goede also says that the water contains natural electrolytes and can compete with some of the top brands on the market.
The best part about Manitou's mineral water...it's all free!
"We have millions and millions of gallons of this water underneath us available for free throughout Manitou, up to 8 fonts and you can fill up pretty much as much as you want," said Goede.
But you won't find water from Manitou Springs in stores, at least not right now.
"Hopefully next time we talk you'll be able to get a bottle of Manitou water, and in the meantime, you can just load up yourself which is kind of great too," said Goede.
If you're interested in coming to Manitou Springs to try out all the different types of mineral water, I recommend starting here first - Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce.