Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My first Fourteener!

After that great hike with local guide Bryan
I decided to really test myself
and do Pike's peak.
All 14,110 feet of it.
Way up there.
That's it. The one with all the snow on it.
Way up there.

And I just hiked 8 miles in the "foothills"
at 7,000-8,000 feet.

Common sense prevailed
 and I took the Cog Railway.

Traveled in style up the side of the mountain.

Saw some big horn sheep in the scree (rocky area above the timber line)
but passed them before I could take a photo.

The temperature difference between
Colorado Springs and the top of Pikes Peak
was 60 degrees.
A bit chilly.
Before our train car could go up, they had to
send the plow to clear the tracks of snow.

Here I am, shivering at the peak.
Take the picture, quick, before my hands freeze!
(Where were my gloves???)
I am wearing my Cardinals hat in celebration of their win Friday night.
And because it was cold!
I think the temperature was 4 degrees, with wind chills in the negatives.
But so beautiful!

I completely understand why this view inspired Katherine Lee Bates
to pen the poem-to-become song
America the Beautiful.

As much as I enjoyed Colorado Springs and the mountains there,
it was time to move on to my other target:
Rocky Mountain National Park.

But first, a quick look at the kitschy motels lining the road in
Maniteau Springs at the base of the mountain:

I think there were about 20 of these throw-back-to-the 50's motels.
So cool.

I got to stay in a similar bit of nostalgia a few nights later.
It had a REAL key!
I'll share more later, gotta go cheer on my Cardinals now.

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