Friday, May 01, 2015

Pikes Peak, Colorado

View from Pikes Peak at 14,115 feet elevation

Driving to Colorado Springs across the mountain pass was our first real mountain encounter this trip. Snow covered peaks, but the road was fine. We tried going into the Garden of the Gods, but the entrance was too small to get thru. Gigantic rocks on both sides of the road that only a small car could get between. There must be another entrance.

Pikes Peak or Bust . . .
We, however, did make it to the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. How fortunate we were that this was the first day you could get up on Pikes Peak in quiet a while. The road itself was closed and I wouldn't have wanted to drive it anyway in our RV. What a trip that was . . . well worth the cost.  I think it was a 2.5 hr trip up and back down on the train. Snow drifts were as high as 10-12 foot high on top of the peak. We passed banks of snow where all you could see was snow out the windows (no landscape at all). It really wasn't all that cold there and the wind was not blowing, but the oxygen was so thin that we both had trouble breathing. The worst thing for me was trying to walk. I could not make my legs move. No oxygen going to the muscles had them aching so bad that I could only walk about 10 ft at a time and I had to stop till I could get them moving again. But I was able to get a few great pictures from the ride up as well as pics from the top.

The cog railway at the base of Pikes Peak

Guy and the bright red cog train

Guy inside our train . . . beautiful old woodwork inside

Me as I step out into the snow at top of Peak

Making my way through the snow . . . stopping every 10 feet to let my legs rest.

Made it!

And to show it's majesty, The first draft of " America the Beautiful " was written in a notebook during the summer of 1893, by Katherine Lee Bates as she was teaching English at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The original poem entitled "Pikes Peak" (1893) per wikipedia

O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife,
When once or twice, for man's avail,
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain,
The banner of the free!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!

Pikes Peak View

Cog Railway at Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak View

Lake Moraine from atop Pikes Peak

As we left Pikes Peak, we drove across some very steep mountain ranges to make our way to I-70 and spent the night at an Avon, CO Walmart. I-70 has some of the most magnificent scenery in the US. I have said before that if I were to live in another state besides NC, it would have to be Colorado. And I still concur. If you want to visit the most majestic place close to God . . . Colorado is it!

 I will leave you with a few glimpses of Colorado . . .

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