Mountain Views at Fourteen Thousand Feet

After a great day at the Royal Gorge we wanted to continue our views of the mountains, so we headed up to Manitou Springs to catch the Cog Railway up to the summit of Pikes Peak.

I was not sure how we would handle the altitude, but we all went for it anyways.

Fact:  It was cold and windy up there, but we packed hats and gloves.

Truth:  It was Antarctica cold up there and we had NO IDEA what cold really was until it nearly smacked us off the mountain.

But with smiles on our faces, we naively set off on the railroad up the mountain.

The views were truly spectacular as we passed waterfalls, homes, abandoned cabins and a hotel.

We came across the old section house at twelve thousand feet called Windy Point.  The section crew chief and his wife lived in the home which was the door to the left, and section crew lived in the house to the right.  They LIVED up here.  Yes, you read that correctly.  And if that wasn’t enough, the wife of the section crew chief did all the cooking, but that’s not all she did.  SHE GAVE BIRTH up here in that house.  That little boy is now 93 years old and lives with his family in Utah.

Important note:  I could NEVER be that woman.

Views from the top!

It was very windy and Antarctica cold up top.  Wind gusts were up to 70 mph plus it was 4 degrees which made it even more severe than Antarctica cold.

One of the monuments atop Pikes Peak is a tribute to Katherine Lee Bates.  In 1893, Katherine took a carriage ride  to the summit of Pikes Peak and that evening penned a poem that is eventually set to music and is now known as the classic anthem, America the Beautiful.

One of my favorite things on the summit of Pikes Peak were the fresh high altitude  donuts.  I just ate one.  Ok, I may have tasted two.  Ok, maybe I nibbled on another one on the way down.  Ok, maybe I picked on a fourth before dinner, but I’ll never admit it.  Never.

Safe back in the railcar and ready to head down the mountain, I look at my punk and his face is splattered with hot chocolate from the wind on the mountain.  Despite having a lid, the wind still whipped it straight out of the cup!  It seriously took our breath away.  Well that and the lack of oxygen of being at 14, 115 feet.

On the way down, we found Bob Hope.  Do you see him?

Not wanting to end the evening yet, we went and played some tennis.

Even after a few quick tennis games, we still weren’t done with our day.  Come back tomorrow to see how we wrapped up our trip!  I’m so glad you’ve come along with us so far!

If you’d like more information about the history of Pikes Peak, click here.

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