Pike's Peak - Colorado Springs - 8/22/2006
 

This morning, despite my efforts to get out of the house early to get to Pike's Peak, it took us a while to get up and going.  I forget how many miles away Pikes Peak is from our warmshowers host family, but what I forgot to calculate in travel time in Colorado Springs is, everywhere you go, there are massive hills to climb.  After a lot of climbing here and there, it looked like we were going to missing the noon train to the top of Pike's Peak.  But somehow, we were able to get to the train depot (which, by the way, is a again uphill), Dave locked up our bikes while I ran inside to buy the tickets.  We were lucky that a woman ahead of us just returned 4 tickets or else I think our train would have been sold out!  Here we are on the train.

Beautiful mountain scenery up to the top.

More mountains.

The train we took was a cog train.  Here's what the tracks look like.

Near the top, it was freezing.  Lucky for us, Alan and Pat reminded us of how cold it is at 14,000 feet and gave us coats.

Here's what the cog train looks like going up the mountain.

Everyone was taking boring pictures of either just sitting or standing next to the elevation sign.  Not me, let's have some fun with the sign.

Apparently no bikes are allowed up here (or at this point).  I think it was just this one area.  Lots of people noticed our cycling clothes and asked if we biked all the way to the top.  No way, man.  From 6000 feet to 14000 in one day, no thanks.

View from the top.  Too bad it was cloudy or else I think you can see 4 states from the top.

I got headachy at the top.  Altitude sickness?  Not sure.  I was very light headed.  I suppose going from 6000 feet to 14000 feet in one day will do that to you.  Here I am pretending to fly.

Back by the train before we boarded to go back down.

At the bottom of the mountain is Manitou Springs (neighborhood).  There are all these live mineral springs that you can drink from.  After tasting a few, I filled up my water bottle with the best tasting water.  It kind of tasted like Pierre bubbly water.

After Pike's Peak and Manitou Springs, we headed for the Garden of the Gods.  It's this amazing park donated by some rich guy (who requested it stay free forever) with amazing rock formations.  Here's one called Balancing Rock.

More huge rocks.

Dave being silly with a rock.  Look at the size of the rock in comparison to Dave.

All these rocks had names to them but I forget.

This one is called Prayer or something like that.  Doesn't it look like hands praying?

Back at home, we went to the local Safeway where of course it required up and down some massive hills.  For some reason, when going to Safeway, we just stayed on one road.  But coming back, we somehow got lost.  Although going there was just one road, what we we failed to notice was it merged with other roads so when coming back and we got to a Y intersection, we unfortunately made the wrong turn.  After a bit, I was able to feel our way back home.

At home, I made a lovely dinner of seared salmon, roasted potatoes, a salad and some bread.  Delicious.

After dinner, Dave stayed with another warm showers family because this other family just came back from a 13-month cycling tour and he was very interested in their travels.  I was content staying settled in a nice mansion.