Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pikes Peak

While Kim and Randy were in The Springs, we decided that going to the top of Pikes Peak, America's Mountain, was a must.
David was the only one of the 4 of us who had been before and he had driven up.
The other 3 of us decided that we would prefer going up on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. After all, it has been running for over 110 years with no serious accidents.
On a bright sunny morning, we boarded the train in the little town of Manitou Springs and I must say, the sights exceeded my wildest imagination! What a loving God to create such beauty for us to enjoy!
Although these pictures definitely show the beauty of the sights we viewed, they don't even begin to compare to the real thing.
The conductor on the rail car we rode was a delightful college student studying to be a lawyer. She taught us many things and made us all laugh and have fun in the process. There was only one time when I felt a little nervous (I am afraid of heights), but it was worth a little fear to see such beauty.
The temperature at the bottom of the mountain was about 80-85 degrees. As you can see from this photo, the temperature at the peak was not quite so warm--34 degrees. However, since the sun was shining and the winds were not too high (they can sometimes exceed 100 MPH), we were able to survive the cold. Hot chocolate and special high altitude donuts helped.

Did you know that the song America the Beautiful was written after a trip up Pikes Peak? Katharine Lee Bates was a guest lecturer at Colorado College and she and fellow professors made a trip up Pikes Peak in a wagon. She was so inspired by the view, as have been millions of people since then, that she wrote, America the Beautiful. The song was in the running to be the national anthem, but The Star Spangled Banner was that honor on March 3, 1931. Many people have said that America the Beautiful would be a better choice because it is so much easier for the common person to sing.


Debi said...

Looks like you had a fabulous time with Kim and Randy. I did not know about American the Beautiful and its Colorado connection. I've been to Pikes Peak twice, but I'd love to come back.

Karen said...

Debi, I'd love for you to come back.

BR said...

I've never been to Pike's Peak! When we come visit someday, we will have to take the train! Unless Cliff insists on hiking the thing. Perhaps we can meet in the middle and hike one way and ride the other way. Oooh - that sounds fun! I'm guessing people do that?

Karen said...

I think you can take the train up to the halfway point and then hike the rest of the way. On the tour, they told about a man who hiked to the top on a Saturday and on the next day, ran the Pikes Peak Marathon. Ask Cliff if he is up for that?