July 6, 2009
Thanks for humoring me, with all the photos! Some of this is just for me, to remember the moments because I didn't think to take a travel journal with me!
After we went to Royal Gorge in the morning, we set out in the direction of the Garden of the Gods. We originally wanted to go to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, but decided that we didn't have enough time, and also that we were spending a lot of entrance fees that day. Looking back, I wish we would have went ahead and gone there.
Either way, Garden of the Gods is beautiful, it's much like the Red Rocks Park. There's a large visitor center and a road that you can drive through the park. There's also a trading post, which we did not stop at. I'm assuming the typical souvenirs were there.
"It was August of 1859 when two surveyors started out from Denver City to begin a town site, soon to be called Colorado City. While exploring nearby locations, they came upon a beautiful area of sandstone formations. M. S. Beach, who related this incident, suggested that it would be a "capital place for a beer garden" when the country grew up. His companion, Rufus Cable, a "young and poetic man", exclaimed, "Beer Garden! Why it is a fit place for the Gods to assemble. We will call it the Garden of the Gods." It has been so called ever since."
Off from there, we went to Pikes Peak!
We debated (briefly) driving to the top, and man I'm glad we didn't do that. Instead, we chose to take the Cog Railway. If you choose to take this route, be sure to check for coupons on their site. Because of this, we reversed the order of our day, and went late. I wouldn't recommend the 5:20 that we took. It's a 3 hour trip, and when we got back, sun was setting and it was getting very chilly (even for July).
I'm not complaining, the up side was the train was only 3/4 full, so we were able to spread out.
approximately. The conductor was very informative and showed us tons of landmarks I don't remember from when we rode the train in 97.
I was so excited! I told Gene when we left the bottom, I better see something other than ground squirrels or bunny rabbits. I really wanted to see something that ate meat for a living, but no such luck I did see these tho:
Complete with purdy lil' collars.
Complete with purdy lil' antlers.
They look little. (the antlers and the elk)
hella impressed with it. You see, it kind of symbolizes two modes of transportation to the top of Pikes Peak. On the left, you can see the cog tracks. On the right, those faint lines, those are not run off, or creeks, those are the actual tracks from wagons from a hundred years ago!
The grass at this altitude grows at a rate of 1" to 3" per *100 years*. It can grow up to a foot tall. This is why you can see foot traffic from so long ago. It could take in theory, up to 1200 years to disappear.
This is why also, don't pick the grass at the top of Pikes Peak.
flip flops, but I did remember a jacket this time! In the past, going into the gift shop really helped me, but this time, walking in I just felt super light headed and did much better outside.
I was very happy to head back down the mountain.
When I was at the top, I saw these young ppl talking. They were looking at an energy bar package. The girl said "Look at this! At the bottom, it was tight around the bar." It was completely puffed up, and about to pop. That really got me to thinking about air pressure and the effect it has on your body. I said to Gene "imagine what it does to your eyeballs." to which he pointed out he'd woken up with bloodshot eyes every single day.
We'd bought a package of chips in Denver to have on the way home. It was puffed up and looks like it was about to burst. Half way across Kansas, it was very deflated.
I never realized how much I wanted to be pressurized. ;P
I also wonder how much less I weighed at the top of Pikes Peak. I'm rethinking this Missouri thing.