September 16th – Pike’s Peak

     Louis and I planned to drive up Pike’s Peak this morning, so we were excused from helping with the yard work. I suppose we abused our freedom though because we spent the morning sleeping in rather than driving. Finally, a little before noon, we got into the car and started on our way.

     We enjoyed a beautiful drive to the base of the peak. The leaves have just started changing on some of the trees around here, so the sun makes the hillsides glow green with streaks of bright yellow cutting through.

     At the bottom of the peak is a toll booth. I knew we would have to pay to get in, and I figured that the fifteen dollar vehicle admission fee was better than the forty-four dollar fee to ride the railway up the mountain.

     At the top, Louis and I put on our heavy winter coats before getting out to explore. The wind whipped right through my coat as if it weren’t even there. My car said that the temperature was only forty-two degrees, but the wind made it feel at least ten degrees colder.

      Eventually, the air got too cold for me and we went back to the car, ready to begin the descent. And then we changed our minds and got back out. There was one store at the top, called the Summit House, and we wanted to check it out. We found that most things were expensive (of course), but we were hungry. We passed up the seven dollar chicken sandwiches for one dollar “world famous” donuts and three dollar cappuccinos.

     After enjoying these goodies, we began our descent for real. Well, we did still have one more stop to make. Marie told us we should take a walk on the Elk Park Trail which is about a mile down the road from the top of the mountain. We had looked for it on the way up but didn’t see it. Her description hadn’t done much to get me excited about finding the place. She said, “You’ll see a white marker sticking up out of the ground slightly to the left of the road. Drive straight toward that marker until you drive off the edge of the mountain. Once you’re over the edge, you’ll see that there’s actually a dirt road under your tires, and you won’t fall thirteen thousand feet to the ground.”

     Those were her directions for approaching the trail from below. Finding it from above turned out to be very easy and much less terrifying. As I drove around a bend in the mountain, I saw the dirt road connect to the main road that I was driving on, and I just had to do a quick U-turn to get onto it.

     A few hundred feet down the road, we saw the trailhead and found a place to park. Louis and I got out and followed the trail for about three-quarters of a mile. I didn’t notice that the path sloped downhill until we started back uphill to return to the car. It was just a short walk, but by the time I made it back to the top, I was winded. Maybe it was the thin air, or maybe I need to start exercising again!

     We made it back to The Mansion around 3:30 P.M. Louis had to be back at the airport at 5 P.M. tonight for his flight back to Brea, so we went out for an early dinner at Culver’s. I’d driven past a couple of these fast-food restaurants so far during my stay in Colorado. Their advertisements highlight their “frozen custard” and “butterburgers.” I tried a butterburger. It was good but tasted just like any other decent hamburger to me. I still want to try their frozen custard though.

     After dinner, we made it to the airport on time and dropped Louis off at his terminal. Lou, Valli, and I went back to The Mansion and concluded the night with two games of Sequence (a board game where you place tokens on the board based on the cards in your hand and attempt to be the first player to make a row of five tokens), and two games of Cribbage (a card game in which you gain points from various combinations of the cards in your hand, and try to be the first player to a hundred-twenty points).

     Tomorrow is Sunday, so we won’t be working in the morning. I won’t sleep in quite as late as I did today though.

2 thoughts on “September 16th – Pike’s Peak

  1. Very nice adventure, I could feel your excitement through your words. I would definitely like to take a trip up th e
    Piles peak.

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