Happy Trails CO15: Pike’s Peak

Sis and I, sans makeup or hair-do, ventured out the other day. -mention due to photos of us being less than Glamourous She has an obsession with TinyHouses. The ones she’s interested in are legally RVs. We visited one of the few manufacturers, which happens to be in ‘The Springs.’ -Colorado Springs

Manitou Springs is at the base of the mountain whose summit is Pike’s Peak. I’ve been to MS before, on a clear and sunny day when you couldn’t see Pike’s Peak due to the clouds obscuring it.

Arriving at the summit:

Pike’s Peak is another ’14er’ — I visited Mt. Evans’ summit a couple of years ago and I believe Colorado has 10 mountains which break the 14,000 feet high mark (far above the timberline). That’s approaching 3 miles high…

Powerful storms moved in from the mountains to The Springs while we were there. As usual, you couldn’t see Pike’s Peak. At 17h, we decided to go up the mountain -wasn’t planned or I’d have dressed appropriately…maybe but first I rang up the ranger’s office to make sure it was passable (since the daily recording was from that morning and we were in that storm I mentioned?). They said the storms had passed them and it was clear. Off we went! It’s currently $12 per person to enter the Pike National Park. I found a $2 off coupon and flashed it from my iPhone at the entrance.

The drive up the mountain (not that I was driving) was sooooooooo much easier than Mt. Evans. Switchbacks only get a little hairy your last couple of thousand feet (elevation, not sure how many miles that equals…probably a few but you’re going slowly).

See how nice this road is?

The last 1,000 feet, we entered the clouds but it wasn’t a storm, just your usual cloaking. We were surprised — though you’ve all heard how quickly clouds completely blind pilots or mountaineers — that in the space of 2 seconds, I went from seeing 1/4 mile to none, to 1 mile to none, etc.

Taking it all in, including the Cock Train:

 

Pike's Peak ColdIt was about 90F / 32C in The Springs and 40F / 4C (after the blah-blah on the above video, I asked one of the workers) at Pike’s Peak. Hence the cutesy sign and our fine acting skillz, which wasn’t our fine acting skills alone.

Pike's Peak Cog Train TrackI leapt onto the Cog Train track at the top because I have a sort of train fetish. Don’t get too excited, not actually a fetish but I spazz.

Sis — in spite of me trying to get her to fuel the vehicle before we took off — nearly ran out of petrol on the mountain. We COASTED out of the park in Neutral or granny gear when needing to slow. Believe it or not, we got out and there’s a filling station…

::sounds of angels::

But they were OUT OF FUEL. Adventure!

We made it to the next but being on switchbacks in a National Forest road coming off Pike’s Peak without fuel? Adventure!

When paying admittance, they tell you to SAVE YOUR RECEIPT: it will a) be good for admittances over the next 7 days OR b) you can apply that fee (on your receipt) to a yearly pass…if you buy it within 7 days.

Sis kept lost all the receipts. I asked after the second time, ‘Would you like me to hold onto it?’ Her response, ‘I need things pinned to me like a little kid?’ So, she paid for each park admittance, which would’ve paid for more than an annual pass. Adventure!

Manitou Springs DispensaryWhen we got down to Manitou Springs, a powerful storm moved in with lots of lightning, which was fun to watch and even more fun to celebrate as we’d made it on fumes OFF the mountain before having to deal with that, as well. As a bonus, the shop you see in this photo is one of Colorado’s fine recreational marijuana shops. They’re everywhere! It’s right next to the filling station where we were.

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2 thoughts on “Happy Trails CO15: Pike’s Peak

    • The drive is absolutely stunning (as is Mt. Evans but less freak-out-ful) — til you get lost in a cloud. And yes, it was COOL 😀 You’re welcome!

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