Friday, October 28, 2005

Colorado Springs - Pikes Peak Hwy

It was a hard decision: drive up Pikes Peak Hwy or take the Pikes Peak Cog Railway to the summit. Since the Cog's regular service stopped this past Sunday, and we thought we would want to stop at several points along the way, we decided to drive. It's a 19-mile long road. Only about half of it is dirt. The first 10 miles is not difficult at all. You drive through forests and it's a gradual incline. But you could see the switchbacks in the distance, so you could imagine how the road was apt to change.

Then it got fun! Once we were above treeline, the road generally had some steep dropoffs, switchbacks, and no guardrails, of course.

There were fabulous views near the summit. It is something to see a line of snow-capped mountains running north to south as far as the eye could see. The Rocky Mountains are dramatic.

Pikes Peak is one of Colorado's 53 fourteeners. And it's only the 31st highest at 14,110'. Mt. Elbert is the highest at 14,433', so actually they are all very close in size to eachother.

The Summit House, the cafe at the Summit, has these 'world-famous' doughnuts. We tried some, they are crunchy and on the greasy side. And, one each filled us up for hours. This poor guy, who raided the trash bags in the back of a worker's pickup truck, doesn't know what he's in for!


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