We decided to head to Pikes Peak today, a mountain with an elevation of 14,100ft. It is a mountain in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, 10 miles (16 km) west of Colorado Springs, Colorado, in El Paso County. Drivers race up the mountain in a famous annual race called the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Just before you enter the park you drive past Santa’s North pole. : ) Interesting looking place. A sign said Santa was in and busy making toys.
The drive up the mountain was horrendous, steep switchbacks, tight curves and steep hills. There were very few guard rails and times the road looked as if it was going straight off the edge and into cloudage.
There was snow on the mountain and also a lot of road works. Made it interesting to get past huge graders on a small road that mostly was dirt.
When we got to the peak the air was thin and I was pretty dizzy. It really was high. The views were amazing. A cog railway ( you can see it in the shot I posted) travels up to the peak carrying many passengers, but I think the drive was worth it. I had to stop a lot and have rest breaks walking around the area. It was croweded when the train arrived but really great when it set off again.
We then headed down the hill again and about halfway they stop you and take a heat reading from your brakes. Ours were at 180, and the ranger said GREAT mountain driving. Go the jeep!! We saw mountain goats grazing on the tundra and they happily posed for photos for me.
We then headed for a drive through the Garden of the Gods, which I liken to a mini Arches National Park. But way too crowded with about 50 people on average on each rock formation. No idea why.
We then headed to Castle Rock and stopped at this massive outlet shopping town, it was huge. We had lunch there and then headed back to the motel. I had a bit of a headache and was sniffly and had a long sleep. I do think that the heights here in Denver does not agree with me. The upside is that I sleep like a log.
Sleepy Car in Denver.
ps. LOL at the cartoon on one of my first posts and how it relates to this post.