Mountaintop

 

  1. Pikes Peak below summit 4
    View from the back of the gift shop just below the summit (peak) at more than 11,000 feet elevation.  Travelers to the summit take the bus due to construction.   

Reach for the mountaintop,

Even though breath is labored and you breathe in deep.

For I’m from a lower plain, not accustomed to the steep.

The head is a little light, and I take it slow,

But I behold the wonderful beauty that’s set above.

Pikes Peak summit area from gift shop-2Where do you go once the peak you reached?

Can you go higher, or down in retreat?

Pikes Peak summit area from gift shop
Image behind the gift shop just below the summit.
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Pikes Peak gift shop and restaurant just below the summit.

Pikes Peak below summit

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Image behind the gift shop looking upward to the summit area.
Pikes Peak summit area from gift shop-3
Image behind the gift shop just below the summit.  I wonder how many would be tempted to climb these rocks?
Pikes Peak summit area from gift shop- no scrambling
Image behind the gift shop just below the summit.  

Pikes Peak summit area from gift shop-4At Pikes Peak the choice is clear,

Downward I travel – beauty still around,

Pikes Peak summit area from gift shop-5Of the trees, the lake, the rocks and life.

pikes peak lake
The summit trip was cut short due to weather – and snow beginning; hence no photos from the summit itself.  

Pikes Peak leaving signI’m glad I had this mountaintop trip,

Instead of looking above from below,

Wondering what it would look like, or be,

Of the experience that one loves.

Pursue your mountaintop experience – physical, mental and spiritual.

Blessings!

Ron

Pikes Peak Info – Thoughtco.com

Elevation: 14,115 feet (4,302 meters)

Prominence: 5,510 feet (1,679 meters)

Location: Front Range, Colorado

Coordinates: 38.83333 N /  -105.03333 W

Map: USGS topographic map 7.5 minute Pikes Peak

First Known Ascent: Dr. Edwin James and 2 others, July 14, 1820.

Ute Indian Name

The Tabeguache Band of the Ute Indians, who often camped in the valleys below the mountain, called it Tava or “Sun.” Tabeguache means “People of the Sun Mountain.” The Arapaho Indians from northern Colorado called the great peak heey-otoyoo’, which means “long mountain.”

Named for Zebulon Pike

Pikes Peak is named for explorer Zebulon Pike, who described the mountain on an expedition in 1806 to determine the southern boundary of the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase. Pike, naming the mountain Grand Peak, attempted to climb it from the south but deep November snows thwarted his summit bid. The early Spanish explorers called it El Capitan or The Captain for its dominance of southern Colorado’s landscape.

First Known Ascent in 1920

The first recorded ascent was by Dr. Edwin James, a botanist on Major Stephen H. Long’s expedition, along with two others on July 14, 1820. James’ party set a forest fire on the way down, scorching thousands of acres. Major Long named the peak for Dr. James, but trappers and mountain men continued to call it Pikes Peak.

First Woman to Climb in 1858

Julia Archibald Holmes was the first recorded woman to climb Pikes Peak with her ascent on August 5, 1858.

She was also the first woman to climb a Fourteener in Colorado. No other woman accomplished that feat for 23 years. Read Julia Archibald Holmes: First Woman to Climb Pikes Peak for the complete story about her landmark ascent.

Most Visited High Mountain in the USA

Pikes Peak is the most visited high mountain in the United States, with over 500,000 people reaching the summit by hiking, climbing, driving, or cog railway.

Most drive up the paved 19-mile-long Pikes Peak Highway, which starts from Cascade in Ute Pass and winds up to the peak’s flat summit. The Pikes Peak Cog Railway finished in 1891, carries passengers 8.9 miles from Manitou Springs to the summit.

Pikes Peak Marathon

The Pikes Peak Marathon, a grueling test of running endurance, ascends 26 miles up and down Barr Trail every August. The day before the round-trip event is a one-way 13-mile race to the summit.

“America the Beautiful” Song

In 1893 schoolteacher Katherine Lee Bates was so inspired by the view atop Pikes Peak that she wrote “America the Beautiful,” the unofficial hymn of the United States.

Pikes Peak or Bust!

”Pikes Peak or Bust” was the slogan of the 1858/1859 gold rush to the diggings west of today’s Denver near Central City. The slogan was painted on the sides of covered wagons. Yee-Haw!

https://www.thoughtco.com/pikes-peak-31st-highest-mountain-in-colorado-755729

 

 

North America’s Most Visited Peak

Pikes Peak entrance.jpg

Pikes Peak near Colorado Springs is America’s Mountain, states PikesPeak.com.  The peak height is at 14,115 feet and it attracts 500,000 visitors every year.  https://www.pikes-peak.com/

Visitors enter through the main entrance and, pending no stops, can make it to the summit in about 30 minutes, if the road is open all the way.

Pikes Peak summit bus area.jpgDuring our visit in late September, travelers parked at lower stations and a bus carried passengers to the summit.  Construction was being done at the summit and there was insufficient parking.  Also, weather affects the drive so travelers must keep aware of conditions.

Pikes Peak trees 1.jpgLeaves were changing and most had bright yellows mixed with green.

Pikes Peak trees 4.jpg

Stay tuned for more photos on subsequent posts.

Big Foot also?  You decide.

Pikes Peak Big Foot sign.jpg

Blessings!

Ron

Don’t let it fall!

Garden of the gods 11.jpgMy last post of the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs includes the tilting rock.  It seems to me to be more of a balancing rock.  I wonder how it just sits there without falling with it’s own upper weight?

Stewart M. Green, provided some good information about the rock at https://www.outtherecolorado.com/colorados-precarious-rock/, and comments that the balanced rock, poised above the park road at the Garden of the Gods, defies the laws of physics as it balances on a sloped ledge of sandstone. “The famed boulder, appearing in publications around the world as one of the best examples of a balancing rock, is the most famous rock formation at the Garden of the Gods, the number one city park in the United States.”

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Geology of the Garden and Balanced Rock – Stewart M. Green

“Balanced Rock, rising 35 feet above its pedestal base, weighs about 700 tons or 1.4 million pounds.

Balanced Rock is composed of Fountain Formation sandstone deposited along the edge of the Ancestral Rocky Mountains between 290 and 296 million years ago. Coarse sediments with sand and chunks of rock were swept off the mountains by quick-moving streams and rivers, which then deposited them in deltas and alluvial fans. Heat and pressure later cemented the sediments into rock, including sandstone colored red by iron oxide, mud deposits that formed soft shale, and mixed sand, pebbles, and cobbles forming conglomerate.

When the current Rocky Mountains began rising over 60 million years ago, today’s Balanced Rock was uplifted and exposed as part of a rock ridge that connected with nearby Steamboat Rock and an escarpment to the south. Water erosion and frost wedging excavated the ridge for millions of years. Its current shape, formed in the last two or three million years as a soft layer of shale at the base of the formation, eroded faster than the harder sandstone layers above, leaving the boulder perched on a narrow pedestal.

Geologists call Balanced Rock an erosional remnant, a formation that was not transported and deposited in place but instead was eroded from surrounding bedrock. Balanced Rock, like other precariously balancing rocks, is an incredible natural wonder that appears ready to topple over at any moment.”

Are people taking a risk in posing under the rock?  Well, they’ve been doing it for a long time.  However, if I am there and feel the ground shaking even a little, believe me, I’ll move out – away from the rock. Garden of the gods 9.jpgWikipedia has some good information about the garden at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_of_the_Gods, including:

The area now known as Garden of the Gods was first called Red Rock Corral by the Europeans. Then, in August 1859, two surveyors who helped to set up Colorado City explored the site. One of the surveyors, M. S. Beach, suggested that it would be a “capital place for a beer garden.” His companion, the young Rufus Cable, awestruck by the impressive rock formations, exclaimed, “Beer Garden! Why it is a fit place for the Gods to assemble. We will call it the Garden of the Gods.”

I still like my personal understanding of the garden.  It is the creation of our one and only God and I appreciate the beauty He has provided.

Blessings!

Ron

Colorado’s favorite garden?

Garden of the gods 8.jpgGarden of the Gods in Colorado Springs is a popular garden in Colorado and in my opinion – the most popular.

Garden of the gods - sign.jpgI wonder how many people around the world know of this unique place.  I’ve been there three different times and it is intriguing.  I was not aware of its presence until my first visit a few years ago.  It’s worth checking it out.

“The Park is a unique biological melting pot where the grasslands of the Great Plains meet the pinon-juniper woodlands characteristic of the American Southwest and merge with the mountain forest of the 14,115-foot Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain.

The 300 million years of geological history of the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs reveal one of the most extensive pictures of earth history found anywhere in the United States. It is a true geological wonder.” https://www.visitcos.com/things-to-do/garden-of-the-gods-park/

 

Garden of the gods - back of camels.jpgGarden of the gods - 1.jpgGarden of the gods - grey rock.jpg

Garden of the gods 7.jpgThe garden was given to the City of Colorado Springs in 1909 by the children of Charles Elliott Perkins in fulfillment of his wish that it be kept forever free to the public.

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Blessings!

Ron

Colorado Springs ahead

Road to Colorado SpringsAlong the highway just up ahead

It looks so close and yet so far

We travel high and low,

Almost like we’re traveling to the stars.

Countryside approaching Colorado Springs-1Cattle, horses and deer adorn the land

As we approach Colorado Springs.

Isn’t it grand to see life different from home,

And as I see animals, I wonder where the buffalo roamed.

We see the mountain peak in our sight

It’s getting closer

Maybe before the night.

Countryside approaching Colorado Springs-2

But it gets larger the closer we go

Where we’ll stop, who knows.

How much time do we have to stop and look

At the beauty around us in Colorado Springs;

Then we’ll be on our way – Pikes Peak and beyond

But we’ll stay a day or two and highlight certain things.

Getting ready to endure the change in elevation.

At an elevation of 6,035 feet, Colorado Springs has two-thirds of the oxygen found at sea level and the summit of 14,115-foot Pikes Peak has only half.   https://www.colorado.com/articles/8-things-you-didnt-know-about-colorado-springs

Blessings!

Ron