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Fiddling with Rambler's since 1995

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Pikes Peak

This first picture was taken at a turn off just north of Colorado Springs, CO. Low trees and scrub brush seems to be typical of the landscape in this part of Colorado. As you can see from the pictures, these were taken on July 4th. I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate this country's birthday than by enjoying some of the most beautiful parts of it.

The town of Manitou, CO (pronounced man-a-toe) is at the base of Pike's Peak. I was driving at the time so I don't have any pictures of Manitou but it's a neat little town and you could likely spend a nice afternoon exploring the shops there.

There are a couple of ways to get to the top of Pike's Peak. You can hike, you can drive, or you can do what we did and take the cog railroad. This next picture is our train leaving the station.

Cog railroads use gears to drive the train instead of just relying on the friction between the wheels and the rails. This is needed since there are a couple of 25% or steeper grades going to the top.

Here are the controls for the train. There are controls at each end. We sat at the very end of the car we were in which was nice coming down since the engineer and conductor were next to us on the way down.

The views from the train were spectacular and everyone working for the railroad was very knowledgeable and friendly.

For those of you who don't know (and I didn't until this trip), these are the views that inspired the poem "America The Beautiful". I wonder why?

That whiteish patch to the right of the rail bed is ice. The higher up we went, the more there was. That was pretty wild: It was low 90's at the base and high 30's at the summit. Too bad my jacket was back in the car in Denver. Also, the grass at this elevation grows very slowly. How slow? About an inch every 100 years.

Here we are going through clouds. Just to the right of the tracks about halfway between the bottom of the picture and where the tracks disappear into the clouds, you can see a stick. Those sticks are used to make the location of the drains that run under the tracks. Those drains have to be cleared out before the snow melts in the spring or the tracks will get washed out.

Here I am at the summit freezing my hinny off. I can honestly say I've never been this high before.

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Last Updated 02/06/08 09:38:35 PM