Sunday, January 19, 2014

Shenanigans on Pikes Peak

Yesterday, we drove up to the summit of Pikes Peak, the most visted mountain (according to the pamphlet) in the country.
In the beginning we were thinking of taking a small train called The Cog Railway up from Manitou Springs to summit, but when we saw the amount of people who had shown up at the station, we decided to drive there instead. Anywhoo, The Cog is what you take if you're hosting relatives from out of town.

The drive is definitely worth it, though make sure that whoever is doing the driving is good with a stick shift and is the better driver. The Hubs is mos def the better driver. I just sat there, gripping the edges of the passenger seat as we got higher and higher up the mountains.

We just had to stop at Crystal Reservoir for a photo-op. 

The Hubs being Mr. Dynamic Photographer with his new-fangled Sony camera phone.

Panoramic for ya'll.

And of course, the obligatory couples' snapshot.

Every couple of minutes, we would hear the loud, dull sound of ice cracking. The Hubs pointed out a few visible cracks across the nearby surface, saying, "See all that? That just happened! That wasn't there before!"

This is me being adventurous, standing on small bit of ice. BTW, if you're planning on driving up to Pikes Peak, wearing canvas shoes is probably not the best idea, especially if they're kinda torn up. Once you're past Crystal Reservoir, you're gonna need hardier footwear and thicker socks.

Now this is The Hubs being adventurous, walking on the snow-covered portion of the ice to get to the other side. 
Alright, back on the road again, buddy.
Okay, as we progressed, the timberline began to disappear and I began to grip my seat even tighter. Why? Cuz I was on the passenger side and it over looked the barrier-less edge of the road, that's why! How on Earth I was ballsy enough to continue taking pictures is beyond me. I was so terrified of the view that I tried to keep my eyes on the road as we got higher and higher up. 

And as if the anxiety churning in my stomach wasn't enough, my vision really started to get spotty. At this point we were probably nearing 13,000 feet. I asked The Hubs how he was doing, since he was behind the wheel, and he said that he was getting motion-sick but was keeping it at bay. Yikes.

"Gahhh!!! Are we there yet?!"

UGH. Thank you, Jesus!

Okay, for reals yo' was really windy and cold up there. The Hubs had to change out of his sneakers and into his tanker boots he keeps in the back of the Jeep. I had brought along my coat, cashmere beanie and gloves, but was still stoopid!cold, so before we could take advantage of the massive view, we ran into the only gift/coffee shop on the summit to warm up.

DONUTS. At 14,000 feet up, anything tastes supremely awesome, even greasey fried donuts.

After filling up on water, coffee, donuts and pretzels, we both felt good enough to go back outside and take in the view. Did you know that the same view inspired America the Beautiful?

Hmmm, maybe the fabled 'purple mountains majesty' can be seen in the summer.

There's The Garden of the Gods down there!

We didn't linger up there long, and we couldn't go any higher. Oh look, the rails for The Cog. I learned later that train wasn't scheduled to go up Pikes Peak until either April or May. We managed to avoid the miserable crowd back down in Manitou Springs by driving up ourselves.

Okay, back down the mountain we go, stopping awhile to take more pics around Boulder Park.
While The Hubs was able to move easily around the rocks, even standing near the edge, my knees wouldn't stop shaking. I let the zoom function on my camera do all the work.

The Hubs reminding me a bit of that painting, Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog without the fog.
"Yeah babe, just stand there all majestic-like and reflective!" *click* 

And then he wants to go off and explore. I refused to come with, but kept an eye on him in case anything happened to him, not that I'd be able to do a damn thing where I was...

We stopped at another spot he wanted to check out, but I refused to get out of the car, so off he went on his own again while I stayed behind and had fun taking selfies.
My chin looks smaller when I smile, me thinks.

Funny thing, I saw two other couples doing their own solo trek around the area. Both couples were interracial like The Hubs and me, and I mean White Guy with Asian Gal trope. Weird. Anyway, I mentioned this to him when he got back for exploring and he said, "Yeah, I saw that one pair coming down and I thought, 'I wish my wife was here with me too.'"
Oh boo, you whore. I kept warm and toasty in the car.

A few more pics on the way back down.

And that's Pikes Peak for you. I wouldn't mind taking the slow train up the next time around, but like I said, only when people from out of town come to visit and it isn't during the weekend. 

Halfway towards the base of the mountain, Santa's Workshop lies empty and devoid of life, post-Christmas season. Keeping silent vigil over the ghost town that is the North Pole is this demon statue:

Don't wave back and don't look into his eyes!

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