Wednesday, January 13, 2016

More on the trip to Montana: Colorado

Hello, everyone.

I started with pictures from a drive to Montana in the last post. The pictures there are from the first day's drive.

Today a little bit from the trip up the Rockies stopping off at Colorado Springs and at Pike's Peak.

The Garden of the Gods is a spectacular set of rock formations that, in 2007, was almost inside the city of Colorado Springs.
By now it may have been enveloped. 

The park is very popular with local people and with tourists.
 We also drove up Pike's Peak, and saw the view that inspired the famous poem, which begins:
O beautiful, for spacious skies
For amber waves of grain
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain....

View from the road.
 We had to change a flat tire before beginning, and the park staff insisted that each vehicle driving up have at least half a tank of gasoline. We didn't understand why until we came back down, and the tank gave a false reading of "almost empty" because of the slope!
At the top, even in June, there is snow. It was about 80F at the bottom, and about 40F at the top.

Not much grows at the top of the mountain where it's pretty chilly all summer and really cold in the winter. Plus I think there isn't a whole lot of water available for the plants.
Pike's Peak also had a train ride up and back. It was tough enough on me to ride in a truck--the (14,000 feet?) altitude at the top was like about 3 stiff drinks. And we had stopped from time to time to take a picture as we went! There was a little concession there that sold hot chocolate, which helped a lot. I was still woozy. But it was beautiful to be up there.