On Sunday we did the same thing many Minnesatans did. We walked to a sports bar in Old Colorado City, found some Minnesota compatriots and watched the Vikings vs. the Packers. The high fives all around at the conclusion of the game.
Today we drove to Manitou Springs, the gateway to Pikes Peak. There are 3 ways to reach the summit of Pikes Peak: drive the Pikes Peak Highway, hike the 13 miles of the Barr Trail, or ride the Cog Railway. It was an easy choice for us. The train goes 8 miles to the summit, but due to snow at the higher elevations we went 6 miles. So instead of reaching the 14,000 feet mark, we ascended to 11,000 feet. We did see the workers in fron of us clearing the rail with massive snowblowers. So perhaps in a few days, if there is no snow, the train will reach the summit again.
An interesting story about the cog railway. In the late 1800's the only way to the summit was to hike or sign on with a burro expedition. A man from Kenosha, Wi took the trip by burro and was enthralled by the beauty. He was not happy with the way his body felt. He returned to Wisconsin and raised money to build the cog railroad so that people could both enjoy the beauty and be comfortable. The same railway, a Swiss system, is still in use today.
We stopped at Inspiration Point, the area that was the inspiration for the poem which then became the song, "America the Beautiful".
Riding up the mountain was an experience of America the beautiful, from the rocks and boulders to the forests of pine and aspen, to the snow capped peaks.
The village had many shops and galleries in restored historical buildings. There was a plethora of beautiful and interesting works by Colorado artists on display. Sadly, our little home has no room for any art pieces.