Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Road Trip ~ Pikes Peak

To celebrate the coming of Autumn., Hubby & I took our annual roadtrip into the mountains to view the glorious Autumn colors. Unfortunately the aspen were plagued with a fungus this year that caused  a lot of their leaves to simply turn brown and fall off. But there were still some glorious sights.

This year, we drove to the top of Pikes Peak

It was a gorgeous day so we took the trusty roadtrip car and headed out. Going topless allows for better pictures.

The road to the top is a toll road and is paved all the way. A nice drive with expansive vistas.

We made stops as pull-offs allowed. This was a MUST! And even though we didn't see the elusive Man, we did get a pic of a statue.

Approaching Timberline
The original road was all dirt (and probably not as wide) and opened in 1888. This first road carried tourists in carriages up to the top. 

In 1915 the road was improved for automobile use. In 1916, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb began. This road rally to the top of Pikes Peak has been held annually ever since. Racers in all manner of motorized vehicles & motorcycles will race to the top - one at a time - for the best time. The record is a little over 9 minutes!

Guard rail for road can be seen at top of ridge
Road to the Summit
The distance to the top from the starting line is 12.42 miles with 156 turns and grades of 7.2%. I have no idea how those racers can do that!

Nearing the Summit
Summit House
By 2011, the road was completely paved - all the way to the top. 

old weather station

At the top, is a building which houses a weather station and has a camera on top which transmits images approx. every 10 minutes. There is also a US Army Research Facility for Environmental Medicine. Also at the summit is a monument to the song, 'America the Beautiful'. this song was written about Pikes Peak.

The top of Pikes Peak is a boulder field of Pikes Peak granite. This granite is pink in color and is what this amazing mountain is made of. In fact, this granite stretches for miles both north and south.

A wall of the original Summit House can still be seen nearby the current Summit House. There are plans in the works to build a newer, nicer Summit House. 

Cog railway headed down the mountain
There are three ways to reach the top of Pikes Peak - drive, hike or take the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. The next time we decide to get that high, we will take the railway!

Man walking up on Barr Trail
Barr Trail is the way to get to the top on foot. This is the way the AdAmAn Club hikes to the top of Pikes Peak to set off the fireworks on New Year's Eve.

While we were at the summit, we had to have a world famous donut which is cooked right there on the spot. A little heavy but still quite tasty.

All in All, a very nice Sunday drive. Despite the white knuckles which appeared on a few sections. I'll post more photos tomorrow.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Super! I feel now like I've been to the top of Pike's Peak myself!

But what's all this about "North Pole" and "Santa's Workshop" being in the same area? It's well known that Santa lives at the North Pole in the Canadian Arctic. What are you Yanks trying to pull?

the dogs' mother said...

thank you for the tour! :-)