Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A View of Forever

Did you all have a nice Valentine's Day? Because Mike and I had Monday off we decided to take a little trip and do something that neither one of us had ever done. We drove up to the summit of Pike's Peak - a mere 14,110 feet above sea level - during the winter. Last summer, Mike and I took a small herd of kids and grandchildren up to the summit and that was great. We have also traveled to the top by way of the Cog Railway. That was also fun, but we both prefer driving because it's easier to get pictures and you can also do some hiking on the mountain, or picnic, if you wish. 

On Saturday, the 14th, the temperature in Colorado Springs was in the 70's and sunny. As we were heading into the park, the forest service employee told us that we'd want to head to the summit first because the wind was picking up and he didn't know if they would have to plow. He was right. Here is what we encountered just above 12,000 feet. The wind was blowing snow from the roadside drifts over the road, and there were spots of ice and black ice. It wasn't like this the entire way up; only in spots, but if you've ever been on this road, some places are a little disconcerting because there are few guardrails and the drop on the side of the road is, well, let's just say you'd want to say some quick prayers if you ever went over. At the end of this post, I've linked to a video of 'The Foley Crash' from the 2012 Pikes Peak Road Race; you can see from that exactly what I mean.

Pike's Peak Highway - Alicia Gossman-Steeves

We finally did make it to the top and it was cold! The wind, which was blowing about 30 miles per hour, was brutal and the temperature was about 40 degrees below what it was in Colorado Springs. This is normal, actually. All of the travel information says that this is the case, even in summer. Here I am with my husband Mike. The photograph was taken by another hearty tourist. 

Pike's Peak Summit

Mike at the Summit - Alicia Gossman-Steeves

From the summit, they say that you can see forever. They are right. I think I can see my house out on the plains. Kansas is probably in the distance too. 

View from Pike's Peak- Alicia Gossman-Steeves

View from Summit - Alicia Gossman-Steeves
View from the summit - Alicia Gossman-Steeves

Mike really wanted to try the world famous donuts from the snack bar. Here I am trying mine out. Since we both bake, we were trying to figure out how in the world they got the donuts to rise at such a high altitude. Here is a recipe: High Altitude Cake Donut. The only real difference I can see versus a similar recipe on Food Network is the difference in temperature for the oil. 

World Famous Donuts - Mike Steeves

Shortly after our snack, we left the cafeteria/gift shop to leave. In the parking lot, a ranger announced that everyone needed to get down the mountain as soon as possible due to forming icy conditions. We didn't need to be told twice. 

Here are some pictures of the way down. The views are awesome. 

Pike's Peak Trip - Alicia Gossman-Steeves

Pike's Peak Trip - Alicia Gossman-Steeves

Pike's Peak Trip - Alicia Gossman-Steeves

Pike's Peak Trip - Alicia Gossman-Steeves

Closing the road up - Alicia Gossman-Steeves
Pike's Peak Trip - Alicia Gossman-Steeves

Both Foley and his navigator walked away from this one; a testimonial to the roll cage.

No comments:

Post a Comment