Monday, May 10, 2010

Day Four: Pike's Peak

According to Frommers (i.e. travel bible), the ascent to the top of Pike's Peak is not for the "faint of heart".  If there was a definition for "faint of heart" in Webster's, my photo would be on display right by it.  My photo with a very "green" face, that is!   Yes, my fear of heights kicked right in the minute the drive began....and no, I was not driving.  Russell did the honors there.  The guy who has jumped out of airplanes and has no problem with the idea of bungee jumping was completely all in for this.....until we got to about 13000.  More on that later.....

At the entrance gate, we were informed that we could only travel to the 16 mile mark (The road to the top is 19 miles) and up to 13000 feet in altitude (oh goody! Note the sarcasm. ) As we started upward, it really wasn't too bad.  A lovely 68 degrees.  Not too steep and not too windy.  Our first stop was at this resevoir.  We had a great view of the Peak and it was a pretty place for pictures.  The elevation was about 8500 feet and it was just starting to feel cold. 

As we continued on, the climb became steeper and road more curvy.  I spent much of the time trying to avoid looking towards the edge of the road.  There were a couple of time I contemplated putting my head between my knees!  The higher we went, the cooler it got. 
When we got to the Alpine level, there was a group standing on the side of the road with snowboards in hand and thumbs up trying to hitch a ride to the top.  Crazy! 
We finally got to a point when I begged Russell to stop and turn around.  It turned out that we were at the highest point we could go.  There was a pull out here so we decided to stop so I could take some photos.  This it the point where Russell could not handle it!  He got out of the car and lasted only...mmmm.....about three seconds.  He immediately got back into the car.  The sissy could not stand the cold ;)  It was 37 degrees!  I stayed out long enough to get a couple of pictures of the two nuts getting ready to snowboard down the mountain.  Much braver than I would ever be!

Look at all that snow!!

We headed down and stopped at another point.  Russell tried to get out of the car again but it was not happening!  He jumped right back into the car.  I did manage to stay out long enough to get a couple of pictures of the scenery below. 

I also got a picture of the snowboard tracks where all the snowboarders were coming down. 
Yeah.....very gutsy....

After this, we survived the rest of the way to the bottom (Not on a snowboard!!).  No altitude sickness just a little bit of queasiness.....but only when I looked down! 

Next adventure....hang gliding.  NOT!

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