World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the "White City" with its promise of the future contained within its alabaster buildings; the wheat fields of America's heartland Kansas, through which her train was riding on July 16; and the majestic view of the Great Plains from high atop Pikes Peak. The words came to her at the top of the mountain and she quickly wrote them down. Later, American The Beautiful became our favorite patriotic song.
Sitting on the edge of the world, one can "see forever",
But our train awaited to take us back down the mountain.
On the way down, lakes began to appear in the valleys.
The cog railway track circled the mountain as we descended,
We passed one group of Big Horn Sheep, one shaggy one still in the process of losing its winter coat.
At the Sidling we pulled over to allow the last train of the day to pass.
At times the angle of descent reached 25%. We hoped that the cogs and brakes would hold.
And at one point we passed rocks that had to be part of the original Pikes Peak Batholith, still relatively undisturbed.
Small streams and waterfalls followed us down the mountain.
Finally the red rock debris and the city spread out in front of us.