Friday, August 22, 2014


Our time at the top was very limited and at first shrouded in clouds, but gradually they lifted and blue sky began to appear.

 Looking down you could see features and lakes far below.

In 1893, at the age of thirty-six, Katherine Lee Bates, an English professor at Wellesley College had taken a train trip to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to teach a short summer school session at Colorado College. Several of the sights on her trip inspired her, and they found their way into her poem, including the 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.


From high above, the Red Rock of the mountains of Garden Of the Gods become visible the the City of Colorado Springs in the background,

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.

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