Pikes Peak

Trip Start Sep 05, 2007
Trip End Oct 16, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Colorado
Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I left Montrose this morning with plans on doing the Royal Gorge Train in Canon but I took too long pulling off the road to take pictures and missed the train. So I headed north and landed in Colorado Springs.
It's very interesting to see that if you look east of the city all you see is desert land. If you look west you see the majestic Rocky Mountains. I decided to head toward the mountains and go on to Pikes Peak. Pikes Peak is a 20 mile ride up to the top. You can get there by cog railway or by driving. I guess you could hike it too, but that's silly. I chose to drive. As you are going up the mountain, they have signs to tell you what level you are at, Foothills - 6,000 - 8,000 ft., Montane - 8,000 - 9,500 ft., Subalpine - 9,500 - 11,500 ft.,  Alpine - 11,500 ft. and above and what type of wildlife you may see there. Reaching the top of the summit, 14,110 feet up, you can see some magnificent views of the Rockies and of the Desert land.. You can also get a Rocky Mountain High and start to feel silly due to lack of oxygen, but if you drink lots of water it helps. Dr. Lee would say "So, you felt normal ? " Coming down the mountain, they stop you about half way down to do a break check. I wonder what would happen if you had no brakes. Do they hold you captive?
I was not going to stay in Colorado Springs because it's way too busy, so I stayed in a small town called Manitou Springs at the bottom of Pikes Peak. It is a very interesting little town with lots of shops and restaurants. Manitou Springs received its popularity for waters rising from the aquifers deep below the ground, that filled with minerals in high concentration, including the carbonic acid, which gives the water its' bubbles. First ones who noticed the healing quality of the water were Indians that visited this valley for centuries. Major Stephen Long arrived in 1820, along with surgeon, Doctor Edwin James. It was Dr. James who wrote of the health benefits of the mineral waters. After that many rich people came to this place to heal their and their children health.
Soda springs is the main spring that runs through town. Around town they have these statues that are water fountains that trickle water form the springs, but I'm not sure if I would trust drinking it. I decided to call it a night and start all over again in the morning.
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