A Peak Geocaching Experience

23 10 2009

A couple of days after my big birthday and the record run, I was recovered enough to summit my third 14er – that’s a mountain over 14,000 feet tall. The first was White Mountain back in ’07, and that was a 10-hour hike after two nights of sleeping at elevation. The second was Mt. Shasta last summer, a grueling, exhilarating 14-hour day after about a week of acclimation in the Eastern Sierras and on the mountain itself. This one took, um, about an hour.

Pike’s Peak has a road to the top!
uphill

It also has a lovely cog train that ascends from Manitou Springs, just outside of Colorado Springs:
PPcogtrain

This would be the end of the line!
stophere

As you can see, the view was pretty hazy that day, but my cousin says that on a clear day, you can see – not quite forever – but the whole Rocky Mountain range.

At the top, I ate donuts, did my Christmas shopping, and found two geocaches:
Pikes Peak Summit International
Pike Never Made It!

This is the view from the first cache. That’s my cousin, Richard, over there.
viewfromcache

He got this photo of me finding the cache:
PPcache

Here’s one of the summit plaques:
summitphoto

I even got to play in some snow… in August!
augustsnow

This mountain was the inspiration for a certain familiar song, so I simply HAD to sing it up there:

My cousin and I both had trouble catching our breath and feeling a bit woozy from lack of oxygen, but I actually felt better when I was singing. Others should maybe try that… ha! On the way down we saw some interesting plants:
thistlyplant

redleaveswhiteflowers

We ate a pretty good beef stew at the lodge halfway down:
beefstewlunch

… and found a few more caches on the way:
Inukshuk 1
Bigfoot
Christmas Cache

… and managed to avoid meeting Big Foot, although he’s apparently a road hazard:
bigfootindeed

… then returned safely to base camp:
basecamp

Here’s to more caching high points and peak experiences!

A footnote for all you Marzipan fans – that’s the kitten I found back in May at a cache in Farmersville. She’s getting all big and healthy – and rides around on my shoulders. Here she is, and I’m wearing a T-shirt I got up on Pike’s Peak. It says “Got Oxygen?”
shouldercat

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2 responses

23 10 2009
ErikaJean

I enjoyed all the pics! thanks for sharing!!! I love the bigfoot sign, and the soup look SO good… especially with snow on the ground!

23 10 2009
Thudpucker

Next time I go up a high mountain Pikes Peak is the way to go. Spending the night before climbing Whitney did not give much time to get acclimated to the elevation. It is a good thing I don’t sing when I go caching. Nobody would want to go with me.

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