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!
It also has a lovely cog train that ascends from Manitou Springs, just outside of Colorado Springs:
This would be the end of the line!
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.
This is the view from the first cache. That’s my cousin, Richard, over there.
He got this photo of me finding the cache:
Here’s one of the summit plaques:
I even got to play in some snow… in August!
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:
We ate a pretty good beef stew at the lodge halfway down:
… and managed to avoid meeting Big Foot, although he’s apparently a road hazard:
… then returned safely to base camp:
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?”