Today was to be the penultimate day of our journey. It was to put the icing on our cake, the cherry on our sundae, the nail in our coffin?????? After all, we had dodged disaster for two-and-a-half weeks, so even a good outcome sometimes came with risks.
Chris has wanted to drive Pikes Peak practically since moving away from Colorado as a kid. In planning for this trip, driving to the summit of the mammoth mountain was the centerpiece of our efforts. Today dawned a little overcast, but eventually the weather cleared, and as we approached the entrance to the mountain, things looked great for a perfect end to our adventure. There was even a dusting of snow on the peak!
Well, that “dusting” turned out to be 3 feet of new snow that had fallen overnight at the summit, making travel beyond the “brake check” at mile 13 impossible. To say we were disappointed doesn’t really cover our heartbreak, to come so close to realizing Chris’ childhood dream and have it denied. Still, we paid our money and went on up, trying to convince ourselves that there would be some kind of consolation above.
End of the road
We had some dicey moments in 1st and 2nd gear going up and down the mountain, but, basically the ride itself, which Chris had so looked forward to, was nothing too exciting. The scenery on the other hand….
Where we were stopped and forced to turn around, we made snowballs and visited the gift shop. We watched the plows do their work and learned that there would be 0 chance for the road to open today. Still, we saw fresh snow on Pikes Peak. Guessing not everyone gets to do that.
With the time we saved from not going all the way up the mountain, we made a stop at the state park called Garden of the Gods. It looks a lot like Arches, but is much smaller. Chris remembers it being it being out in the countryside, but today, it is surrounded by suburban McMasions, each with its own view of Pikes Peak.
To end this amazing vacation, we went to dinner with the Harts to a place called the Fort. We ate buffalo tongue, Rocky Mountain oysters, buffalo sausage and peanut butter-stuffed jalepenos, among other things. It was SPECTACULAR!!!