Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs has grown incredibly since I lived here so long ago. I moved out “for reals” in 1972 when I got married, but I mostly left the summer of 1970, after graduating high school. That summer I took a job as a camp counselor at the local Baptist church camp. There is an exit on I-25, “Baptist Road,” and I imagine most people living here now don’t know what that means.

The surgeon I saw yesterday is in FAR north Colorado Springs, pretty much directly across the freeway from the Air Force Academy Chapel. When I lived here, the academy was a remote destination with a detached, monastic feeling to it, but no more.



Air Force Academy Chapel


As I drove north (and the return trip, south), I scanned the hills around the academy looking for a break in the foothills where a seasonal stream might flow. One of my best memories of summer camp was going somewhere on the academy grounds and swimming in a clear stream that ran between colorful sandstone walls. Not high walls, just four or five feet on each side. The flow through the stream in the spring was fast enough to clear the sandstone bottom of brush and debris. It was an amazing experience, dreamlike to me now.

I’d intended to retire here, but by the time I could retire, property values had risen making houses unaffordable to me. That’s OK. I love the San Luis Valley and it give my friends somewhere to go when they want to get away. It’s also probably good that I began a new life in a new place. Colorado Springs is a little haunted with memories, some of which are very sad.

The city ends — no matter what — at Pikes Peak, “the mountain.” It’s possible to ride a train to the top of Pikes Peak, and the train is Swiss. πŸ™‚



Pikes Peak Cog Railway


“The Mountain” stands above all the changes and the memories, above my friends, above the struggles and triumphs of the people who live here. It’s the focal point of life in Colorado Springs, the harbinger and bringer of weather, it’s inspirational and grounding.


The View from Here



14 thoughts on “Pikes Peak

    • We had two — we had a funicular — but it got closed down and torn out and now people use the incline for a workout. You can see it in the featured photo — it’s a white line going up one of those foothills. You and Mr. Swiss are very welcome to relocate, but Tabby might have problems at first until she takes control.

  1. Talk about iconic. Pike’s Peak is one of our “destiny” mountains. I envy that you live in the mountains. They are my favorite places on earth and whenever we had discussions of “where to go on vacation,” I always lobbied for “mountain” while Garry lobbied for “beach.” Since I burn to a crisp on ANY beach, we didn’t do it and we got more mountains. Right now, what we’ve got is a LOT of rain and wind!

  2. Pike’s Peak is magnificent, both from the bottom and from the “top” (the top of the road). I once drove it for a colleague from flat Texas who insisted she could do it until she saw the sign that told when she should consider changing gears! By the time we got to 11K feet, I was glad we were near the top — but I still had it together enough to enjoy the gorgeous view from the road.

      • I don’t do altitude well above about 5K feet — wouldn’t even try to ski near the top! It makes perfect sense to me that you might ski near the top but not actually get to the top — it must have been over that ridge, or at the top of the road/train/etc. What a gorgeous place to ski, though!

      • It was a beautiful place to ski! It was on the back of the mountain, just at timberline. I’m very happy right now at 7600 feet. When I first got back here, it took about a week to get used to it again. ❀

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