From the Mt. Evans area of Colorado, we proceeded to Colorado Springs, which is a favorite of mine. We visit there at least every few years. This time, the guys (all firefighters) wanted to be sure to visit the International Association of Fire Fighters Fallen Firefighters Memorial. It provides tribute to those firefighters and emergency medical personnel who have been killed in the line of duty and provides assistance to their families. When we arrived, we were surprised to see that the Memorial was being re-done, but they were gracious enough to let us visit and pay our respects anyway.
It was quite a moving experience for Tom and his friend Todd. The granite walls will be engraved with the names of those who have fallen. It should be quite beautiful when they got it finished, as it was already touching even in transition.
Once we left the area, it was such a wonderful day that we decided to take a “Sunday drive”. Actually, the guys wanted to take a nice bike ride in the mountains, so Rachel and I decided to drive “SAG” for them.
Who knows where we are going? Hmm, what’s this? A warning about a potential “Big Foot” sighting?
Of course, it’s all in jest. For anyone that guessed already, yep we’re driving up Pike’s Peak, just 15 miles outside of Colorado Springs. Initiating at an elevation of 7,400 feet, it summits at a height of 14,115 feet, making it the tallest summit of the southern front range of the Rocky Mountains. Now a fully paved road, I remember driving up there with my mom and my daughter, when she was just about 3 or 4 years old. Of course, back then the road to the top wasn’t paved and I remember “white-knuckling” it all of the way to the top.
Nowadays, it’s not so bad, except for an occasional tight turn with no guardrails and steep drop-offs. To get to the top, one can drive, bike, hike, or take the cog railroad up.
The air at the top was quite thin and chilly, snow was on the ground, and everyone was laboring a bit getting from one area to the other. I kept thinking about Tom just a few days earlier, riding his bike up to Mt. Evans for me … in pursuit of those mountain goats … when the road was closed for repairs. LOL
As you can see, storms were brewing off in the distance. OK, so as we were driving up, we actually hit rain, sleet, and corn snow! What? This is July!
The guys drove up, with the intent of riding their bikes down, and no snow or inclement weather was going to keep them from doing that! Now that the skies began to open up a bit, they decided that they had better descend and quickly, before the next storm blew in.
The views all of the way down were gorgeous. I was driving so it was a bit difficult to partake in the photography …
…. but wait … what do we have here? Marmots! I’m pulling over to shoot them. 🙂
I’ve never seen little ones playing like that! They looked like sumo wrestlers as they stood up and held on to one other, as they tried to push each other around. Of course, these guys were young and just being restless. The parents were nearby just watching them from the rocky cliffs. So cute and immensely entertaining!
The guys made it down safely, as did we.
If you’ve never experienced Pike’s Peak before, make it a point to do so if you’re ever in the Colorado Springs area. One word of advice though … go early! The traffic going down gets progressively worse as the day gets later. Oh, and no matter what time of the year it is … dress warm!
Thanks to Rick Louie for leaving his hat behind in our truck a few days earlier…. sure came in handy at the top. 😉
Next up on the Blog: From sunrise to sunset at Garden of the Gods. Stay tuned!
© 2015 Debbie Tubridy / TNWA Photography