With only forty-five minutes to enjoy the top of Pikes Peak as much as possible, we tried to savor the view, the thin air (for the uniqueness of the experience, not because we liked gasping), and the near-freezing temperatures that perfectly counteracted the summertime heat that had been hammering us at ground level. Alas, forty-five minutes flew by in about ten minutes flat.
One last shot for the road, then:
We owe much gratitude to the Pikes Peak Cog Railway for facilitating the experience, despite the technical difficulties that postponed the experience and left us with no time for any other tourist attractions that day.
Our path of descent passed the same sights as our ascent had, except we saw a few more marmots. Unfortunately, every marmot-related photo we snapped became a children’s puzzle called, “How many marmots can you spot in this picture?” I know there was at least one marmot frolicking in this field along the way, but it’s invisible to me now.
From the Cog Railway station, we headed east to Colorado Springs, waiting for our hearing to return and our minds to accept that we had to resume living at ground level once again. We spent the night in one of a few hotels that had been recently constructed on a desolate plain in the southeast part of town, presumably with additional civilization yet to spring forth. Little urban clutter stood between us and the sunset over the Rockies. Maybe we couldn’t live up there, but we could at least try to capture it a few more times for posterity.
Our hotel was apparently so remote that the free Wi-Fi connection was glacial and temperamental. I ended up switching to the Wi-Fi belonging to the hotel next door, brilliantly deciphered their complicated password on my first try (“guest”), and posted my Day Five live wrap-up thusly. I wanted to relive the entire day, and I wanted to relive it now.
After dinner, that is. Our last stop before calling it a night was a farewell trip to a Smashburger, where we savored what quite possibly may be the last Smashburgers we’ll ever have for the rest of our lives.
…well, unless they hurry up and expand to the eastern part of the Midwest. Or unless our family finally runs out of new states to visit and begins scheduling some return trips. Smashburger had better not go out of business before that happens.
To be continued!
[Link enclosed here to handy checklist for previous and future chapters, and for our complete road trip history to date. Thanks for reading!]