Colorado Vacation – Day 14

Day 14:

  • Packed up the trailer and parked it in DML HQ
  • Left camp at 8:15am
  • Traveled to Pike’s Peak
  • Caravanned up Pike’s Peak
  • Photos at the summit
  • Descended Pike’s Peak
  • Returned to camp
  • Left for home
  • Lunch at La Casita in Colorado Springs
  • Dinner in Limon, CO
  • Stayed at Super 8 in Colby, KS

Surprisingly, we got an early start as a group today, leaving camp around 8:15am. Everyone at the meet visited Pike’s Peak together. The vehicles we had were Dave and Jan, Jon and Ed, Jason and Norah, Mike, Don (with Tom riding along), Jason’s parents, Walt and Ingrid, and us. When we arrived at the entrance at the bottom, there was a sign saying that the top 6 miles were closed due to fog, so the fee was 50% off. We decided to take our chances that the fog would lift and headed up anyway.

We stopped at the first visitor’s center on the way up and looked around for a while, killing time hoping the fog would lift before we reached mile 13. We moved on and reached the dirt portion of the road, which was very nicely graded. When we reached the 13 mile station, the road had been opened so we continued after a short stop. As we neared the top, we got into a lot of fog (clouds, really), which made for a neat experience but often reduced our visibility. We reached the summit and parked the trucks for a few pictures. Many of us visited the gift shop and the lookouts, and we got everyone gathered for a group photo at the summit sign.

Some of us weren’t feeling too well at that altitude, so we headed down before too long, though visibility was very poor. Jon fearlessly led the group down, apparently using his infrared vision. The grades were steep enough and speeds slow enough that most of us used low range on our transfer cases to take advantage of greater engine braking. At the 13 mile checkpoint, we pulled over, since Don had alerted us via the FRS radios that he was hearing a clunk in his front suspension. Thankfully we had a lot of mechanics and tools in the bunch so we pulled his front tire and discovered a loose a couple of loose bolts in his suspension, presumably caused by the folks who did his front end alignment two months ago. Before long we were on the road down, stopping once to take a picture of Ed in front of a whimsical “Bigfoot Crossing” sign. Due to his tall physique and his complaint of all the hair in the public showers, he acquired the nickname “Nasquatch” (apparently a non-hairy Sasquatch…).

At the bottom, we traveled to a restaurant to have lunch together but discovered it wasn’t open for lunch. We then headed back to camp. At that point, we hitched up the truck, said our goodbyes, and headed out. We stopped for lunch in Colorado Springs, for dinner in Limon, CO, and for the night in Colby, KS. We were very drowsy and decided that was far enough for the day.

More stuff:

  • A sign at Pike’s Peak warning that the local squirrels can carry the plague
  • T-shirts that said “Got Oxygen?”
  • Amish people at the summit of Pike’s Peak
  • Evan running around at 14,000 feet as if he were at sea level
  • Walt’s roof-mounted video camera
  • Motor graders, concrete trucks, and trucks pulling drags un the dirt section of the highway near the summit
  • Road workers at 13,000 feet (I imagine they have to take a lot of breaks)

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