14,115: Pike’s Peak Elevation or the number of people in Colorado Springs who pet Wilma?

Get ready for your first guest post of Old Home road trip round 3! On Friday morning I (Emily) flew from SF to Denver and got swept up by my parents and Wilma as they passed through Denver on their way from North Platte, NE to Colorado Springs. To say Wilma was excited to see me would be a massive understatement.

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Since I arrived on Cinco de Mayo we figured we better get some Mexican food, so we headed down to the local taco joint on the Colorado College campus about a mile from the house.

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Cinco de Mayo tacos at La’au’s Tacos.

While there we did some research on Colorado College. Turns out it’s a private liberal arts college founded in 1874 with about 2,000 undergrad and will burn a hole right through your wallet at around $70k/year in tuition. Notable alum include Lynne Cheney (Dick’s wife) and Peggy Fleming (1968 Olympic figure skating gold medalist). Anyway, the students were as disappointed as we were that La’au’s taco shop ran out of margaritas, but the tacos were pretty good!

Saturday morning we made our way to the Royal Gorge Bridge in Cañon City, CO. The bridge spans the Arkansas river and claims to have been the world’s highest suspension bridge when it was built in 1929, but is now “one of” the world’s highest suspension bridges. Either way, it’s pretty impressive at about 1,000 feet above ground.

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It’s also worth saying a few things about Cañon City, CO as it was quite an interesting town to drive through:

  • Note the tilde above the “n”. Yep, it’s pronounced like “Canyon”. It’s one of only 5 cities in the US with a tilde in its name (I’ll make you search the other four, but spoiler alert, they are mostly in New Mexico).
  • A primary employer of Cañon City is the CO Department of Corrections, and the town has 13 prisons, including a Supermax prison, known as the “Alcatraz of the Rockies”, where every inmate is in solitary for 23 hours per day.
  • If there are any “The Man in the High Castle” fans out there, yes, Canon City in the show is based on Cañon City, CO, and no, it wasn’t filmed here.

We had lunch at a lovely spot near the entrance to the Royal Gorge park overlooking the Rockies (it’s honestly hard to find anywhere to stand in or around Colorado Springs where you don’t have a beautiful view of the Rockies).

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Lunch at 8 Mile Bar & Grill in Canon City. Wilma is eyeing that buffalo burger…

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The Old Home enjoyed a view of the Rockies while we ate lunch.

Saturday night we watched the Warriors scrape by in game 3 and enjoyed some Thai food take out.

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Wilma and I celebrating another Warriors victory.

Sunday we grabbed some sandwiches from Einsteins and headed to hike around the Garden of the Gods. IMG_0575

Where did the name Garden of the Gods come from, you ask? Well, in 1859, two surveyors explored the site. One of the surveyors suggested that it would be a “capital place for a beer garden”. His companion, awestruck by the impressive rock formations, exclaimed, “Beer Garden! Why it is a fit place for the gods to assemble. We will call it the Garden of the Gods.” A beer garden in the center would be pretty cool though…

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Pikes Peak

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The views were pretty spectacular and the formations were very cool. We also enjoyed watching some rock climbers scale their way up the formations.

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“Kissing Camels”, do you see it?

Sunday night we went to Phantom Canyon Brewing Company for dinner and sampled some more local beer (we have also tried a variety of beers from Bristol Brewing Company).

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Beer flight and shrimp n’ grits with bacon on top

Monday we attempted to hike Pulpit Rock Park. Pulpit Rock is another neat rock formation we happened to notice while driving the night before with promising views of the Rockies and the city below.DSCN4489Unfortunately, the trails didn’t really work out the way we thought and we were all a bit too spooked by our encounter with a rattle snake to go off-roading, so we kept the hike short and went to brunch early.

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Baby rattler!

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Colorado Springs Huevos Rancheros box checked! Not pictured but yes, view of the Rockies in the background.

After brunch we got Wilma nice and clean at the local Wag n’ Wash.

Tuesday morning dad and I drove up to Pike’s Peak. Pike’s Peak is the most prominent peak overlooking Colorado Springs and is one of Colorado’s 53 “fourteeners” (mountains over 14,000 feet in elevation). Pike’s Peak peaks (ha) at 14,115 feet and the summit can be reached by a 19 mile scenic highway. Unfortunately, the previous night’s snow storm caused them to close the road at mile 16, getting us to 12,870 feet. Dad and I think aside from being on board an airplane, it’s the highest we’ve ever been (including as a result of the edible dad bought for dessert last night). As always, the pictures don’t do it justice but hopefully they give you a sense of just how high above the clouds we were!

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Here you can see the switchbacks working their way up the side of the mountain.

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The old home sitting high above the clouds.

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Check out the road winding down the mountain.

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Selfie at 12,870 feet!

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View of the summit from below.

On a final note, it really is worth reiterating previous blog discussions about what it’s like to walk around with Wilma. The amount of attention she gets is just ridiculous. For example, at the Garden of the Gods visitor center viewpoint, there were more people taking pictures of her than of the Garden of the Gods. You can’t walk for more than 30 seconds without hearing a “beautiful dog”. And she really is!

Thanks mom and dad for letting me join the old home for a few days!

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Our Colorado Springs Airbnb.

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