The Stancliff Adventure travel blog

Rick & Cheyenne at the top!

View from the top of Pikes Peak..

 

 

View of Colorado Springs from the top..

 


The main reason for us stopping in the Denver area (Littleton to be exact) was to have Rick's Dodge truck painted. From the many years of sitting outside it really needed a new paint job. Lucky for us there was a really nice state park, Chatfield State Park not too far from the shop. This is a very popular spot for weekend campers and the park was full every weekend. We got a great roomy spot with tons of room for Cheyenne to run and play. This was a really neat state park with over 190 full hookup sites. There was also a small lake, a model airplane flying area, a dog training area, and hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails. This was a great park to be "stuck" in for several days while the truck was being painted. We picked up the truck on Friday, May 22 and it looks like a different truck, no more dents and scratches and a new smooth,. shiny black coating. All was well for about 30 minutes, then disaster struck. We were driving down the highway when the drive shaft fell out. Of course when the drive shaft fell out it damaged something in the transmission and we were stranded on the side of the interstate. After a short walk to a office building we soon located a phone book and found a reputable transmission shop. After about a 45 minute wait the tow truck arrived and we were soon on our way to the shop. After assurances from the owner that it wasn't too serious we were soon on our way to the car rental store for a rental. After being without the truck while it was being painted, we were desperate to explore the area.

We spent the next several days exploring the greater Denver/Littleton area. We both agree that if you have to live in a metropolitan area, Denver would be the place to live. It's not too far from downtown before you are in the mountains and it feels like you are hundreds of miles away.

The road to the top of Pikes Peak opened all the way and we headed up on Tuesday morning. The road to the top is 19 miles long and full of twists and turns and very steep grades. Portions of the road are dirt and there aren't many sections that have guard rails. Luckily the road is extremely wide so you don't have to ride too close to the edge. It's really interesting that on the way up you pass through sub-alpine terrain, alpine terrain and finally you are well above the tree line. We arrived safely at the top and when we opened the doors were we in for a shock. It was 47 degrees. We knew that it would be much cooler up there, but didn't think it would be over 30 degrees cooler. I guess at 14,110 feet we should have expected it. Of course there was lots of snow at the summit and Cheyenne had to play for awhile. Pikes Peak is most famous for the Pikes Peak Hill Climb race that is held anually. It is second oldest auto race in the United States (the Indy 500 being the oldest). The vehicles race to the top in around 10 minutes. I can't imagine racing up that mountain without guardrails! It is also famous because in 1894 Katharine Lee Bates, a teacher from Massachusetts, traveled to the summit and penned the words that later became "America the Beautiful". Understandably so, there are such spectacular views from the summit and it is truly breathtaking! Actually it really is breathtaking. Being so far up the oxygen in the air is about 1/2 of what it is at sea level. Rick really noticed it and was kinda dizzy. I didn't notice it too much until I bent over to pick up my sunglasses and when I came back up I got light-headed also. So after walking around the gift shop and taking numerous pictures, we got back in the car and headed back down the mountain in low gear. We made it safely to the bottom and returned back to our wheeled home just in time to receive the phone call that the truck was fixed. Whoo Hoo! We picked it up early Wednesday morning, drove it around all day to make sure everything was okay and then left Littleton for good on Thursday morning.



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