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Monday, August 10, 2015

mountain high

the hub and i had spent some time watching the tv channel dedicated to the resort - its history, current events, shopping and dining, activities in the surrounding areas.  and when we saw that there was a railway that would take us to the top of pike's peak, we decided that would make a fun outing after our post-segway catnap.  the concierge told us that reservations were completely booked, but that standby was available.  and even if we didn't end up getting on the train, she said that manitou springs, the town the station was located in, was pretty fun to poke around in.  sold.

without a shuttle or a rental car to rely on for transportation, we turned to good old uber to help us out.  about 15 minutes later, we got dropped off at the station.

as luck would have it, we were second on the standby list for the train departing in the next 15 minutes.  we waited around for just a little while before they called our number and sold us tickets for two seats that would have us facing each other rather than sitting together.  no biggie.

we joined the line and found our seats easily.

doesn't he look happy?

we'd picked up some snacks to munch on during the hour-plus long ride, and because of the crazy high altitude at the top, i'd snagged some canned oxygen too.  the hub was convinced it was just an $8 placebo that wouldn't do any good, but i didn't want to take any chances.

it was a pretty long ride, most of which we spent smirking at each other in between snacks, but at least the views were pretty.

and look, there were patches of ice and snow:

it was getting pretty chilly as we ascended the mountain, and the sign down at the station said that the temperature could drop down as low as 37 degrees.  yikes.  we were dressed in shorts and t-shirts, and while i eyed the sweatshirts in the little gift shop that sold me that can of oxygen, i decided that i could brave the potential cold for the little while we'd be up there.

when we got out of the train at the top, we found that while it was rather cool up there, it was manageable.  we followed the crowd into the shop, where there were tons of little knickknacks and souvenirs on sale along with a random mini donut stand.

we stayed in there only as long as it took to hit the restrooms and then went back outside to check out the sights.  i was pleasantly surprised to find that the thin air didn't give me too much difficulty, and so the can of oxygen stayed in my pocket.

the song "america the beautiful" was inspired by a trip up to this very spot.

as we walked around, we noticed something a little freaky.  can you imagine if the brakes went out on that thing?

we were pretty much over it by then, and with about five minutes left before we were due to return to the station, we decided to just sit in the empty train and wait.

i started getting a bit of a headache at that point, so out came the can.  a few hits and i felt better right away.

i think we both fell asleep at some point on the ride back down, and the temperature (and humidity) climbed back up to normal as we descended.  the station was about a ten-minute walk from the town, but it was all downhill.  along the way we came across miramont castle, which is on the national register of historic places.  it was originally built for a french catholic priest back in the late 1800s and showcases several architectural styles, mostly victorian.  oh, and also - it's supposedly haunted.

i took a picture of this map, but didn't really look very closely at it.  it's kinda cool, yeah?

natural springs abound.  these fountains provide fresh water that people gathered around to refill their bottles.

there was a big arcade full of all sorts of OG games - video, pinball, skeeball, you name it.

and this old pepsi machine where you could buy...coke.  haha!  okay, there was pepsi too.  but still...


as we enjoyed our cold, creamy treats we realized that it was a bit later than we'd anticipated.  dinner that night required cocktail attire and a shuttle ride to the venue.  by the time the uber driver pulled up to whisk us back to the resort, we had about 15 minutes before the first shuttle arrived to start taking guests to the lodge.  we both needed to take showers, which meant i still had to do full hair and makeup.  oops.

but i can get ready pretty quickly when i need to.  and 45 minutes later, we were all cleaned up, dressed up, and enjoying our first cocktail of the evening.

check out our menu - for the second night in a row, i left the table super stuffed and ready to go right to bed.

despite our grand plans to either hit the bowling alley or the golden bee, the resort's popular dueling piano bar, all of the day's activity and fresh air knocked us both on our asses and found us fast asleep way before midnight.  like old people.  which i suppose we are.  heh.

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