living the high life

for our second day in colorado, we decided to revisit another tourist spot from our last trip to the area - pike's peak.  i was a little leery of it this time around though, because since that last visit i've gotten older and discovered that my body doesn't really love being up in super high altitudes.  i'd already been experiencing a little chest tightening and shortness of breath since we'd arrived, and knowing that pike's peak is more than 14,000 feet up - well, let's just say that i was having a little anxiety.

we drove through the little city of manitou springs on the way there, and giggled a little at the sign advertising santa's workshop at the north pole.


while we hadn't anticipated being able to ride the train that we'd taken up to the top last time, we were  still disappointed to find that it wasn't in operation at all.  the station was all boarded up and it looked like no one had been there in quite some time.


that's okay, though.  we made our way up the road and found ourselves in line to pay the toll that would allow us to drive up to the top of the mountain.


we were treated to some pretty views on the way up, and watched the temperature drop more and more as we climbed higher and higher.  there were even little patches of snow here and there.


when we arrived at the top of the mountain, i was really surprised to find that the altitude wasn't bothering me at all.  in fact, it was easier for me to breathe up there than it was down at the resort.  so weird.  and here, too, things had changed quite a bit.  they're building a new summit visitor center and a research facility and laboratory up here, so there was a flurry of construction activity going on.


there was a pretty long line of folks (most of which were wearing masks, yay!) who were waiting to either go into the gift shop or take advantage of the photo ops.  not wanting to wait, we walked over to the other side of the fenced-off area to take in the views and snap a family photo.


as we made our way back to the truck, we encountered this sweet dog who just watched teddy go nuts, barking and growling at him as we passed.  that dog would eat you, teddy.  calm down.


oddly enough, it was the hub who found himself feeling a little lightheaded as we started making our way back down the mountain.  still, he managed to pull it together enough to enjoy the sights and pretty views as we drove along.


we stopped at this gift shop about halfway down to pick up some souvenirs, like a magnet to add to our collection at home.


off to the side, i found this:




 inside the gift shop, we found the magnet we wanted along with a coffee mug for the hub's (also growing) collection.  and i decided that we needed to bring these home to the old lady's special friend because why not:


back in the car, i picked up the crochet project i'd been working on and almost totally missed the
"leaving pike national forest" sign that i'd wanted to capture to share here.  blarg.


oh well.  you can still see it, right?  sorta.

whatever.  it was still a fun outing, and then we headed back to the resort to relax and take a nap.  ah, vacation.  gotta love it.

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