Archives for: October 2011, 08
We had a gorgeous day for our trip to top of Pikes Peak on the cog train. Someday I would like to ride the train to the top and walk down, or perhaps even hike up the mountain and ride the train back down. But that would not happen this trip. It does take a day or two to adjust to high altitudes, and we only arrived in Colorado last night.
We had expected the view from the top of the 14,110 foot mountain to be spectacular. What we hadn’t expected was such a lovely ride up the mountain. The aspen were bright yellow, and the streams were sparkling white. We saw a golden eagle soaring on the wind currents.
When we arrived at the summit, the views in every direction were breath taking. We literally felt like we were on the top of the world. I was not surprised to learn that Katharine Lee Bates wrote the words to America the Beautiful after a trip to the top of Pikes Peak in 1893.
The people who run the food service at Pikes Peak have a rule against bringing picnic lunches on the train. They want you to buy their boxed lunches. I had asked in advance if they could prepare me a lunch without bread or potato chips. They said that they could not and were agreeable that people on special diets could bring their own food. I enjoyed my asparagus and salmon while those around me ate boxed lunches.
If I am going to eat an avoid, particularly wheat, I want to make it memorable. Ordinary, everyday wheat, like sandwiches, tortilla chips, rolls, and pizza, are not worth compromising for.
Pikes Peak is famous for something besides the beautiful views – high altitude donuts. A man named Lewis began making donuts to sell to tourists on the mountain in 1889. They are world famous, and I am told that they do not taste the same when they are made in mile high Denver, much less in the flat lands of Texas. I decided that the experience of eating a high altitude donut on top of Pikes Peak was worth it.
I bought one for myself and one of HH. They are cake donuts, so they do not melt in your mouth the way a hot fresh Krispy Kreme does. However, they probably have the best flavor of any donut I have ever eaten.
We have driven to Estes Park and checked into our condominium. We are looking forward to a week’s hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park.
When I think back on today in years to come, I will probably not remember the donut. But I will remember the majesty of the mountains, and my heart sings...
“O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea!”