Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Day 6 Morning - Colorado Springs - Cog Rairoad

One of the rare pictures of the three of us together!  This was taken in Palmer Park in Colorado Springs.  This park is  great hiking and bird venue and very close to where my sister lives.  Bill treated us to a visit and  a great spot where you could see Pikes Peak way far off.  You can still see it from their front windows but the neighbor's evergreens are blocking a great deal of it now.  

 These are basically the same view but without the three old ladies in the foreground!

Our morning excusion was to the top of Pike's Peak via the Cog Railroad.  The station is pictured here.  As usual, our GPS didn't want to take us the easy way and Vicki had to finally override it so that we could safely make it to our destination!

The aspens were beautiful against the bright blue sky.

 The views on the way up were breathtaking but I had to straighten all the pictures as the angle of the ride was pretty steep and so all the pictures look like they were slanting precariously.  We are still below the treeline here.

 This is a Marmot.  We saw quite a few of these but not easy to take a picture through the window of a moving train!

This is a Ground Squirrel who stopped and posed for me!  He looked an awful lot like a Prairie Dog to me!

 You can see a car going in the opposite direction here.  There were several places where the car would pull off onto a side track so that the trains could pass.  It was quite chilly up  here -- probably 40 degrees.

 We had about a half an hour at the top before we reboarded the train.  At 12000 plus feet it was hard to do much walking around and breathe at the same time.  The views were beautiful though and you could pretty much see forever on this nice clear day.  Notice the tundra at this altitude way above the tree line.

 If you look right below the clouds, you will see a thin sliver of white.  Those are the snowy peaks of the Rocky Mountains which I think were really very distant and not usually so visible.

On the way down, we had quite a view of the road going to the top.

While Vicki and Joan were investigating the gift shop I found the Hummingbird feeders and saw closeup the Broad-tailed Hummingbirds I had seen flitting around the railroad station.

After we left the Cog Railroad, we headed to the #1 site in Colorado Springs -- the Garden of the Gods.  

This is the view through the window at the Visitor Center at Garden of the Gods.  What a view for a lunch break!!

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