I decided to lump two days into one for this post. On the 7th we spent a lot of the day shopping, and being lazy around Tak and To’s house. We did have a nice late lunch at a very good German restaurant, and finished the day at very good brewery for a round.
We had a big day planned for the 8th as To was really excited to take us to Pikes Peak. It is the most famous landmark in Colorado Springs and maybe Colorado.
Pikes Peak is a 14,000 foot mountain that overlooks Colorado Springs. It is famous for having a road to the top of the mountain. It is one of the highest roads in North America. They are working on the last stretch of road so we could only go to the 12,700 foot mark but that is plenty high enough as the air was quite thin.
The road as you can imagine is quite steep and there are multiple switchbacks particularly after you rise above the treeline. The road is also used by bicyclists though we saw only one group going up. Several tours take bicyclists to the top and have them ride down where they can reach some pretty high speeds. There is an automotive race called the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb where the current record for covering the 20 kilometers is 7 minutes and 57 seconds set by a VW electric car in 2018. It is considered the most dangerous automotive race in North America because in addition to the elevation change you have to negotiate 156 turns most of which have no guard rails if you miss the turn.
We took a much more leisurely pace going up and down. After about 3 miles coming down, you have to go thru a check point where they check the temperature of your breaks and if it exceeds 300 degrees you have to pull over and let them cool off before you can continue going down. To did a good job of using his low gear and we passed the check easily.
After a lunch at the bottom of Pikes Peak we headed over to the Broadmoor hotel which is one of the great hotels of the American west. When we pulled up to the hotel the security guard was frankly a jerk, but we went in anyway. The place is immense and luxurious. Timber particularly enjoyed himself as there was a lot of grass to run on, a big pond to attempt to pull To into, and lots of nice people to interact with.
Ton and I enjoyed a quick walk around the grounds. The grounds are immense and well manicured. Our days of thinking of staying at a place like this are over. But once in a while it is fun to hobnob with the rich.
We finished the day with a trip to Costco where Ton and I felt like we were back in our proper element!