all aboard! a trip on the pikes peak cog railway

Last week I came upon a coupon for the Pikes Peak Cog Railway by accident, and so this past Sunday, Danny and I made plans to take the cog railway from Manitou Springs to the top of Pikes Peak.  Well, birthday celebrations took an exciting turn when we started watching home videos of my mother-in-law and her giant belly when she was pregnant with Danny and his twin brother James, and before we knew it, it was too late to make the ride up the mountain.  So on Monday, Danny convinced me to try again, and after a tasty lunch at Seeds Community Cafe in downtown Colorado Springs, we drove up to Manitou and picked up our tickets.

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We boarded the train and left at 2:40pm.  At first, I thought that we had awful seats, but in reality, I think they’re among the best seats available.  There are three seats next to the engineer on the way up and three next to him on the way down (the cog doesn’t turn around – the front of the train on the way up is the back of the train on the way down), and they face a huge window, not other people like every other seat aboard.  I ended up loving our seats – they really made for some amazing, unobstructed views.

The trip up the mountain…

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About an hour and fifteen minutes later, we were at the top of Pikes Peak.  And it was cold.  Thirty-three degrees, to be exact, with a windchill of 24 degrees.  I was so thankful that Danny had been kind enough to run back to the car at the last minute before we got on the cog and grab my heavy jacket – I would have been miserable in just the light jacket I had on.  At the top, we went straight for the donuts.  You know, the famous ones that cost $5.25 for six and taste like the ones my parents make over the camp fire with Pillsbury rolls?  Well, maybe it was the cold or the hype, but they were delicious.  We walked around the summit and tried not to blow over.  It really was neat up there.  And Mom, I promise we weren’t as close to the edge as the pictures make it look. :)

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DSC00589The whistle blew three times, and it was time to board the train for the ride back down.  It couldn’t have come at a better time – the 30 minutes we had at the top were just about right, as we were getting mighty cold.  The ride down was just as nice as the way up, but maybe even a bit nicer, because we didn’t feel the pressure to take pictures since we had gotten so many on the way up.  But, because I couldn’t resist completely (those fall colors…), here’s a few more…

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We got back to Manitou around 6pm, and stopped by Danny’s parents’ house for some veggie burgers on our way home (thanks, Keith and Susie!).  It wasn’t the clearest of days for the cog, but we had a lot of fun, and I’m so glad that we ended up doing it after all.  The fact that it was/is fall really added a fun element to the trip, especially since for some reason or another, I didn’t expect to see any fall colors on our ride.  And many thanks to Danny and Susie for convincing me that it’d be worth it :)

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