Colorado Springs and Pike’s Peak

This is my mother.  On a mountain.  In Colorado. 

I wanted to post a picture of her blowing out the candles on her birthday cake but I figured that she would be angry at me forever.  So in the interest of self-preservation, I’m going to keep it to myself.  Unless you ask to see it.  Then I’ll “HAVE” to share it. 

Anyway, we took Mom to Colorado Springs for her birthday to visit Dad’s family.  The trip started off uneventfully with just Mom and I.  We got in to Denver, rented a car, and headed south to Colorado Springs. 

I was lucky.  I got to stay at my cousin’s house.  My mom had to stay at my Aunt’s.  The difference is that one is a fun house and the other sucks all of the life out of you the second you walk through the front door. 

Anyway, we spent the first couple of days hanging out with the family.  We went on walks.  Visited tourist attractions.  Ate.  Ate again.  Then I headed back to Denver to pick up Keith.  And I’m sorry that you have had to go two days into our trip before the pictures start kicking in. 

Before Keith’s flight landed, I got to have a quick visit with my bestest friend, Jen.  She lives in Denver and has an adorable son Patrick, and the cutest daughter, Samantha.  And the babies slept almost the entire time I was there!  I love babies!  Sleeping babies that is.  They woke up refreshed and happy.  We played for 1/2 an hour then the babysitter arrived and we were out the door to pick Keith up from the airport. 

We went downtown for dinner where we (the girls anyway) watched the opening ceremonies.  I’m sure the guys would have cared more if it was actually a sporting event.  But they did enjoy the fried pickles …

And after dinner we headed to the casino. 

I won $70.  Yay!  But it turns out casino people get mad if you take pictures.  They don’t take away your camera, but they do yell at you … who knew? 

Then we ran back to the hotel for a couple of hours of sleep before leaving to head back to CO Springs.  It was my impression that we were going to be leaving to drive up Pike’s Peak at 8:00.  And I didn’t want to be the one that was late. 

Turns out, I didn’t need to worry about it.  I don’t think we left until 10:30.  My uncle couldn’t decide if he was going to join us or not.  Since he’s on the CO mountain search and rescue squad, I guess mountains just aren’t that exciting when there is no one to rescue.  To our extreme pleasure, he deemed us worthwhile and came.  Although it’s possible he thought that we were going to need rescuing and he might as well come along.   

So we headed up the mountain.  We had my cousins in our car and my mom and my aunt and uncle in the other. 

The first stop had a donkey.  And a mountain man.

So of course we had to stop to pet him.  The donkey that is.  Petting the mountain man might have been a bit strange …

And I tried to convince Keith to bring the kitty cat home for Kizzy.  But he didn’t go for it.

I’m not sure Kizzy would have liked it anyway. 

Then we all piled back in our respective cars to continue up the mountain.  Just as we are pulling out, my uncle throws his car into reverse and runs over to our car.  He must have forgotten something. 

Turns out, he sure did.  He forgot to point out where two separate drivers committed suicide last year.  Apparently they drove off the side of the mountain.  Right where we were headed.  I’m sorry that they made that choice, but did we really need to know that before we drove the twisty, steep, cliff road?

Well, he just killed the mood.  Thankfully, we quickly recovered.  The view didn’t hurt.  It was hard to be depressed by individual’s choices when faced with the beautiful mountainside.

Finally, we made it to the top.  Where my uncle felt the need to point out exactly where the two cars went off the cliff.  And the numerous other people who have jumped from this point. 

Anyway, we posed for pictures, had a world-famous Pike’s Peak fried donut, and enjoyed the balmy 50 degree weather.  (When you have been spending the last several days and nights suffering through 90 degree heat, you never want to leave the top of the mountain.  Or you want to figure out how to transport the cool air down to your bedroom.) 

Alas, we eventually had to leave.  Well, not before my cousins and Keith showed off their climbing skills. 

He makes it look easy.  And I just love the lollipop in the picture. 

As we headed down the mountain, we could feel the air around us getting warmer and warmer.  Which is only devestating because most people in Colorado Springs don’t have air conditioning.  Which is OK.  Most of the year they don’t need it.  But those couple of weeks a year when they do need it, let me tell you, it’s hot!  Dry heat or not, it’s really warm! 

Is it wrong that I still kinda want to share that picture of mom?  I feel like this post in incomplete because I can’t share the picture from her birthday dinner.  Oh well. 

Stay tuned tomorrow for our trip to the grownup jungle gym at Cave of the Winds. 

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