Pike’s Peak Cog Rail, Colorado

Pike's Peak Cog RailMy own backyard… or front yard. Whatever. Basically, I look at Pike’s Peak as I drive to work every morning. Don’t hate!

Named for Zebulon Pike, Pike’s Peak is the most famous of the 14ers in the Rocky Mountains. And the city of Colorado Springs, where I reside, rests at its base.

In July 2011, my cousin Ryan brought his wife and their daughters up from Texas for a visit. His parents came along for the ride as well. One afternoon, we left the girls with their grandparents and the three of us rode the Pike’s Peak Cog Rail up to the summit. This is the fourth time in my life that I’ve taken a ride on the cog rail and I still enjoy it. (There will always be a bit of a kid inside of me.)

Pike's Peak Cog RailWe totally scored in that we were given the three seats at the butt of the rail car. Ever ridden the Monorail at Disneyland? The most coveted seats are the ends of the train because you have an unimpeded view of where you’ve been or where you’re going. The same is true for the Pike’s Peak Cog Rail.

As we chugged up the mountain, I was given numerous opportunities to photograph the rail car tagging along behind us. There was a distance of approximately 100 yards between us. This shot was taken above tree line (thus the lack of trees) and please don’t ask me what the body of water is… I think it’s a reservoir, but I really have no idea. (I’m not from here–I just live here–I don’t have all the geographical stuff memorized!) I do know the green is tundra grass and I want to say it grows at a rate of 1/4″ per year. Clearly, mowing the lawn is not an issue up here.

Pike's Peak Cog RailPrior to arriving above tree line, you’re most definitely in the heart of the forest. Since I shoot digital, I don’t have to carry two cameras for color and black/white any more. Thank goodness! Yes, I really did carry two camera bodies at one time so I could shoot anything and everything just as I wanted it. When I shot this photo, I couldn’t help but think of the final lines in Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

You didn’t know I was so literate, did you? While this is a road less traveled, I do know it’s not the proverbial road to which the poet refers. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t bring that line to mind, though.

Now I just hafta head up Pike’s Peak on the rail sometime in the snow! This I’ve not yet done…

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