“The mountains are calling and I must go.” John Muir

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Hey there!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend!  Here in Denver we’re still settling in and adjusting to our new surroundings… so what is a new Denver-ite to do their first official weekend in the city?

LEAVE… and head to the mountains where the Earth and sky meet… and where nature’s call certainly emanates from.  Well we did just that!

With a short pit stop to pick up left behind shoes and mail, we headed south to Colorado Springs and then on to Pike’s Peak!

For those of you reading from afar, Pike’s Peak stands tall and proud in the Colorado Springs skyline.  It is very obviously the highest mountain you can see from our friend’s front porch, but believe it or not, it is only the 31st tallest mountain in Colorado!  It stands at a whopping 14,110 ft, and is one of the famed 14-ers.  Luckily, because the Big Z and I have yet to start our exercise regime that will prep us for actually climbing (aka slowly hiking) these giants, there is a beautiful road that leads to the top.  It was a fantastic and gorgeous trip to the top with some unexpectedly breath taking views… and of course the obligatory hand-clutching-door-as-if-that-could-stop-the-car-from-plunging-off-the-side-of-the-mountain moments.

For some reason that I cannot even begin to fabricate, I did not remember to bring my camera… and so the pictures are minimal and taken by my phone camera, but they turned out okay.  Feel free to take a peak (hahahaha – pun and incorrect spelling intended!) and let me know what you think!  Could you climb a 14-er?  What are your favorite mountain trails?  Secret nature spots?

Check out the fantastic (wink wink) pictures below the cut!

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This is the highway on the way towards the mountain.  A terrible picture through the window… but as the mountains got closer, I definitely couldn’t help but snap a picture or two.

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I thought that after leaving North Carolina a few years ago I would be done with seeing the bright red clay walls… and I’m still not sure this is clay, but being surrounded by these sheer rock faces that mimicked that deep red color was sure surprising!

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Another gem on the way to the top of the mountain was ‘stumbling’ onto Crystal Reservoir.  This little (and by little I mean one of four reservoirs on the mountain) beauty will definitely be receiving a second visit on a day when it is less likely to start storming!  While here we began seeing some pretty ominous storm clouds rolling in.  They were quite beautiful, but we wanted to make sure that we made it to the top in good weather to continue taking some nice pictures and to see as far as possible!

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Well, we did make it to the top… and guess what?  On a day when it was quite warm at the start of our journey… it was definitely blanket weather at the top.  At a nice cool 35ish degrees, we were quite chilly.  The Big Z stopped into the summit shop for some famous donuts and hot chocolate, but I bet you can guess which of us was warmer at the end of the day!  😉

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On our way back down I drove, and we pulled over to get a good shot of this beautiful drop off.  Despite stopping, however, when we reached the first check point back down the mountain our brakes were a hot 400 degrees, and the park ranger had us pull over and cool off for a bit.  It was a nice chance for us to do a little exploring, but then it finally began raining, so we just enjoyed some time inside the gift shop, and relaxed before our hour and a half trip home.

All in all it was a great first weekend trip!  We hope to check out (and perhaps even venture a climb in time) the other 14-ers that are here in Colorado!

Until next time!

-Ash

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