Than the State of Colorado is remarkable? Travel for four days. Part 3
Day the third, Wednesday, October 1 .
For this day at us planned a trip to the city of Colorado Springs which is in 70 miles to the South from Denver, in the foothills of Rocky mountains, at a foot of the mountain Payks Pik (Pikes Peak).
Payks Peak - top, the third on height, within the Rocky Mountains of the State of Colorado, its height is 4301 meters, or 14110 feet. The district around Colorado Springs - one of the most picturesque in staff. It is the balneological and climatic resort, there are a lot of curative mineral sources.
The city was founded in 1871 by the general William Jackson Palmer, the builder of the railroad from Denver to Rio - the Grandee. Around the city in the 19th century intensively developed the gold deposit and silver that attracted immigrants. Especially much here arrived natives of England so the city even got the nickname “ Small London “. Now to Colorado Springs 372 thousand inhabitants, and together with suburbs - 525 thousand live. It is one of the main centers of winter sports. Not incidentally to Colorado Springs there are a National association of skiing and National Olympic Committee of the USA.
At 8 - 30 in the morning we leave Denver, and on the federal highway No. 25 we rush on the South. The highway is beautiful, the allowed speed of 65 miles an hour. And every time I remember the phrase of our remarkable journalist Vasily Peskov: “ Roads - the best that is in America “. Almost to a half of a way in parallel with us there are passenger electric trains, however, small, on only 3 cars, white, beautiful. Then the railroad leaves aside. From West side, i.e. to the left of us, separate table mountains, with flat tops, not really high, overgrown with trees and bushes tower. These are mountains - the ostanets formed as a result of aeration processes. Sometimes they have a bizzare shape. The mountain with the name " was especially remembered; Rock " Lock; - “ Castle Rock “ about which there is a town with the same name. Did not approach close yet, and it seemed that at top of the mountain there is an ancient castle. In the West in a haze the Rocky Mountains are visible.
Payks Peak .
the Main natural sights are to Hugo - I will sink down from Colorado Springs, and, without reaching the Downtown, we turn on the road No. 24, to the town of Manitou Springs, very green and cozy. To the North from the road we see red rocks among greens, and we guess that it and is well-known “ Garden of Gods “. But here then, and now a way on top of Payks Peak! We find information bureau, ubiquitous “ Visitor Center “. The lady, obviously retirement age, hospitably tells us as as it is better to look. At stands the mass of booklets on sights around Colorado Springs, everything, as everywhere, free of charge. We were told that on top of Payks Peak it is possible to get in several ways:
1. It is possible to go by train. There are more than hundred years, since 1891, the most mountain railroad in the USA, comfortable and safe for passengers - Pikes Peak Cog Railway works. By the way, before opening in 2007 of the most mountainous railroad in the world in China, Qinghai - Tibetan (which highest point 5072 meters), the road to Payks Peak was out of competition. In day do three flights, trip duration four hours, the cost of 30 dollars from the person there and back. On the way do two short stops, and in a terminal point, at Peak top, at the house of meetings - Pikes Peak Summit House, half an hour for photography and survey is given.
2. On the car on top it is possible to reach if not to stop anywhere, for an hour with small. The road, the most mountain paid road in the world, of 19 miles, begins approximately in 2 - x miles from information center, you are unlimited in time, it is possible to stop how many and anywhere.
3. Conquest of top by bicycles. Up, carry to one party by special bus in which also bicycles fasten. And from top tourists make a way back by the two-wheeled cars though it is hard too. We conferred a little, decided that we will go independently, on the car. Already were late for the next flight of the train and tickets as it appeared, on it was not any more. And following was too late, would not manage to return to Denver.
The worker of information center gives us very detailed plan of the road to top of Payks of Peak, and still hands two coupons on free donuts which we can receive in cafe if we reach to top, to the house of meetings. Having left Monitou, minutes through 10, we turn with 24 - y are expensive, we drive up to gate on the paid highway. Fare of 10 dollars, as well as in " park; The Rocky Mountains “. Yes, here we were warned that it is necessary to pass to a manual box of speeds, to remove from the automatic machine. And not to use the conditioner (the truth, we did not understand, why).
The first six miles please us with magnificent autumn landscapes, the road smooth, is a little cars, speed is limited to 15 miles an hour. On each mile there are indexes of distance and approximately through mile - altimeters above sea level. Again there are a lot of platforms for stops. Especially one pleased, near the lake “ Cristal Creek Reservoir “ behind the sixth mile. There with the next Visitor Center with little shop, on the platform it is equipped the small flushing device, persons interested can stay as gold diggers. After that the road begins to rise sharply up, and in the middle between the 9 and 10 mile the subalpine zone begins. In the same place the big platform for picnics is equipped, there is a lodge, and there is a working equipment - a tractor, the bulldozer.
Already on the road here at me heart began to fade with fear - the road went above and above, is frequent on edge of breaks, turns were abrupt and dangerous. I very much wanted to turn back. But my companion - the good fellow, told: “ Not to peep! Only forward! And not to look back! “. Honestly, as you will look back - the whole world under us. The mountain here almost naked, without vegetation, there are a lot of stony taluses. Behind the twelfth mile asphalt disappeared - it was buried under a layer of sand and gravel, probably, after collapses. Also there was no dividing strip. Sometimes it seemed that we go directly to heaven! The round behind a round as the serpentine, the road curls, and is closer and closer to top! About 18 - y quite wide platform and the plate on it calls miles: “ Be especially attentive! “ the index the mountain top Small Payks Peak - Little Pikes Peak shows height of 4078 meters, here. Light-brown color of the rock, rare lichens, which - where, in deepenings, the snow remains. A minute respite, on the street it is quite cool, wind strong so we put on jackets. And below, when left, there were +26 degrees.
10 more minutes, and before us top - 4301 meters! Inexpressible feeling! We reached! The soul is exempted from fear and exults! There is quite flat platform, not small, perhaps, builders worked. The big parking where there are not less than one and a half tens cars. The low stocky building which carries the name Summit House - the House of a meeting.
There big shop with souvenirs, memorable t-shirts and cafe. In cafe we receive donuts and we take hot coffee. At top, the region of the mountain, has a memorable curbstone - on it the long text eulogizing America - “ America is beautiful! “. On a steep slope a meteorological station. And on the region of the mountain there are railroad rails. Unusually that between usual rails one more - a tooth gearing thanks to which the train also rises by such big height. We do a set of different pictures, short rest, and we go to a way back. If the road took us more than two hours up, then back we for an hour and a half (the first 6 miles went down very carefully, with a speed no more than 10 miles an hour) appeared already in Manitou. And still expected us “ Garden of Gods “.
But about I am mute I will tell in the following part. It is worth it!