Mo & Terry Smedley


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Part VII - Pike's Peak, Garden of the Gods

Today, we traveled up the cog railway to the top of Pike's Peak.  Weather was perfect, with good viewing for 360 degrees.  Cool at the top - in the 40s.  After returning to Colorado Springs, we toured Garden of the Gods then headed out for Silverthorne.   About an hour out of Colorado Springs, the air compressor on our bus failed.  A substitute bus was called up out of Colorado Springs, and after a brief waylay on the side of the road, we were back on our way to Silverthorne.

This inclined steam locomotive can still be used to take cog trains up at least part of the way.  There are no water tanks beyond midway, so steam can't be used for the entire route. Look carefully at the previous picture - you can see how the steam pistons are connected to the wheels through this torque-multiplying lever. Here's a closeup of the cog and track used on the railway. Looking up the mountain from the lower station.  Our train consists of two cars, and each car can hold 100 passengers, so the station is a busy place.
Mo's enjoying the ride up the mountain. Fall aspen color is exploding today.   Looking across the wide alpine terrain above 10,000 feet.
It's steep outside! This is not a photographic exaggeration.  The cog line achieves grades of 25% in several places along the route. We pass near the roadway that allows you to drive right to the top. Our train parked at summit station.
Summit station.   "End of steel" has a whole different meaning up here!  
  Fellow tour members Charles and Linda Bradley at the summit. Terry taking the overlapping photos needed to create the stitch-ups. It's a long ways down from summit station!
A view of the highway and the cog railway just below the summit. Panoramas from the top.   Mountain Goats on the slopes below the summit.
Descending in our railcar. Garden of the Gods    
Christmas Card material. These two horses came up to see us..... ....when we were stranded on the side of the road. The group waits (mostly patiently) for a substitute bus from Colorado Springs.
This is for Betsy, and she will know why.