It took us over an hour to get to the top but the ride was pretty straight and no one complained about suffering from motion-sickness and it was comfortably cool. Then, about 2/3 of the way up, we decided that it was a little too cool so we put our sweatshirts on. As we continued our climb to the top, the conductor regaled us with tales of earlier explorers and adventurous souls who thought it would be great to live on the mountain and try their hand at taming "Mother Nature." However, for most, it's like the old commercial used to advise: "It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature"--not advisable either.
|temp was 41|
|windchill was 32|
So after too short a time, we boarded the train for our descent back to Manitou Springs. We enjoyed a great lunch and headed for my cousin Duane's house.
Duane is my dad's nephew, (that is, Duane's mom and my dad were siblings) and he was raised in Kansas, near Wichita. Growing up, we visited my paternal relatives on occasion, that is, maybe once a year. My parents had the five of us very close together and travelling with young children, toddlers and infants was certainly not something anyone (then or now) would have dreamed about. As we got older, my sisters and I always wanted to get to know Dad's family. You see, we were (and still are) close to mom's side and wanted the same types of relationships with Dad's. Time, circumstances and distances kept us from getting close to most of them, except Aunt Dorothy, (Duane's mom). She and my dad maintained a close relationship so we did get to know them the best. Duane is an interesting combination of traits. There are so many things about him that remind me of my dad. Physically, they share some likeness but, even more important to me, their personalities are similar. Both highly intelligent, self-motivated and driven to succeed. However, it is their sense of humor that draws me. Duane is a NUT!!! There is just no other way to describe him. He has such a dry sense of humor, you can just never be sure if he is being honest or telling you a whopper of a lie.
|"kissing camels" at Garden of the Gods"|
|Colorado red granite|
|View from the road to the Peak|
All-in-all, maybe we did hit the peak of our trip on days 3-4...
Come back to see what the next several days were like.