Miramont House

1 08 2008

Today we planned to go up to Colorado Springs to ride the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. The railway takes you to the summit of Pikes Peak. We got up at 8am (very early for us!!!) to travel to Colorado Springs to take this train.

At an altitude of 14,110 feet above sea level, Pikes Peak is the 31st highest peak out of 54 Colorado peaks. According to several people and websites consulted you can see for about 100 miles in all directions on a clear day.

An interesting tidbit about Pikes Peak that should appeal to Melody…

We owe the inspiration for the lyrics of the beloved song, “America the Beautiful ” to the stunning vistas from the summit of Pikes Peak. It was the summer of 1893, and Katharine Lee Bates, a professor of English at Wellesley College, was in Colorado Springs to teach a summer session at Colorado College. On July 22, Katharine, along with several others of the visiting faculty, took a trip in a carriage to the summit of Pikes Peak. Horses got them to the halfway point, and, as was customary, a team of mules finished the climb to the 14,110 foot summit. Because altitude sickness affected of one of the party, they only stayed on the summit a half hour, but the brief experience was enough inspire a poem.

Unfortunately when we arrived at the rail station the 10:40am trip was full, and so was the noon trip. Confused about why the train was so packed on a Thursday we realized that some people actually take vacations this time of year…so…defeated we left. On the way out we discovered the Miramont Castle… below there are a few pictures of this historic building. It looked so neat from the outside that we decided to check it out. It was only 6 bucks so we bought tickets and went along our way…

This is a picture of Miramont Castle in Manitou Springs, CO

This is a picture of Miramont Castle in Manitou Springs, CO

This castle built in the late 1800’s uses 9 different architectural styles. You can read more about it at Miramont.org . There are also several pictures of the interior all done in the Vicotrian style.

The Castle is built into the side of the mountain, with the front entrance on the first floor and the back entrance on the fourth floor.

The Castle is built into the side of the mountain, with the front entrance on the first floor and the back entrance on the fourth floor.

Although the interior of the house was not as thrilling as we’d hoped, and we were surrounded by a large group of children from the YMCA taking a tour. The interior of the house was pretty interesting…especially the fact that there were water fountains everywhere around the house, apparently to raise humidity levels and protect the antique furniture. Here are a few pictures taken after we left the castle and were walking around the garden.

This is Webb expressing his feelings about spending 6 dollars

This is Webb expressing his feelings about spending 6 dollars

I also expressed my feelings about the six dollar cover charge

I also expressed my feelings about the 6 dollar cover charge

However, all in all it was a bizarre and interesting experience… Next time though, we’re taking the train!!!





Heart of the Rockies

24 07 2008

So, more on our trip to Salida. After our 2.5 hour car drive along route 50 (it’s only an hour away but we pulled over several times for pictures) we finally arrived in Salida. A little factoid, Route 50 goes from Maryland to California. Salida is a little town at 7,700 feet above sea level which is about 2000 feet above Canon City. It sits in the Arkansas River Valley and is surrounded by some serious mountains. Now I can understand why people kept telling me that Canon was in “the hills.” To give you a few ideas by linking to other’s pictures…

View of Salida by Flickr user teepoole

View of Salida by Flickr user teepoole

Salidas Main Street by Victoriaash Flickr

Salida's Main Street by Victoriaash Flickr

Mountains just outside of Salida by Ken Lund on Flikr
Mountains just outside of Salida by Ken Lund on Flickr

Webb and I walked up and down Main Street full of little artsy shops, outdoor gear shops, and antique stores etc etc. We went in most of them and then decided to eat lunch at the Boathouse which is at the end of Main Street with a view of the river which runs right alongside the building.

View up river from the boathouse.  Just downriver is the F Street bridge.

View up river from the boathouse. Just downriver is the F Street bridge.

This is an area where lots of kayakers come to practice and people stand on the F Street Bridge to oggle and enjoy the scenery. The F Street bridge, a two span concrete arch bridge, built, 1907-08 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Looks VERY familiar doesn’t it?!?!??! I thought it looked just like the Harrods Creek Bridge from a distance…they were actually constructed at almost the same time which I found very interesting.

F Street Bridge from birdgepix.com F Street Bridge from birdgepix.com

We had tacos at the Boathouse which were really tasty. Webb really enjoyed his…

Webb enjoys yummy tacos at the Boathouse

Webb enjoys yummy tacos at the Boathouse