It's a sunny, crisp Christmas Eve. Jim makes us a late breakfast then we drive 10 minutes to the Cog Railway. We bought the tickets for the 12:30pm train over a month ago, having learned last year that the train books up early. Today the winds at the summit are gusting to over 70 miles per hour so the train will only go to 13,500 feet, not 14,500 foot summit.
We board the train with a jovial, diverse group of people. On the ride up we pass the "North Pole" that has been setup for the Christmas trains. We also have good views of the mountainous landscape during the journey. Of course we joke and laugh (and pop our ears) along the way. Once we reach 13,500 feet the train stops. This highest altitude point for our trip is on the leeward side of the mountain, but the cold wind is still whipping around as we lower the train windows to take photos.
After 15 minutes the trainman moves from the front to the rear train controls and we begin our descent along the same route. The sun has moved lower in the skies and the Pike's Peak granite found all over the mountain has a warm shine. After a short stop/passenger bio-break at a siding the train continues it's tenacious trip to the depot with cars full of happy travelers.
The round-trip ride lasts ~2 1/2 hours and is a fun way to spend the afternoon. It also gives us a chance to try out the new zoom lenses for our cameras which are a very generous Christmas gift from my parents. They work very well and will be perfect for some of our upcoming trips.
We are off to see our son and daughter-in-law in Colorado (Jim and Sally) for the Christmas Holiday. Although we talk to each other on the phone, it has been a year since we have last met in person. The time together is precious.
After a flight to Denver and drive to Colorado Springs we meet with hugs and start our time together with dinner at the Black Bear Restaurant.
Friday mid-morning we join up and head off to buy "provisions" for the long weekend. First up is Andy's Butcher Shop. Jim and Sally spied the shop when driving in the area, but have never been inside. It turns out to be a great place. We buy ribeye steaks, ground beef, breakfast sausage, thick cut bacon and wood chips.
Our next stop is Luna Market. This is a Mexican food and fruit market. We pick up a few items, including home made chicharone (deep fried pork skins) for snacking.
After lunch at Rocky Mountain Brewery we round out our groceries at Safeway and then pick up some beverages at a local liquor store. It's been fun checking out some local businesses and making up our menu plans as we go along. Friday evening's dinner begins to make a dent the provisions.
Hi. I'm Anne. I wander around the world with William.
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