|Yesterday, I've done a day-trip to Colorado Springs, a little town located about 75 miles (125 km) south of Denver. My goal wasn't to visit the city but to take a ride on a very special train and get VERY high (in altitude). I've been up to the summit, at 14 110 feet (4 300 m). |
The train itself is special because
it's a cog-wheel train. It is pulled up by cogs under the wagons
fitting onto a cog bag between the rails. That allows the train to
climb the mountain, even with some parts being at 25% incline, which
is five times the capability of regular trains. See picture below to understand how it works.
The 90 minutes climbing was okay, even
if I was seated on the bad side of the train. Once up there, the
view was pretty spectacular even if it was cloudy (with many clouds
being below us). I admit I wasn't too brave to go along the cliff
outside cement installations. The drop was a big 2000 feet (650 m).
But I did walk around the compound for the half-hour we had up there.
We had a spectacular view of a storm
going on over and around Colorado Springs, with the lightening bolts
Before leaving the summit, I toured the
gift shop and I bought some of their famous donuts. I don't know why
they're famous, but they probably hold the record for the
highest-made donuts. They are plain regular donuts, but I bet they
have a special recipe to make them rise at an atmospheric pressure
much different than at sea level.
At the end of the visit, I was getting
a bit dizzy because of the lack of oxygen and I was happy to get
aboard the train to go down. But just at boarding time, we were
enveloped by a large cloud we saw coming. Being inside a cloud with
your feet on the ground, was pretty special. I tried to take
pictures, but nothing came out but whiteness. Feeling that intense
humidity that might fall into rain a few km below us later was