O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
--Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929) American songwriter.
Colorado Springs (pop. 416,427) -- a beautiful city located at the base of Pikes Peak (14,115 feet). The area is still recovering from the devastation caused by an enormous forest fire this past June - which killed two and destroyed 346 homes and more than 18,000 acres. It was a trip to the summit of Pikes Peak in 1893 that inspired Katharine Lee Bates to write "America the Beautiful". There are two ways to reach the summit, the first is to drive there along a very steep, winding 19 mile toll road (which is what we did), the second is to take the cog railroad up the mountain. Click here to see the live view from the summit. As you can imagine, the weather at 14,000+ feet can be pretty severe. They've already had snow! The day we went it was a balmy 58 degrees at the top. Click here to see the current conditions.
Favorite places we visited in Colorado Springs: (I'll post some more photos this week)
Garden of the Gods
Cheyenne Mountain State Park
US Air Force Academy Chapel