Pikes Peak Cog Railway Colorado
Last week was Baba's spring break which means it was OUR spring break too! We drove down to Colorado Springs and rode one of the LAST cog railways in the nation- Pikes Peak Cog Railway! How lucky we are!
It rained and drizzled and was chilly most every day of the week, but on Monday morning we took a mini day trip down to Manitou Springs to ride the highest cog railway in the world, the Pikes Peak Cog Railway! Guys, Manitou Springs is GORGEOUS! That train ride is STUNNING! I admit the tickets were a bit on the higher end if you are considering taking the family or young kiddos. We decided to purchase a seat for the girls so they could be comfortable, and more importantly so WE could be comfortable too. The train usually journeys up the entire height of Pike's Peak mountain, but on this particular morning the rails were covered in snow drift so we stopped at Windy Point at around 12,000 feet. Usually the train stops up there and you are able to get out for a half hour, and they have a food stand apparently. On this trip, so we weren't able to go up, the conductor paused here for quite a bit so we could take in the incredible views, those are the photos of all the snow below and the gigantic mountain scene. This particular area we paused at was called "The Saddle" because you can see on either side of Pike's Peak, clear to the Kansas border and also the San Juan region. INCREDIBLE!
The beauty is totally lost on young ones, you can see this is right about the time where I pulled out the Easter candy in the ornament tins I had strategically packed and brought along. Don't worry, they had organic apples on the way up! The ride is also a bit long for toddlers and babies, in our opinion. This is an excellent trip for out of town guests, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and older, elementary aged children. The ride back down was a bit antsy and the conductor paused a lengthy bit at another point, an area that he had mentioned was the inspiration behind the historic song, "America the Beautiful." You can see that giant lake that looks like a pair of pants lying flat down below. He paused her for a good 20 minuted for photo ops. We finally made the climb back down and took a potty and leg stretch break outside the train at around 4,000 feet.
I will say that the ticket counter was awesome and did refund us for not making the full journey up. They did it automatically via the credit card transaction so we didn't have to hassle with that. The conductor and the narrator were all so knowledgeable and entertaining! The climb up for the first half hour was the BEST and the most exciting point for the girls- LOOK at those faces!!!
Afterwards, we drove down to town and had burgers at a diner called Baba's Burgers, funny because Baba is father in Arabic! I had the Buffalo burger and husband tried the Elk, both were delicious and probably much better for us than the beef. Arlo had a kids meal with a burger and Remy had the hot dog kid's meal. We walked back to the car, but first momma had to indulge in just one more thing, ice cream! We popped in Pike's Peak Ice Cream. It was decent, but pricey!
I would LOVE to explore more of Manitou Springs with the family! There is also a wonderful playground right in the middle of town off the main street if you have older kids and can squeeze in a longer trip. Of course we had already pushed our limit with two toddlers, and WE were exhausted too! We rode the 9:20 am train so we had to get up early to get down there and barely made the ride! We were literally the last passengers on and were running down the stairs and onto our train! Seriously! They leave on time so time your trip accordingly! They also have an 11:20 and a 1:20 pm I believe, but it depends on weather and how many tickets sold, so you must call ahead to plan and book.
Also, we would recommend choosing the side with the three seats. We had the two top seats and it was on the inside of the mountain and because we did not go all the way up, or maybe this is all the time, we traveled back down the same way we went up so we missed out on some of the more gasp-worthy scenery sitting across the aisle. Luckily neighbors were more than okay with us standing up and leaning in for photos, hence the shadows and window glare on some of these. Husband also went to the end of the train car at one point and snapped some awesome shots too- thanks babe!
I know I ask a lot, and I always want to take these adventures with the girls, but I feel like why not?! And if not now, when?! I think that even though they were a tad bit squirrely coming down the mountain, it's not all for nothing! I remember many things from my childhood that I am sure my parents never thought I would. The fact that we are with them and we are exploring together and spending the day together discovering something new is something they will remember in the long run. Hoping we can keep up these family bonding habits and some day maybe they can navigate a trip for all of us and be as excited as they were just venturing up a mountain on a cog railway. You don't have to go far to see such beauty, I love you Colorado!
For tickets and info visit their site here.
More wet weather around here this week but we are itching for more outdoor adventures!
Remy is wearing a dress from Soft Gallery, older, but ADORE this dress and this dress. Target leggings and Tommy Hilfiger boots. Arlo is wearing a dress by Pink Chicken for Target collar, I randomly found this on the sale rack, it must have been returned as it was from last February! Love Pink Chicken brand! They have really pretty prints and fabrics. Love this dress and eyeing this swimsuit and these pants! She is wearing it with Gap leggings and Tommy Hilfiger boots. Their coats are H&M. Husband and I found these for $7 each when we had a day date a while back and we went shopping after brunch, and of course spent time shopping and spoiling them! However, I totally have a thing for fur, and would LOVE these black shaggy coats by Appaman for them for next year! I am wearing Old Navy sunnies, similar here, and a sweatshirt from Anthropologie, but WANTING this guy for warmer weather!