Really, really high and then just a mile high

Golden, CO

Our day began by meeting up with Linda's sister Barb and her family at PIke's Peak to take the Cog Rail train to the top. The ten of us were all seated together on the train, and we enjoyed seeing all the sights and listening to the conductor's corny jokes and interesting facts on the way up. The ride took about an hour and a half each way, and we had about 1/2 an hour at the top to take pictures and enjoy the views from over 14,000 feet. And the views today were spectacular! No fog (as Linda remembered from the last time she was there as a kid) and no snowstorm (as Tom remembered from his childhood visit)--just blue skies and big fluffy, white clouds over the mountains and valleys--wow!

After Pike's Peak we stopped for a little bit in Manitou Springs for lunch at a little cafe and browsed through a few of the cute little shops. We then packed everyone back into the car (around 3:00) and headed for Denver, the mile high city. The drive was a little slow due to traffic, but we finally arrived around 5:00. Our first stop was the Denver Art Museum. Although it was open, we decided not to go, as it would have cost the 6 of us over $50 and we would have felt like we should spend our whole evening there to get our money's worth. Since we hadn't seen anything else in Denver yet, we decided to opt for the "free" look instead, and just wandered around the city. It was great! There were lots of large art sculptures outside around the Art Museum to look at, as well as the Big Blue Bear by the convention center. We walked through the Civic Center park and checked out the Capital Building. Then we went to the the 16th street Mall, where we ate dinner at Johnny Rockets (so many places to choose from, we just decided to go faster and cheaper), browsed through some shops, watched people and street performers, and rode the free mall shuttle. The "mall" is a really nice slice of city life, especially in the summer when there are so many outdoor cafes. Jared has now decided he wants to live in Denver someday. That's okay with me. :-)