Omakase

Friday, August 22, 2008

Trip update: Colorado Springs

We arrived in Kevin's new hometown of Colorado Springs (CS) yesterday afternoon, and after unloading, headed out for a bit of touring. A day and a half later, and in total, I've seen the US Air Force Academy, Pike's Peak, Manitou Springs, the US Olympic Training Center, and downtown CS, which is quite cool.

CS has a nice feel to it - imagine Charlottesville with 4X the population, and 3X taller mountains. There's a slightly more slack and slightly grungier feel here, but compared to Cville, economically there is more going on besides one big employer.

Still, there's an obvious fringe, like this guy, who made a sculpture of Jesus on the pitcher's mound with the tag "He's going nine for America."



The highlight of the trip to CS has to have been the 1/2 day we spent on Pike's Peak. The Peak is famous for its' annual Pike's Peak Hill Climb, when souped up cars race UP Pike's Peak. It's about a 19 mile ride, and almost 8,000 foot elevation climb. While it took us over an hour to climb the hill, racers make it to the top in about 10 minutes!

The top of Pike's Peak is 14,000 feet, and the air contains roughly half of the oxygen in the air at sea level. It definitely had an effect on me - I found myself tired with just a little bit of walking over rocks. Nevertheless, we set off on a hike downhill. I pulled up after a half-hour to listen to the sound of diving ravens (very impressive), while Kevin went onwards another 15 minutes to an interesting overlook. While I kicked myself for being a gigantic wuss and not going the distance, I realized on the climb-out that I did the right thing. The return trip was a half-hour straight up, and I was completely drained at the end.



The views from Pike's Peak were amazing, and yet again, I curse myself for not remembering to put the battery in my digital camera. I captured some images with my camera phone, but these images are, at best, reason enough to go back with a good camera.

On the way back from Pike's Peak, we made a stop at the USOC training center. They wouldn't let me loose with any of their toys, but at least I got this shot in one of their bobsleds.




Next up: a 6am flight out of CS to Chicago, where I'll meet up with my buddy Karl Brewer, and enjoy a Cubs game at Wrigley Field.

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With my new friends on the Great Wall of China

With my new friends on the Great Wall of China
Click to go to my online photography

World sun clock

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Uncommon Man's Creed

"I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon -- if I can. I seek opportunity -- not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I wish to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole, I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence, nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master, nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud, and unafraid, to think and act for myself, to enjoy the benefit of my creations, and to face the world boldly and say, "this I have done." All this is what it means to be an American." -- Anonymous