Sunday, April 30, 2017

Zebulon's Expeditions & Journals ~ A Trip to Pike's Peak in Colorado < #AtoZbloggingchallenge >

When you think of Westward Expansion and the brave pioneerism of 
the 1800s, two names come to mind, right?
Okay, more if pressed...
<< Lewis & Clark, Jefferson, Sacajawea. >> 
History buffs among us can rattle off  a list of key people, places......
But I'm guessing that Zebulon Pike is not a name
most immediately recognize as instrumental
in the opening of The American West.

Fame and glory eluded Zebulon Montgomery Pike.
 The ambitious young military officer and explorer, 
best known for a mountain peak that he neither scaled nor named, 
( yup---surprising, right? )
was destined to live in the shadows of more famous contemporaries.

THIS is the fascinating story of the region surrounding the famed peak.

 In 1806, Army General Wilkinson assigned Lieutenant Zebulon  Pike 
to explore the headwaters of the Arkansas and Red rivers. 
From St. Louis, the lieutenant's  party traveled across the Great Plains
 to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. 
Throughout the journey, Pike maintained a journal describing terrain,
 Indians, hardships, and the group's daily activities. 

In  Colorado's San Luis Valley, Pike and his men were captured
 by the Spanish and taken to Santa Fe, 
where many of his papers were confiscated by Spanish authorities, 
not to be uncovered until the early twentieth century.
The recently published,  Southwestern Journals of Zebulon Pike,
is the chronicle of the not-so-well-known expedition
of 1806- 1807.

"Discovered" by Zebulon Pike in 1806, the Pikes Peak region
( pictured above complete with gorgeous rainbow!)
is truly The Stuff of westward legend.
On a recent cross country trip, this,
among many other spots in Colorado, was a highlight.
Let me take you on a trip up Pike's Peak Highway alllll
the way to the summit.........

This website is replete with the getting-there details,
but National Geographic's map and guide is a must-have . is the Fodor's state guide to Colorado.
Forget American Express.
We don't leave home without Fodor's.

Once past the toll booth, we began the 19 mile, 14,114 foot ascent
to the summit.

Honestly, we were shocked that we practically had the
road to ourselves!

Where was everyone???
Middle of summer, beautiful day, empty highway!
Other than the desolate road, there was one other surprising find......
locals ( for the most part) take their Sasquatch seriously.
Verrrrrrrrrrry seriously.
We were positively dying with hysterics over this sign,
which we SWORE was the epitome of a highway department
with a super quirky sense of humor.
Until we began talking to a resident of Colorado, working up at 
the summit gift shop.
Um, no.
People.......This Sign Is For Real.

Before I offend any readers, < believers of Big Foot readers, that is)
 let me stop right there.

About 15 miles and super close to the peak.....

Annnnnnnd, light headedness and nausea!
Which none of us expected....but which hit us hard!

Right before we reached the summit,
we snapped these shots looking down
toward Canon City.........
Image result for pics of pikes peak highway

And here we are!
Top of the World.
Sort of

Before I close, I have to share the prettiest, most western and
alluring Walmart ever....
Canon City, Co, right at the base of the peak.

Perfectly "fitting" for a western town, no?

By the way,  I snapped these with this camera.....'s a rare day that I don't capture something:
a moment, a family member, something popping up in the garden......

And my Nikon is perfect!

A couple of recent travel-posts in the archives might
interest you if you've 
found your way here for the Pike's Peak tour:

Among the myriad of parks, monuments,
battlefields, memorials within the national park system
in this great land of ours, we've been, 
at last count, to approximately 75 of them....
our don't miss list is here by the way.....

I'm happy to participate  in the A to Z blog challenge! 
Hey, we made it!!!!

Z is for.......
Zebulon's Expeditions & Journals ~ A Trip to Pike's Peak in Colorado 

Day 26 and allllllll the way to Z.
Thanks my friends, for sticking with me to The End!

Image result for 2016 a to z blog challenge badge

And here are all of the 2016 A to Z  Blog Challenge posts~~ ~

Thank you for spending some of your precious time today
here at my home on the web! 
Have you signed up to receive my posts in your email inbox?
   If not, just click here to 
quickly and easily  so we can be in touch regularly!
You might wish to follow on Facebook as well.....

Image result for new york city themed blog post dividers
This post contains amazon affiliate links....
If you are shopping at  amazon and Target
why not consider clicking through my link
In this way, I will receive a small commission on the purchase.....
at no cost to you.

Until next time,



  1. I love Pikes Peak! I spent a good amount of time as a kid in Colorado, enjoying the beautiful scenery and Pike's Peak was always one of my favorite things to see. I fared really well with the altitude as a kid, but going back as an adult I got the worst altitude sickness. Still totally worth it to see the sights though!

    1. Interesting ( about the altitude! ) It affects each of us so differently!! My youngest who was about 7 at the time had a horrible time.....the worst of all of us!

      Thanks so much for stopping by Emily! I love to chat with fellow western travelers!!

  2. Such lovely pictures Chris, I would love to see those views. You can see for miles and miles :) Thanks for stopping by the weekend blog hop

  3. I had no idea the history behind it! Very neat to know.


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.. .....
I will reply right here in the combox; so please check back if you'd like to continue the conversation.
If you'd like, you can contact me instead via email ~
campfiresandcleatsATgmail DOT com.