In 2019, as we had been blessed to do so many other times in recent years, my parents and I spent Christmas in Colorado Springs with my grandmother. Her birthday was just a few days after Christmas, so we got to celebrate her turning 95 as well. I’m sad to say my grandmother passed away in August of this year, but at that time she was still in good health and good spirits. She was English-born and raised, but had married an American serviceman (my grandfather) during World War II and had lived in Colorado Springs since 1960.
Here she is, dozing on Christmas morning.
And on her 95th birthday, reading her cards and celebrating at her favorite restaurant. She was a remarkable lady; I loved her dearly and miss her deeply.
The day after Christmas, I suggested taking a short drive into the mountains up near Woodland Park. My grandmother said, “Why don’t we go up to Wilkerson Pass?” That’s much farther away, but we were up for an adventure, so we all piled into the car and set off. Boy, am I glad we did. The view over South Park, blanketed in a pristine layer of snow, toward the distant, towering Collegiate Range took my breath away. Though I didn’t know it at the time, I would be back at Wilkerson Pass just six months later, and would go right up on the knees of those distant, towering peaks!
I have a version of that last picture labeled with mountain heights and distances, but unfortunately the labels don’t show up well on this blog. But Mount Princeton, 43 mi/69 km away and 14,204 ft/4327 m tall, is easily visible with its triple peak just left of center. The leftmost distant peak just to the right of the dark hill is Mount Ouray, a full 57 mi/92 km away and 13,961 ft/4255 m tall.
Here’s the backside of the famous Pikes Peak. Don’t see this view nearly as often…
…as this one!