The precipice from which Katharine Lee Bates wrote the anthem, “America the Beautiful” is Pikes Peak-A mountain both resolute and awe-inspiring. Pikes Peak truly defines “Purple Mountain Majesty” standing as a visual landmark for the entire Front Range as it turns a beautiful purple in the darker hours of the day. It’s even more inspiring looking down from the peak!
The phrase, “Pikes Peak or Bust” originated from the gold rush, when men and women would travel from the East coast to seek their fortune in gold. However, once they got to the mountain, they discovered no gold was found on this mountain. Instead they sought out their fortunes further West.
Later on, Mrs. Bates wrote the poem, “America the Beautiful” from the top of the mountain when visiting as a professor for the summer in Colorado Springs. She didn’t publish her piece until two years later on the Fourth of July. It was later set to music.
Last weekend I had the honor of heading up to Pikes Peak with family friends! Being a Colorado native, I haven’t actually been up to the top of Pikes Peak before. (oops) I think as a kid, my parents tried to stay away from crowds and touristy areas of this great state. However, I was pretty excited to head up there! We rode the Cog Railway up to the top of the mountain which offered beautiful views of the plains as well as nearby mountain ranges. When we had reached the top, the cold wind greeted us as we took pictures on the edge of this 14,114′ mountain and enjoyed the views. One of the best parts of Pikes Peak are the donuts which are made right on the peak! The tasty treats do-nut rise since they are being made in the shop on top of the mountain as the yeast doesn’t let the dough rise.
I am always inspired being in the mountains. Standing at the top of any peak gives a sense of reality. The world around us is so much greater and sometimes it’s difficult to see that in our day to day life. Problems seem to fade when you’re looking down at large cities which somehow blend in to the landscape.
The sun was shining so brightly that day, helping to melt all the snow which is still in abundance on top of the mountain!
Have you been to Pikes Peak??