Friday, August 19, 2016

A Cog and a Bristlecone

We went totally tourist while in Colorado Springs, Colorado and took the 125 year old cog rail train up to the top of Pike's Peak. It wasn't quite "Pike's Peak or Bust"... But, still fun to do. The views from the top were amazing. The cog rail is a unique invention of man that has been around for awhile. Devised to be able to ascend and descend steep terrain, it still works just fine.
Here is the track:

There is a diesel engine driven sprocket wheel below each car of the four car train that does the work pulling up and then grabbing on the downward ride.

A view on the way up of the hillside track.

Some views from the top, with Colorado Springs down there in the flat land.

And on the way down, our conductor pointed out this Bristlecone Pine. One of Nature's toughest life forms. It survives at the treeline of 11,500 feet in the most brutal of weather conditions and survives indeed. this grey barked one in the photo middle has been documented at 2,200 years old! The oldest ones have made it to 5,000 years. Wow.

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