Flirting With Vertigo at Pike’s Peak

“Are you good to drive to the top?”

That’s what the attendant at the entrance asked me.

“Yes,” I replied.

In truth, I didn’t know what I was saying. I had already driven portions of Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park. Seeing Pike’s Peak from a distance — it barely seemed GTSR’s rival.

It wasn’t until the bus lot mid-way up that my doubts began to emerge. Everything until then had been relatively boring. I even said to my wife once, “Is this it? This ain’t nuthin’.”

But, mid-way up, every car in front of us turned to park. But, I said I was going up. So, up I went.

My Honda Pilot was in 2nd the whole way, and I took my time. As we crept above the clouds, I could feel my hands involuntarily clinching the steering wheel.

My eyes watched the temperature gauge on my dash.

My wife laughed at me, because I avoided looking toward the drop. It felt to me as if looking outward would somehow compel me to drive over the edge, like I had seen one of the creatures in Bird Box.

We reached the top with the Pilot huffing and puffing. After I parked, the fan in the engine continued to run, like a dog on a hot day. (Thankfully, she recovered while we looked around.)

Despite the anxiety on the drive up, I was amazed by what we saw. 14,000+ feet above sea level, we could see far and wide in every direction.

I am not a fan of heights. But, I have often found that the places that feel most heavenly are in the mountains. If given the choice between beaches, plains, and mountains, I would take mountains every time.

After a bit at the Peak, we finally decided to venture below the clouds. That too was an experience, with the temperature station part way down to force you to pull over if your breaks run hot.

Perhaps the most fascinating thing we learned from our visit was that they use to race semi’s down Pike’s Peak. They also have a Pike’s Peak motorcycle race.

Those people be trippin’.

If you haven’t been to Pike’s Peak, you must go. If you do it to race trucks or motorcycles, let me know.

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