Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pikes Peak

Sept 19, 2010

We managed to get an earlier start this morning. It was pretty foggy but cleared not long after we started. We had stayed at Glendo, Wyoming and had about two hundred miles to go to get to Pikes Peak. The temperature was in the low 40’s and even with my gloves I thought my fingers would freeze. By the time we had driven one hundred miles I had to get Randy to pull over and let me change clothes. We finally got to Colorado Springs and found The Garden Of The Gods Campground. It’s a large RV park and they have an escort in a golf cart that leads you to your space and helps get your camper lined up properly for the electric, water and sewer hook ups.. We decided to go for a drive up Pikes Peak and see it for ourselves. The entry fee to go on the mountain is $12.00 per person. There signs everywhere telling you to use low gears and “Hot brakes are failed brakes”. They also have signs about how to cool your vehicle if it overheats.
Every mile you go there is a sign telling you how far you’ve gone and about different types of animals that live there, such as, bears, bobcats, elk, etc. Most of the road is paved but a part of it is dirt, there are not any guard rails. The road is curved and has more of those nail biting turns. I got a few nice photos and just after we past the 11,000 foot mark, Randy noticed an odor coming from the truck. He pulled over and raised the hood and the smoke poured out. I notices a drip trail behind the truck and upon closer examination we discovered it was the transmission. We had not checked the transmission fluid since before we started the trip . The dipstick now read zero. A big fat nothing and we are at 11,000 feet. We let the truck cool for a bit and Randy found quart container of transmission fluid in the tool box. Bad news: it only had about a third of a quart. That’s all we could do. He put it in and we rode back down the mountain in first gear. I was so afraid the brakes would give out. The way back down is steep and even in first gear, you speed up so you are forced to use the brakes. But we did fine and made it to a store and bought transmission fluid. Luckily, no damage to the truck. Our poor truck has been put through the ringer. It has pulled the camper a lot of miles up and down, and we neglected to check the fluid. We didn’t get to make it to the summit but tomorrow we plan on riding the Cog Railroad up to the top.
As we were coming back down the mountain we stopped at a little gift shop that is near a brake check point. We stopped to see if they might have transmission fluid but they didn’t. While we were there a red fox came out into the parking lot. I think he just wanted to cross the street but the people there kept getting in his way and he finally returned to the woods. I have never seen a fox this close. He was about 10 feet away. Very cool.

No comments: