As sad as I was to leave the mountains, it was time to move on to the Midwest, a part of America I'd never seen before. The eastern part of Colorado becomes flat very quick once you leave Pueblo. Level is the more accurate word the local people use in Kansas. Architecture had become my focus since there were no more mountains to stare at and with no main points of interest, we decided to get a lot of driving done.
I've reached new heights. Literally. The highest elevation I have ever stood at is now 14,110 feet. Prior to this visit to Pikes Peak, my record was at 13,150 feet in Telluride Ski Resort, CO.
At this point in the trip we had been at a steady elevation of 7,000 feet for a week and still could not adjust to the attitude. I wasn't exhausted or anything but even though exercise is a regular practice for me, I was short of breath. Now imagine driving up 19 miles to 14,000 feet and walking around. It all changed so fast. It was warm and dry at the bottom, then cold with wind gusts at about 40mph or more.
My body could only take so much as I became dizzy and acquired what felt like frozen hands. Clearly I wasn't prepared for the instant winter experience. Despite the conditions, I did enjoy my time at the summit and walked away with some great shots.